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Saturday, March 6, 2010

El Mercado de Pueblo

El Mercado de Pueblo is a new addition to Spokane, located at 1814 N Division St.  It opened in January 2010, I believe, (I could, of course. be wrong about that!) It is so new I don;t see a listing on Urbanspoon yet!

Anyhow it is new and this was my first time there though I have seen the painted wall outside the place.   I probably would have missed the place were it not for the artwork on the building.  It's so southwest and colorful too!

This place does not realy have anyplace to even pull up a chair if you want to have a bite to eat, just a lunch counter; but they do make orders to go and that is what I did.  Their specialty seems to be tamales.  I love tamales!  I had the notion to take some home for diner, so I did. 

Its a great little store,  a lot like De Leon's further north.  The pastries are wild looking, their colors amazing but I am am not into eating doughnuts.... I will say they looked very interesting.  In addition to making tamales and a vast array of baked goods including cakes, they also make salsa, pico de gallo and serve fruit and fruits salad.  Their small grocery contains fresh items like bananas and cucumbers... and they have lot of great Mexican items, barrels and barrels of dried peppers, some pinatas for parties, soda from South America, a large selection of spices and huge cooking pots too.

I bought chicken, pork and the rajas tamales.  Rajas is a chile and cheese filled tamale, as seen on the right hand side in the photo below.  Rajas is the one in the middle.  This particular tamale was a little over done and not very appetizing to look at... unless of course you really do not mind green. 

   I served the tamales at home with lettuce on the side and some tortilla soup, (not in the photos.) 
I also bought pico de gallo and some wagon wheeled shaped super crunchy chips that sure were tasty!
Well, I have to say the tamales, especially the rajas were not my favorite, at least nothing like I expected and I seemed to have missed the cheese in the rajas too.  They were probably totally authentic.... and since I am not acquainted with authentic, they were foreign to my particular liking.  Geo found them to be interesting.  As I thoroughly expected to like them, this came as a bit of a disappointment to me.  They were good with  the pico de gallo all over them though.

I do not mind green (these wee green) and I like the more vegetarian-style fare.   These would be much more appetizing if the chiles were diced and maybe if there was some more cheese in them and maybe even bits of corn.  (This, of course, would be the "gringa version"... It is perhaps what I would do with them in the kitchen to make them more to my own personal liking.)

Geo could not tell any difference between the chicken and the pork tamales and he also commented that they were a little dry. 

Also the tamales were wrapped in such a way that when they were opened the tamales were all broken inside because the masa stuck to the various portions of the corn husk wrapper.  So, next time, the tamales will not be on high on my list when shopping here.  I would order the chicken, beef or pork the next time.

 The rajas was simply not my kind of thing, but the pico de gallo was delicious!  I will be back for more of that.

Fun store... 

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