Friday, June 20, 2014

Let's Eat San Miguel:Savory Bites For Under 100 Pesos - Part II: Street and Market Eats

This week, street and market eats are as good as it gets!

We found everything from delicious coconut water to keep you looking ageless to Mixiotes, little lamb bundles that are cooked overnight in the ground with spices and are the next best thing to your mother's pot roast dinner.

There are street stands that give you some of the best eats in San Miguel along with a lot of sustainable and organic food options at markets like the Saturday Organic Market. Go early as much of the prime produce is sold in the morning. I know people who are there when it opens. Me? I'm still waking up to my first cup of coffee and a table full of strangers I am about to meet.

Next week? Part III: Let's Eat San Miguel: Savory Bites For Under 100 pesos. A lot of restaurants made the cut and in some cases, we even went home with change.

Buen Apetito!

El Pato
Calzada de la Estacion 175

In a little palapa near Bodega Aurrera, this "street" restaurant serves up one of the best dishes in San Miguel.

Mixiotes is a specialty dish from Hidalgo where owner Jose Luis hails from. The bundle of lamb is cooked in broth and spices and has such a rich taste that even I wouldn’t try to duplicate it. Jose Luis cooks it underground overnight and also never buys a lamb that is over 6 months old so the food is consistently rich and sweet.

This feed prices out at 50 pesos. My go-to place when I'm craving comfort food.

Plenty of parking and you can also do take out.

Coconut Water
Corner of Canal and Hernandez Macias

Did you know that Coconut water has fewer calories, less sodium and more potassium than most sports drinks? It's an excellent low-fat, low-sugar source of nourishment.

Coconut water has significant anti-aging properties which helps to minimize skin aging.

That's why this little cart is a frequent morning stop for me. Honestly, I've noticed a huge difference in my skin since I started drinking it. 15-25 pesos depending on size

Chucho's Gyros
Below Ten Ten Pie on Sterling Dickenson

They serve up a good Chicago style Gyros and now a great Chicago Hot Dog. I went today and they finally added the few additional ingredients to make it more authentic.

The hot dogs are a bit small but really have a delicious flavor.

I can't believe I ate two. 35 pesos each.

 Andy's Tacos
85 Insurgentes

This is the best little taco cart in San Miguel. PM only. Lots of regulars so expect to dine standing, especially if you show up later.

Don't miss the Tacos Al Pastor. Only thing missing is the bits of pineapple. 9 pesos each.

Andy's biggest fan base? The large group of hungry Americans and Canadians who frequent the cart each weekend.

Corn Stand
Mesones y Juarez

Just like Maxwell Street Market in Chicago, the yellow corn is sweet and dressed with mayo, cheese and chili. 17 pesos.

I was short on change the other day and she told me to come back to pay her the two pesos whenever I had the time.

Isn't this the type of business you want to support in San Miguel?

 Hamburger Stand
Jardin Square

I love this little stand where the husband and wife team greet you like a regular customer... even when they know you're new in town.

Thin burger but loaded with fresh condiments and topped with a slice of ham.

Good place to grab a quick bite if something is going on in the Jardin which is most of the time. PM only. 40 pesos.

Hidalgo and Calzada de Luz

The kitchen? A taco cart parked in the front of the room.

The lines? Ridiculously long on Sunday.

The fun food on the menu? This ball glass of beer surrounded with mini shrimp.

30 or 50 pesos depending on the size.

Leo " The Vegetable Guy"
Salida a Celaya 43 - in front of El Maple

The sweetest deal in town? An oversized bag of strawberries for just 20 pesos. Also really good over a huge bowl of Ambrosia Vanilla Ice Cream or in a morning smoothie.

Leo's produce changes daily so swing by when you're in the market for the freshest produce in town.

Today, I saw the largest blackberries I've ever seen. All of the produce looks like it was just picked that morning.

His cherry tomatoes are always beautifully ripe and can be popped as another healthy and delicious snack.

La Michoacana

I crave Paletas in the summer and this summer is no exception.

Menus differ by location, but most carry a range of aguas frescas (refreshing waters made with fresh fruit), paletas (popsicles) with fruit, and, of course, ice cream, including some that are novel flavors and made with Rose Petals, Elote, Mezcal or Tequila. 17 pesos.

French Chef Isabelle Ortega
Saturday Organic Market

Isabelle’s pies are authentically French and C'est Delicieux!

Try a little Dessert Quiche. I eat it slowly to savor every delicious bite.

Café Organico de Chiapas
Sollano 11

28 pesos get's you the best Chiapas brew around.

I take it to the Jardin to mix with the early birds and watch the world go by. You might even make the live WebCam.

Did you know that some of the most interesting people in San Miguel get up early? You should try it sometime.

Atole Stand
Saturday Organic Market

I wasn't crazy about this drink the first time I had it but it's slowly growing on me…slowly.

Atole should be creamy with no lumps and can be as thick as porridge. That's the part that got me. It's a lot like drinking hot, runny pudding. In fact, some people drink it as a complete meal at breakfast. 15 pesos.

Insurgentes down the street from Sammy's Market

Everyone's got their own favorite chicken place. Mine is on Insurgentes down the street from Samy's Market and comes as a meal with peppers and potatoes. They split theirs in half so it's cooked well all the way through.

I got one and shredded it off the bone then mixed in with a little mayo, pickle relish, onion, and small shell pasta. Load on the cashews and you have a really good and easy chicken salad.

Saturday Organic Market
Ancha de San Antonio and Cardo

No matter which stand you go to there is a wide variety of eats that will keep you coming back every Saturday morning for both the food and the social offerings. In fact, I have met more people at the Saturday Organic Market than any other place in San Miguel. It's the social mecca of San Miguel.

You can be easy on yourself and go to the Panaderia La Buena Vida stand and get a few of the most delicious doughnuts you've ever eaten (what is it they do to make them 'fluffy'?) or be daring and try something new.

As you've guessed by now, I'll go with the daring...except I do love those doughnuts.

La Pulga
Salon Los Pinos, Real Salida a Queretaro #145

It's amazing to see all of the delicious food options at La Pulga. From a seafood-laden Paella to spiced apples that are baked in tiny purses of dough, we love them all.

You can also grab a beer to wander the aisles and browse all the good buys.

Some new distillers may also show up and easily convince you to buy a bottle of their small batch whiskey. Go for it.

 San Juan De Dios Market
Independencia just north of Canal

Although not as wide of a selection as some of the other markets, it's worth the wander just to see the interesting spots to eat and buy local foods.

This market is frequented by Mexicans although I noticed that both gringos and tourists are showing up in larger numbers and actually trying some of the market eats.

Mercado Ignacia Ramirez
Plaza San Francisco

This market is where locals and gringos do their day-to-day shopping for fresh-from-the-farm produce. Yes, my vendor in the market gets his produce so fresh that it's often picked the day before. So much better than what's been put through the distribution chain at the supermarket.

There is also a small section of food stalls where they serve up fresh moles, salsas and sauces over anything you happen to be hungry for that day.

Go early when everything is at its peak freshness.