Shopping at El Burrito Mercado (St. Paul, MN)


We ate lunch on the patio at El Burrito Mercado last weekend and after the meal I browsed the mercado itself. The meal was fine but the mercado is truly special. The first incarnation opened in 1979—though not at this location—and as the business has grown over the years it has become a very impressive one-stop shop for Mexican foods (or so I assume anyway). From vegetables to a carniceria to spices to canned foods to prepared foods to pastries they’ve pretty much got you covered for all but the most esoteric needs. If you haven’t been—or haven’t been in a while—go take a look and buy a little—or, even better, a lot. Continue reading

Seafood and More at Sai Ying Pun Market (Hong Kong, 2018)


As I’ve mentioned before, I really enjoy walking around food markets in cities I’m visiting. Whether in Montreal, London or even St. Paul, if there’s a big produce market and I have time to visit it, I am there. Of course, Hong Kong is the ideal city for one with such preferences. I’ve already posted a couple of reports from the Graham Street wet market, located fortuitously right next to my hotel. Today I have a report from a covered market (well, two actually) about a 20 minute walk away: mostly from the Sai Ying Pun Market and a bit from the Centre Street Market. My interest in the former stemmed from having read about its seafood section and that is what this report is heavy on. The vegetarians should console themselves with the pictures of vegetables that start the slideshow and those of tofu etc. from Centre Street Market. Or just go back and look at the post on roadside fruit and vegContinue reading

Midtown Global Market (Minneapolis)


The Midtown Global Market was the first place I ever ate at in Minnesota. This was a little less than a year before we moved to Minnesota, and just a few months after it opened in May, 2006. I was visiting St. Paul on work and my friend Mike and I drove over to check it out. I got some wonderful octopus tacos from La Sirena Gorda and Mike got tacos from Los Ocampo’s counter, if I remember correctly. It was a vibrant, fun space and it made an impression on me that was quite different from the image of Minnesota I’d put together from my years in the western US. (This impression was bolstered later that weekend at a meal at Saigon in St. Paul.) A few months later we had to decide whether to remain in Colorado or make a jump to Minnesota, and this impression of a culturally diverse Minnesota helped make up our minds—it also probably didn’t hurt that it was very warm in the Twin Cities during my visit in early November, 2006.

Well, November isn’t always warm here, and La Sirena Gorda, alas, is long gone—as are some of our other early favourites there—but the Midtown Market is still going strong, with new food outlets and merchants who are excellent in their own right; indeed, it seems very entrenched now in the local scene. Here is a quick look at it for the benefit of those who have somehow never been, or have not been in a while. Continue reading