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Mar 16, 2014 11:33 PM

Random Reno notes: New Middle Eastern and a Panaderia

Two short, unrelated updates:

As I was driving up Holcomb the other day I noticed a small converted house with a big sign saying "Midtown Market" and a smaller sign advertising Middle Eastern foods and halal meats. It is on the east side of Holcomb a few blocks north of Vassar. Any hounds been there yet? This may well be the first market of this sort in town; I do intend to check it out soon.

And a new place I DID check out is a new panaderia/tamaleria near the corner of Oddie and Sutro (its right about where Oddie curves and becomes Wells, so not sure if its technically on Wells or on Oddie. Its near the fairgrounds, and right next to the large lot where the llamas are, so hard to miss. Almost looks like a converted greenhouse, with a curved roof and lots of glass. Look for a wrought iron fence around the parking lot). All of this description is to make up for the fact that I didn't catch the place's name. Nonetheless, its worth a stop: a large and very tasty-looking selection of Mexican baked goods (We didn't try any, but will definitely be back to do so), and excellent tamales. I had the tamales de pollo; DH had the rajas con queso. Both were quite large, with light white corn masa. They were accompanied by an excellent home-made salsa verde. The place has a few tables and they were full, so word is out. The young man who served us (owner's son?) told us that they've been open three weeks. They also serve tacos, tortas and Sunday menudo. Prices are reasonable (the tamales were 1.50 each, a good price considering they are definitely larger than average). This could become a regular weekend stop, as we live in the hood!

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  1. Update: the bakery IS on Wells, corner of Wells and Winston to be exact. It is called La Fama. DH stopped by there today and bought bolillos: four for a dollar and larger than usual. Baked fresh and quite tasty...almost Mexico City quality. He also got some tamales dulce and some pan dulce. All very good. The nice kid at the counter (probably the only person in the place who speaks English) told him that they would cook up just about any type of taco or torta to order. Its becoming a new favorite!

    1 Reply
    1. re: janetofreno

      We've GOT to get by there. Thanks for the update.

    2. That place on Wells near Oddie was a Mexican restaurant for a few years. It was okay. I'll have to check out the new business.
      The reason it looks almost like a greenhouse was because it was a Wendy's back in the early 1980s when I was going to UNR and they remodeled it to give it that sunny, atrium look. It took forever to remodel, like a year or more, and then it only stayed open for about another year after it was finished.

      1. I go there often for the excellent meat. Even thought it is Halal I don't buy for that reason. It is a very good organic and fresh meat. Great prices.

        1 Reply
        1. Update: Sadly, I think the panaderia is closed for good. DH and I speculate that their biggest failure was that they never had the air conditioning working properly. With all those windows facing the sun in the am the place could be unbearably a greenhouse. There were a few times we went there and left before ordering; just couldn't take it. Sad; they were nice people.

          As for the Mediterranean place, I finally stopped in today. The prices do seem reasonable: i bought a quart of extra-virgin cold-pressed Italian olive oil for 7 bucks. They have a few Indian items (gram flour) as well as middle eastern. A good selection of tahinis, sauces, etc. The owner is very nice and accommodating. I am keeping it in mind should my niece (who keeps halal) come for a visit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: janetofreno

            My friends and I buy the Halal meats at Midtown Market. His prices are way better than any market and it is fresh. It is an organic meat that is slaughtered not killed which means better meat. The owner will accommodate special orders also..fresh products weekly. Just heard that he will be having a 100% organic juice bar in the real soon.

          2. Further update: the building the panaderia was in has been re-incarnated into a taqueria called "Los Pepes." I hope this one lasts...see my separate post on that....