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Jan 8, 2007 07:39 PM

Ottawa - Looking for Latin American/Mexican supplies

Does anyone know if there is a Latin American food shop in the Ottawa area, where one could buy corn tortillas, hominy, annatto, dried chiles, etc. I always schlep these things from Kensington Market in TO - it would be great to have a source closer to home.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. You can check out the Grace on Bank St. between Nepean and Lisgar which has all kinds of ethnic foods. They have a fairly decent Mexican selection.

    1. Thanks lula, I am going to be near there tomorrow, so I'll check it out.

      1. THere is a latin american / mexican food shop on Merivale, west side, a few blocks south of Carling, I think. Sorry I can't be more specific. Have driven past and meant to stop in, but have not done so yet. If you go, let us know what you think.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam Ottawa

          I'll second this establishment because it sells hard to find products like various sizes and thicknesses of corn tortillas (that are fresh, not those stale ones at Loblaws), and they also sell queso fresco which is impossible to find at any grocery store in Ottawa -period- (considering it's a staple in Mexican cuisine, this is a seriously good find)

          Then you can go next door and eat a pupusa at the El Salvadorian restaurant while watching some south american soccer!

          1. re: chimichimi

            Dropped by here for a quick meal while in Ottawa this fall. Patio in the summer but not a particularly picturesque setting. Papusas, with specials for various quantities and combinations, seemed to be the specialty. Of the variety of other foods we tried (we over ordered) choices were tasty and inexpensive. My son (10) liked the garlic shrimp. I enjoyed the tamales but found the pork entree I ordered to be dry and tough. I suspect that because it was later in the evening on a weekday that it had been reheated, I thoroughly enjoyed the horchata, and my son gobbled up the frozen banana dipped in chocolate. A bargain dessert for only a $1.00.
            The service was friendly and attentive. Wish I could remember more.) I don't have much to compare it to other than the La Bella Managua here in Toronto,)

        2. There is also a latin american market on Montreal Road in Vanier. Good luck!

          4 Replies
          1. re: mrbunsrocks

            Called Mercado Latino
            67 Montreal Road, Vanier, ON K1L 6E8
            (613) 747-3795

            It doesn't seem to have a website of its own.

            1. re: HenryT

              I generally go to "Little Latin America" on Somerset in Chinatown (!). They have queso fresco and sometimes even real Oaxaca cheese. Also have tortillas and such. For day to day needs, I get the frozen tortillas at Herb and Spice on Wellington. For chiles, I go to Chilly Chiles in Navan (they closed their location in the Market)--they have some chiles there that I have never seen outside of Mexico, such as the rare chilhuacle negro oaxaqueno, essential for mole negro. The Produce Depot on Carling carries sour oranges most of the year--they often look rather sad, but always seem to be OK. These are essential for a nice pibil--also make a great margarita. Only place I see fresh serranos is at the fittle fruit market in the Market.

              Things I can't find: Fresh masa (obviously). I carry this back from the States to make tamales once a year--I get some interesting looks at the airport. Also can't get fresh epazote, which breaks my heart. I may actually plant some in a pot and see if that works. Also have never found any really good Mexican chorizo, so I make my own (which is really not difficult at all).

              1. re: zamorski

                I just walked down to the Market from Elgin/Laurier and was dissapointed to find the Chilly Chiles store was gone (should have looked on the 'net first). I am looking for some chipotle chili for a recipe I am making tomorrow (good day to stay home and cook with 30-50cm of snow coming). At least I was able to find some suggested alternatives in this thread. Navan is far too out of my direction (I live near Ashton between Stittsville and Carleton Place), but at least I know where it is if I ever decide to venture out in that direction.

                BTW, is there anywhere in Ottawa I can buy Mexican beer, other than Corona? I also need it for my recipe. Specifically Dos Equis.

                Cheers, Trish :)

                1. re: Logoff

                  You can get Dos Equis at LCBO (not all locations)

                  Online you might be able to see which locations carry it / have it in stock.


          2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will check these places out (queso fresco yummm) and let you know how it goes.