Alex Hughes — May 2018 …Having been to many of the Mexican grocery stores in Vista. I decided to move on to San Marcos. I have passed this little place a few times when I have gone exploring. Luckily, it is not too far from Cal State San Marcos; within walking distance. The name is what confused me as “mercado” means store in Spanish, so wouldn’t the actual name be “The Market Market?” Anyways, I found it in a shopping center with the stores “Bakery” and “Chico’s Restaurant”.
There is a “Days Inn” in the corner next to the freeway. The parking lot has seen its better days as it is pocketed with gravel and has many cracks. The sign toward the fence is quite colorful and fun with fruits and veggies confettied about around the title. The front of the store has many flyers out front advertising the weekly deals on meats and cheeses. The infamous brooms make an appearance in different colors. A kid would not only love this but would love the many vending machines selling bubble gum, bouncy balls and Japanese-style food erasers.
Photos by Alex Hughes
Once you get inside, you realize that this is a market market not a full fledged grocery store. It is one of the smallest that I have seen as it feels crammed. The stacks of lemons and limes are right in the door along with the snacks along the walls. I noticed the end caps had spicy dried mangos, Japanese boiled peanuts and sunflower seeds. The meat counter had quite the variety of cuts given the size of the store along with many familiar brands of tortillas.
The sugary drinks were next which were placed with the cheeses. I was interested in buying the Oaxaca cheese, but I did not want it to spoil as I would be walking some more. The back had different spices and nuts wrapped in plastic. I couldn’t go past this as one of the employees was restocking the cerveza. However, I did get to see their selection of sauces which went beyond the usual. There were even some meant for mariscos or seafood!
Lastly, I saw their variety of vegetables which was quite common such as iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers etc. I hadn’t had tomatillos for a while, so I put that in the basket. The customer service was nice as I spoke with the cashier about epazote and what I found out about its toxicity- I did not eat it because of that.
The store was a nice way to grab something quick rather than buy a whole bunch. Here is the list for the week!
- -Culichi Seafood Hot Sauce
- -La Fiesta Annatto Seed
- -La Fiesta Walnuts
- -Happy Snacks Garbanzo con Chile y Limon
- -Happy Snacks Habas con Chile y Limon
- -Sabritas Cacahuates Peanuts
- -Pico de Gallo’s Pico de Gallo
El Mercado Market – 505 W San Marcos Blvd. -San Marcos, CA 92069
epazote – masculine noun (Mexico) herb tea