La Bodeguita, Tacos, Burritos, Pasadena - Update
Went again yesterday for lunch around 1:30. This time, I ordered the Al Pastor burrito $4 and the Carnitas Taco $1 (based on mrmouther’s rec – thank you!). I bought a soda and plopped myself down at the table and waited. There was a man before me who ordered 7 tacos (for himself!!). He seemed to be very familiar with the place and their food. 2 more patrons came in while I was there.
I watched as she struggled to close the burrito. It was a monster! HUGE! Rice, beans, meat of choice, onions, cilantro and salsa of choice (green or red). Woo-wee! She also had guacamole (run through the blender) on the table. That burrito, my friends, was De-lish-us!!
As I enjoyed my burrito, I got to know the mother and son a little better. The mother’s name is Isaura (I just butchered it) and the son is Ismael (named after his great-grandfather). He is my translator and is the sweetest thing. He and his mother work during the day (until he goes back to school) and the father (Fernando) takes over in the evenings. Apparently, this is their fourth location (all other locations are in the north Pasadena/Fair Oaks area). They cook in the back of the store all day, but in the evenings (5-8) and lunchtime they make the tacos from a cart in the front of the market.
Isaura will also make tortillas by hand for you (these are not the ones they use in the taqueria) and they are $1.50/4 (for the corn, larger taco size). Also, if you are having a party, they have a cart that they will bring to your location and cook tacos for you and your guests (something to keep in mind). I got one of the father’s business cards and their numbers are listed below in case anyone is interested.
She gave me a taste of the tripas (this version was crispy like fried calamari). It was pretty good (never had it before). Ismael told me that some people prefer it crispy and others do not. You can tell Isaura if you want any of the items cooked crispy (or well done) or not.
Ended up I did not have room for the carnitas taco (we had determined while I watched her fight with the burrito to hold off on making the taco until I decided whether or not there was room for it). So I ordered my carnitas taco to go and added on Al Pastor and Carne Asada ones for good measure. She brought the tacos to me and I tasted the carnitas before she wrapped it up. It was great. Crisp in some places, juicy in another. Perfection! The tacos are currently sitting in my fridge as the burrito filled me up so much that I did not have room for dinner! I guess I will have them for lunch today.
BTW, Ipse, I asked Ismael what the name of the market was and he said La Bodeguita (the name is not on the front) as you thought it might be. Thank you!! ;-)
One last thing, Isaura told me that she used to make moles, tamales, enchiladas, etc. but they did/do not have enough business for it. I told her she should open a restaurant but she said that it is too expensive. Please go and support this little place – both food and people are really good!
La Bodeguita Mini Mkt.
1135 N Summit Ave/corner Hammond (1 blk N of Mountain/1 blk E of Raymond)
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 296-0238 market
(626) 797-9644 home (Fernando, Isaura, Ismael)
(626) 278-6327 cell (Fernando)
my original post from 8/3:
mrmouther's post from 8/11:
This is a great post. Wow, you really did infiltrate and managed to get some great facts we all were desperate to find out. I think this place is a great little hole in the wall (literally) find. I love the fact that hardly anyone is ever there but yet, the food is fresh, unique and delicious!
I'm looking forward to visiting here plenty.
Regarding them being closed a day or two ago: It's very likely they had a family emergency or something came up and someone couldn't get to the store in time to open. That's how authentic mom and pops operate. The only thing missing is the "gone fishing" sign hung on the door. I'm sure they're fine and open for business now.
I triued to go today for their burrito, but at noon or so the door was closed and there was a gate in front - is that an anomaly or is there a tradition of being shut on thursdays?
(i was craving a carnitas burrito with good guac and had to leave painfully unsatisfied. i decided to try the little mexican place just a block or so s. on fair oaks (b/t painter st and the church's chicken) and have to say it was uninspiring. liquid beans, very little guac, essentially ytasteless carnitas. they said they put hot sauce in it but i couldn't tell.
Thanks for breaking the informational ice w/ these folks wild swede! i was going to try a burrito next time around too - now there's no stopping: the idea of that gauc alone is worth it.
Also thanks for the crispy tripas info - i usually prefer it that way (though sometimes when it's real soft like it's been stewed i insist that that i best.)
Now what I need is a friend to call me up and ask for a catering rec for some party.
all in all, this is one of the best finds these boards have pointed me to. Try their food! (I'll now be busy fantasizing about their tamales)