Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Game Changer: Mercado Centro

  Salad from Chef Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez at Nómada cocina de interpretación


Mercado Centro
William Mervin Villareal
Mercado Centro opened last Friday. So many people came through the market, it was a testament to just how many food lovers there are in San Miguel. I am one of them. 

Mercado Centro is the brainchild of William Mervin Villareal and his partner Paco Rosendo who joined 27 establishments, all selected to be there. There are currently 43 vendors on the waiting list to get in. There is little overlap in offerings. The food and drink mix is inspiring. 

Wilson from Cent'anni
In the past 8 days, I’ve eaten at Mercado Centro seven times and every dish was outstanding. Today I had the small size Margarita Pizza that Wilson handmade at Centa’nni; a delicious lunch for only 75 pesos. I’m certain that Wilson will be one of your favorite personal cooks in the market. There are many of them and they are all listed as staff below so you can call them by name.
I’m particularly impressed with the fact that every vendor uses high-quality ingredients. Yes, you can taste the difference.

The demographics of tourists in SMA have changed in the past two years. For those whose priority is good food and drink, they can now find it all under one roof.

Want a taste of SMA from Allende Beer to great Mezcal or food that’s good for the soul? 87% of these vendors have roots in San Miguel de Allende.
                                           Photo: Roberto Lopez
There to cut the ribbon on opening night with William (Billy) Mervin Villareal and Paco Rosendo was the Secretary of Tourism for Guanajuato, Fernando Olivera Rocha and San Miguel de Allende’s Mayor, Ricardo Villarreal Garcia. 

Having planned over 100 gastronomic events, both artistic and cultural, in the state of Guanajuato in 2015, the Secretary of Tourism, Fernando Olivera Rocha, has done much to promote San Miguel de Allende as a place to eat. It was obvious in his speech that Mercado Centro is one of the gems in Guanajuato’s culinary crown. 

Opening night, three people told me that Mercado Centro reminded them of a mini Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid. Certainly the name is no coincidence.

Of all the people I spoke with this past week, every one of them is as excited by this game changer in the SMA food scene as I am. The market is beautiful… especially the floor design.

Mercado Centro is a work in progress...

You’ll notice the arches went up this past week to give it the appearance of an old railway station, along with the installation of a new ventilation system. 

Also in progress are the culinary events and pop up dinners that will take place on the roof. 

A few other things you may not know:

Mercado Centro is open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM; closed on Tuesday.

Fernanda Nieto
Meet the incredibly friendly market manager, Fernanda Nieto, who is on-site. 

Mercado Centro is dog friendly.

Smoking is not allowed in the market; smoking is allowed on the roof.

Coming soon: A delivery service so you can enjoy all the great food from the market at home… although I think half the experience is being there.

The market will be wired for internet in the coming weeks.

Chef Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez and sous-chef Pablo Nicacio

Chef Sofia Antillon
The cornerstone of the market is Chef Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez and Chef Sofia Antillon’s beautiful restaurant Nómada cocina de interpretación where we enjoyed a beautiful tasting dinner on opening night. Nómada cocina de interpretación is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving its’ celebrated tasting menu every Wednesday.

Mercado Centro is a great place to take the family, do your daily shopping, or meet friends for an enjoyable comida or happy hour. 

Me? I'm just trying to figure out how to move in. Stay tuned.

Buen Apetito!

Mercado Centro brings together some of SMA’s most loved names in food and drink…
Right side/ back to forward:

Los Meatballs 
Cerveceria Allende 
Beso a pau
La Santisima Trinidad
Las Guchitas
Verduras Alex; Alex Ochoa

Los Meatballs 
Owners: Anders Litzen and Kajsa Akerblom, owners of Tapas sma and owner-operator at 2 Suecos Catering and Jason and Rich Wellner.
Staff: Danny and Francisco (AM)

Gourmet hamburgers
Owner: Chef Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez of Nómada cocina de interpretación
Recommend: Porchetta Burger on a Potato Bun $100 pesos

Cerveceria Allende 
Owner: Rodrigo Moncada 
Staff: Ana Karen 
Four Beers: Agave Lager, Golden Ale, IPA, Brown Ale

Gorditas, Huaraches, Quesadillas, Sopes and other Mexican dishes ( think corn)
Owners: Manny Flores and Francisco Tello de Meneses
Staff: Norma
Recommended: Huarache de Arrachera

Gyro and Dumplings 
Owners: Chef Gabriel Ordonez and David Ortiz of 58
Staff: Jacobo

Beso a pau
Dressings, Oils and Sauces 
Owner: Jesus Berrospe Arreola 
Staff: Carmen

Las Guchitas
Salads and Empanadas
Owner: Erik Gallardo
Staff: Edgar
Recommend: Berza Salad (Kale) Queso cabra y jengibre caramelizado

La Santisima Trinidad
Lavender products, local wines and olive oils 
Owner: Erik Gallardo 
Staff: Carolina

Verduras Alex
Vegetables and Fruits 
Owner: Alex Ochoa

Panio by Cumpanio
The Bakery and The Juice Bar

Soul Kitchen
Vino and Comino
Agua Mala

Left Side/front to back:

Panio by Cumpanio 
Bakery, Coffee, Desserts, Sandwiches, Quiche
Owner: Cumpanio Group
Chef Enrique Farjeat with Manager Alfredo Mejia 

Gelatieri Ice Cream Factory
Owner Alvero Zavala
Manager: Fernanda Nieto ( who is also Manager of Mercado Centro)
Staff: Marivel 

The Bakery 
Bakery items and Crepes
Owner: Cinthya Corazon
Chef Manager: Alejandro Balbontin Olmos
Recommend: Cheesecake

The Juice Bar
Fresh squeezed juice and Smoothies
Owner: Cinthya Corazon 
Chef Manager: Alejandro Balbontin Olmos

Soul Kitchen
Southern home cooking, soul food and take out 

Owner: Sunday Marie Witte
Staff: Marilee, Ariel and Kyle
Recommend: Chicken Pot Pies 

Guaname (San Felipe)
Vacuum Packed Meats, Liqueurs and Dulces
Owned: Lic Jamie Silos Barrera 
Staff: Ruby and Clarivel 
Recommend: Rompope (Mexican eggnog)

Vino and Comino
Soups, Sandwiches, Mezcal and Wines by the glass
Owner: Jorge Alarcon L of Carnevino, Chef Julian Garcia and Aana Goded.
Recommend: Taittinger champagne by the glass, $150 pesos
Staff: Claudia

Agua mala
Seafood Dishes
Owner: Alonso Barragan 
Staff: Monica
Alonso has been in SMA for 6 years and is originally from Ixtapa/
Recommend: Yellow fin tuna special every Friday and Saturday (from Ensenada)  

Gourmet sandwiches
Owners: Daniel Guevara, Jose Luis Velasco and Magdalena Morales 
Staff: Magdalena's son Gerardo Rodriquez (weekends), Karen 

Barra San Miguel
Owner: Javier Moreno Perez (Queretaro)
Staff: Ricardo

Chef Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez, Chef Sofia Antillon and Leon
Nómada cocina de interpretación
Fine Dining Restaurant
Chef Marko Antoine Cruz Sanchez and Chef Sofia Antillon 
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner every day but Tuesday
Recommend: Tasting Menu on Wednesday

Queseria de mi sin ti
Davanza Natural International Sausages
Juan Carlos of Floreria Rosy 
Center/back to front:

Red box (opening 2 weeks) 

Italian and Pizzas
Owners: Eduardo Lopez Guerrero and Antonio Marron
Staff: Wilson and Andrea 

Queseria de mi sin ti
Cheese and Charcuterie
Owner: Paola Vazquez Rosendo 
Staff: Juanis 
Recommend: Cheese and Charcuterie plate with glass of Rose

Davanza Natural International Sausages
Sausages and Crabcakes
Owner: Anthony D'Avanza
Staff: Ivan

Churerria and handmade drinking chocolate 
Owner: Jesus Berrospe Arreola and Rodolfo Renteria
Staff: Juana and Reis

Floreria Rosy 
Owner: Rafael Rosas Campillo 
Staff: Juan Carlos (Rafael’s son)

Globo San Miguel
Owner: Jay Kimball
Staff: Salvador