Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best in the West: East L.A.'s Mercado

I'm a big fan of Sunset Magazine because it covers quite a few of my interests (gardening, travel, design, great food/recipes) as they pertain to the West (as in Western U.S.).  I especially love the weekend & day trips they cover each month.  In the January 2011 issue, the featured Southern California day trip spotlights the Mexican mall in East L.A. (El Mercado), which is close enough to home for me to make a quick trip, so I packed my camera, a few bucks for the delicious goodies I planned to eat, and hopped on the 5 freeway up to East L.A. for a change of scenery.

It was a splendid time!  If you go, I recommend you take a stroll through the three different levels of tiny shops to explore all that El Mercado has to offer, which is a lot! You'll find an array of products ranging from moles, mariscos, spices, cheeses and sweets, to leather cowboy boots complete with crocodile heads, leather cowboy boots without crocodile heads, kitchen gadgets, piƱatas, and felt bulldog statuettes ... yeah, even those!  I wish I would have brought a few extra bucks for a pair of really cute leather huaraches I spotted in my size--something to plan for next time.  Last, but not least, be sure to purchase a bag of fresh churros and an icy raspado--the flavor selections are endless--on your way out. 

As a warning, do be discreet with your camera (if you take one); management there doesn't like photos being taken.

sweets & nuts

crocodile boots
 la Virgen

This woman was eager for me to take a picture of this miniature Bible from her assortment of miniature books for sale. I tried to get her in the shot too, but she was shy.

aguas frescas

strawberry raspado