Mexican Market Heaven


Markets?  Yes please! And Guadalajara has a really, really good one.

Three sturdy floors wrap around an open air courtyard where kids play soccer dodging flying toys and the crisscross of pedestrian traffic. Inside, the dizzying walls are stockpiled with all the usual things. There is absolutely no shortage of clothing and accessories, both traditional and China made. Trinkets, jewelry and car parts fill every square inch of rented vendor space leaving just enough room for a human to tuck into the membrane of goods, sit and sell.

The market here is relatively quiet and calm. Bored faces of vendors peek from the piles but no one shouts or pushes sales, another day another peso. It’s muy tranquilo.

Anything and everything you could possibly want, but most importantly…the food, the food, the food!

Past the maze of household items are rows of the reddest tomatoes, mounds of perfect avocados. The scent of cilantro wafts through the air and I find myself an onion and garlic short of guacamole. The very notion sends me straight to the second floor where the smells intensify.

Spicy chilis and charred meats. The subtle note of lime hangs in the air as diners squeeze the fresh juice from the fruit over their servings of ceviches, tacos and tostadas consecutively down a line of occupied seats. Salsas in shades of greens, reds and browns dot the countertops like palettes of  delicious paint waiting to be splattered across plates in a grand gesture, the final touch to a masterpiece.

Clusters of people pack in tightly to eat at the small stalls from tiny stools. Service is fast and efficient. The food is fresh, cheap and perfect. This is my version of heaven.

Holy Pazole, ceviche tostados, tortas ahogadas, chorizo tacos and birria stew just to name a few…