Monday, February 4, 2008

Northgate Market

For our Super Bowl gathering, D. and I headed to Northgate Market with D.D. and D.B. Located off the 43rd St. exit on the 805, it's an awesome Mexican market. We visited for the first time last weekend and were thoroughly impressed, so we thought it'd be a great place to look for Super Bowl goodies. I love this place. It's spacious, has a great selection, and the staff is really friendly. Upon entering, patrons are greeted by a candy kiosk.

Immediately after the kiosk is the panaderia, or bakery. Perfect, all of my favorites up at the same time. First, the counter-service area is visible, along with their oven.

Then, around the corner is this:

The picture's a bit misleading, because the cabinet spans an entire wall. That's right. A wall. I'd have to say that I'm not a big fan of Mexican pastries. There's a lot of emphasis on sugared puff pastry. While it's good, it can taste almost savory, which kills my sweet tooth mood.

D. and I have a new favorite roll. The Mexican version of the French roll, the bolillo, is infinitely better than any other non-French version I've tasted. The crust is crisp and the roll is light as air. However, there are no large air bubbles in the bread. Tiny air bubbles make the bread almost solid, but not dense.

There's a
fruteria, serving interesting fruit-based sweets.

Next to it, there's a counter selling fresh cheese and ceviche, chunks of seafood "cooked" in lime juice and chili. The acids denature the proteins in the seafood, which is what heat does when meat is cooked. Therefore, the seafood is cooked.

The produce section is impressive, with everything looking pretty fresh. I am very intrigued by nopales, which look are cactus fronds, I think.

There is a carniceria, or meat shop (rather, meat department), but it was a zoo, so we skipped it. I love the tortilleria and the huge machine that cranks out fresh tortillas.

Given that I love pastries, here's a quick rundown on our panaderia purchases. D. picked up a giant palmier and a sugared puff pastry twist.

There's also a puff pastry round filled with a dollop of custard in the middle.

The best of the bunch: a concha filled with custard. Yum.

I found this little sandwich cookie and thought the filling was cajeta or dulce de leche.

I bit into it only to find that it was peanut butter. Peanut butter?! Not what I expected. It was good, like a big Nutter Butter. Oh, well.

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