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mexican grocery store?

I just got Rick Bayless's book, and all the ingredients are mexican and I have no idea where a good one is. I live in cambridge, and obviously closer is better, but i'm willing to drive. I know christina's in inman square has some of the stuff, but if anyone knows of a good mexican grocery store, i'd love to find out! Thanks!!!

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  1. La Internacional on Somerville Ave in Union Square, Somerville. They should have everything you need.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BobB

      Agree. I think it's the best around.

    2. Hi Lo Grocery on Centre Street in JP is a latino grocery of a pretty good size. I wouldn't buy any meat there, but have bought lots of produce like plantains and yucca there and they were fine. They have a large selection of dried and fresh chilis, too. And a large selection of canned goods, more than just Goya........which is nice.

      I've also seen a limited selection of latino items at Super 88 in Allston.

      1. I think there's also one (there used to be, anyway) on that stretch of Harvard Ave in Allston btw Brighton Ave and Cambridge St. on the side where the Japanese bakery is...

        1. Thanks a ton! You know, I used to live in Union Square. I'm surprised I never dropped in!

          1. Moody Street in Waltham has several Latin American shops that sell a fair assortment of Mexican stuff. Also, surprisingly, Waltham India Market stocks an extensive selection including several kinds of dried chiles in bulk. The Indian clerk who rang me up got along fine in Spanish with the customer ahead of me. Cinco de Mayo tortillas, which somebody was looking for recently, are all over the place.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Aromatherapy

              Hi Aromatherapy! We're heading to Cinco de Mayo in Chelsea Friday for lunch and to pick up some fresh corn tortillas. Have you been there? Any idea of a Latin market or Market Basket in the area?

              1. re: Rubee

                There is a Market Basket located at 160 Everett Ave in Chelsea at the old Mystic Mall. Note: the Chelsea Market Basket is always crowded. It's right up the street from Floramo's which is also on Everett Ave.

                1. re: buffet king

                  What a quick reply - thanks so much!

            2. I was glad to find all sorts of interesting (and cheap) dried chiles by the cash registers at the Super 88 in Malden last weekend.

              1. You can also get many of the basic supplies at Market Basket, particularly tortillas, dried chilies, and some of the fresh produce (though they are inconsistent in what they stock). The tropical fruits (mangos, pineapples, papayas, etc) there are often better quality than you'd get at other stores and the limes are a bargain.

                I read that Zocalo in Brighton has/will have a Mexican grocer, but haven't been myself. Anyone know if that is the case?

                1. Were you successful in finding a place with good selection of Mexican food supplies? I'm looking specifically for nopales (cactus) and authentic, fresh corn tortillas. I'm still working my way through the fabulous dried chiles that I smuggled back from Oaxaca a few months ago...
                  Anyone have any suggestions? I've never been to Hi Lo, but am frequently in Market Basket. Thanks!

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: jdubboston

                    If you guys absolutely can't find stuff... there are some websites with quality products you can use to supplement:

                    Gourmet Sleuth
                    Seeds of Change (you might have to grow your own epazote, hoja santa etc.,)
                    Rancho Gordo (particularly for the elusive Flor de Mayo, or Flor de Junio beans common in Mexican cuisine)

                    1. re: jdubboston

                      Do you find Cinco de Mayo corn tortillas somehow either not fresh or inauthentic? As a transplanted New Mexican, I'm entirely happy with them.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        Never knew they existed until reading your post & doing some searching on Google... Do you know if they make them fresh & sell them everyday?

                        1. re: jdubboston

                          Yes on both counts at the location in Chelsea, but even the packaged Cinco de Mayo tortillas I buy at La Favorita (the neighborhood bodega at Harvard Ave and Farrington Street that's also my source for crema, Mexican Coke and Oakhurst Dairy milk) and at Russo's are fresher than and superior to any others around the city.

                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            I second BFP - even though we're going to Chelsea on Friday to buy Cinco de Mayo tortillas from the source (for the first time) , everytime we've bought them packaged at any grocery store, they've been superior to any others we've tried. I think we first bought them at Whole Foods, so they can be found at many places locally.

                            1. re: Rubee

                              Please report back after lunch. I found the tortillas served fresh there were wonderfully soft and fresh. The package that I bought for home was clearly packed fresh off the assembly line and were great even the next day. After that and they were the same as one can get from Russo's, good but not amazing.

                              1. re: gourmaniac

                                Will definitely report back!

                                Also, bharnett1825 - not sure which Bayless book you bought, but on the Home Cooking Board, November's cookbook of the month was "Mexico, One Plate at a Time" - lots of good reports and pics of recipes on those threads. My personal favorite is "Mexican Kitchen", but I've enjoyed all his books.

                                November 2006 Cookbook of the Month: Mexico, One Plate at a Time


                              1. re: galangatron

                                La Favorita - 66 Harvard Ave (btwn Cambridge & Brightton Aves) in Allston. Believe this is what BFP is referring to - never been, but will certainly be checking them out!

                                1. re: jdubboston

                                  That's the one. It's in a small strip of storefronts next to the church that's on the corner of Harvard and Farrington.

                            2. re: jdubboston

                              They are certainly made fresh, but "sold fresh" is going to depend on the store's turnover. If it's high, like at Somerville Market Basket, I'm almost certain they're delivered at least daily. Last Saturday at 7 pm (not a bad time to go!) the tortillas were, as the customer next to me yelped, still "calientitas!" Fresh as you're gonna get. Sorry Rubee, I know nada about Chelsea, please report back.

                        2. I get my Cinco De Mayo tortillas, as well as epazote, yerba santa, crema, queso fresco and anejo, and really inexpensive chiles at La Chapincita on Moody St. in Waltham. There are also several multi-ethnic grocery stores on Moody with Hispanic groceries and varied, inexpensive and generally high quality produce. It's also easy to hit Moody for the specialty groceries, and then hop over to Russo's for bargain produce. Last time I bought poblanos at Russo's, they were $1.99 a lb., which is even cheaper than Somerville Market Basket. (Much as I love Wilson Farms, specialty produce there is pretty high) I bought lots, roasted them all, and stuck some in the freezer. What a treat to pull them out the other day ready to go!

                          1. does anybody know if any of these markets stock Tapatio Sauce, besides a good crema i can't live without tapatio sauce now that i've tried it, and my 32oz bottle is running low

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: jpmacor

                              Tapatio is very widely available. Plenty of regular supermarkets carry it. If you get off the beaten track a bit and try some of the markets discussed in this thread there are some much more interesting hot sauces out there. I particularly like the Mexican Buffalo brand and a few others.

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                i don't know. i'd never heard of tapatio before visiting my brother and his girlfriend out in california. i've shopped many marts from regulars in south florida like publix and winn-dixie, to markets up here in boston, including stop and shop, shaws, and all the healthy ones, and none of them carry tapatio that i've seen (especially not the ever useful 32 oz bottle). it's really not a common hot sauce at all, at least outside of calirfornia, and an excellent and interesting flavor compared to the actual common hot sauces, like texas pete, tabasco, goya, etc, that can be found even in 7-11s. that said i'll peek my head in again to the stop and shop down the street from me, but i'm pretty sure they don't carry it, pretty recognizable bottle.

                                1. re: jpmacor

                                  Hmmm, I have not looked at it for a while, but have definitely seen it in the smaller bottles with the wood knob in some mainstream supermarkets in beantown, sometimes in the ethnic food sections.

                                  That said, seriously, I promise if you expand your hot sauce horizons you will not be dissapointed. I'm definitely not talking texas pete, tabasco, goya, etc. but rather some of the varieties available in latin grocery stores around Boston.

                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                    I know I've seen the small wood-capped bottle a lot as well, though I don't recall ever seeing a 32 oz one. It may be the area you're looking in - around Somerville and Allston there are good selections of Latin American foods.