Latin Markets in Southwest ?
Hi all--here in the Denver area there are some great places to find Latin products--Rancho Liborio, Avanza, Carneceria Guadalajara, Mi Pueblito, and Asian Seafood Market (seriously) in Boulder.
This thread started as a topic on my blog www.fromargentinawithlove.com, because I so often get emails asking where people can find things like tapas for empanadas, yerba mate and dulce de leche where they live.
SO--Where are the places in your town that you like to go for ingredients needed in Latin Cookery?
Here in Phoenix, one of the best bonuses of moving from Boston are the ethnic markets in this area.
For Mexican/Latin, we regularly shop at the fantastic Ranch Markets. Not only are they huge with great sale prices (for example, this week cilantro 8/99 cents and jalapenos 2 lbs/89 cents) large selection with seafood, butcher, cheese/crema/dairy counters, tortilleria for fresh warm tortillas, etc. but they also have picnic tables to sit down and feast on items from the different food courts - maybe horchata or jamaica from the aguas fresca "refreshment bar" and anything from caldo to polle asado to tacos to ceviche. Lately I've been ordering the filling gorditas stuffed with carnitas. So good.
Agree totally on Phoenix Ranch Markets but offer a word of caution. Several times on this board people have had negative comments. One poster said Super Mercado de Walmart basically puts Ranch Market to shame. Another siad it's just a big Hispanic market. Don't be disappointed. I am convinced these people never visited one of the real Phoenix Ranch Markets because these type of comments are absurd. There are several markets with similar names such as 99 Ranch Market and one on South Central Avenue I can't recall but it's very similar to PRM and also close to one. Make sure you visit the real thing and you won't be disappointed.
Mariano's in Las Vegas is always a good bet...although there is a smaller place on Lake Mead near Jones (can't remember the name) that I've been going to lately mainly because its very convenient and far closer to my house. Same idea as Mariano's: a good butcher, panaderia, and inexpensive and tasty produce.
Lately for spices, chilis, and the like my husband and I have been going to the Boardacres Swap Meet in North Las Vegas on Las Vegas Blvd (north of Lake Mead about 3/4 mile). It is open Friday, Sat, and Sunday...DH likes going there to peruse the non-food items, which is the majority of what's being sold (althoug chowhounds should note we always seem to find interesting and inexpensive kitchen tools...). However, scattered among the t-shirt and tire vendors are a number of places that sell various produce items, freshly roasted and even boiled peanuts in the shell (look for the large signs saying "cacahuates"), a large variety of chilis, and various Mexican snack items (elotes, dried mangoes spiced with chili, candies, fruit cups, etc). Hubby is planning to go back there to stock up on chili spiced pistachios (in the shell) for the Super Bowl....they are delicious and reasonably priced...
Admission to the swap meet is 50 cents on Friday, a dollar on Saturday, and 1.50 on Sunday (its largest day); children under 12 are free. Some Spanish is helpful at most of the booths.....
My wife is from Argentina and here in Phoenix we tried everywhere find the Argentine foods including Ranch Market, Food City, various small latin markets throughout the city and weren't able to find the things we needed. That is until we found Lee Lee Supermarket in Chandler. They definitely have most of the big Argentinean foods including many brands of mate, all the empanada dough (La Saltena/Goya), dulce de leche etc. Good find, just wish it was a bit closer to where we live. They also have quite a few products from Brazil and many other countries.
Lee Lee Supermarket
2025 N Dobson Rd
Chandler, AZ 85224