3710 Franklin Boulevard, Sacramento, CA 95820. (916) 452-4834
What's your favorite Mexican market in town? I know you have one. Mine? Mercado Loco at the corner of Franklin and Sutterville. I seriously love that place. It's nice and big, always clean and I've never left the place without at least one staff member offering a friendly greeting and a smile.
First things first, right when you walk in the store - to your left, just before the meat department- is a small soda fridge marked "salsa." Don't pass it up! Mercado Loco sells some pretty amazing fresh salsas- my favorite is the one marked, "Salsa Casera," (which translates to "homemade salsa,"...go figure). The Salsa Casera is slightly spicy and absolutely delicious on eggs.
In addition to fantastic salsas, Mercado Loco also has a great meat department with a large and varied selection of fresh meats. The butchers are young but helpful and have never steered me wrong when I've asked for assistance in choosing meats for recipes or how to cook some of the more unfamiliar kinds of meats.
Salsa Casera, fresh garbanzos, chorizo
On the other side of the store is the produce, spices and tortillas. There's a multitude of tortillas to choose from (the kidlets seem to like the blue tortillas that I pick up) and there's practically an entire aisle devoted to dried spices. I love strolling through their produce department, everything is always fresh and so inexpensive! I usually will stock up on jalapeños, fresh garbanzos (in the pod), limes and cilantro during my visit. Oftentimes, there's a fruit or veggie that I'm unfamiliar with and the ladies at the checkstand are really nice about cluing me in on what it is and how to eat it/cook it if I ask. Like this one on my last visit- the xoconostle. It turned out to be the fruit of a cactus. The fruit looks similar to a prickly pear but it tastes super sour instead of sweet and it's usually used to make salsas, sauces and syrups.
Anyhow, Mercado Loco is probably not the fanciest Mexican market in town nor probably does it have the largest selection of Mexican foods in Sac, but it's definitely top three and I think the friendly service will definitely keep it number one on my list. So if you're in their hood, pop in and give it a looksie...and pick up some fresh salsa while you're there.