|The Culinary Market (Mercado Culinario)|
A trip to the Culinary Market in Mazatlán was a real treat. Our intended destination was the newly opened Hector's Bistro for lunch in the Historic District. We were having trouble finding Hector's and didn't even realize we had walked by it twice. There are no bold signs shouting that we had arrived at a real jewel in this neighborhood.
Luckily, as we circled the block, we saw the subtle but attractive sign on the window of the bakery inside: Mercado Culinario (Culinary Market). We discovered that there is much more hidden inside this restored colonial building than Hector's Bistro. We found that we had to duck into one of the doorways and poke around the interior to discover the colorful, organized merchant stands offering specialty foods.
Fresh Organic Produce Stand
The fruit and vegetables in the little Fresh Organic Produce stand were so pretty that I couldn't resist buying a few things. I found the fresh mushrooms I needed for my Crock-Pot Pot Roast (see article about Henderson's Meat Market) and a few other items that are difficult to find in Mexico, displayed in an inviting manner (dates lightly covered to keep the dust off, fresh berries with no flies buzzing around them, shiny red onions with the dirty outer skin removed).
Flash-Frozen Vacuum-Packed Fish & Other Seafood
We were excited to find salmon at this tienda (small store), flash frozen and beautifully packaged. The price was excellent so we purchased two fillets. The young man who helped us with our questions about the seafood was running the kitchen at La Krema, as well, a busy sidewalk cafe in the Culinary Market, but he managed to remain friendly and helpful. He let us know that as soon as he finished cooking breakfast and making a specialty coffee drink for his customer at La Krema cafe, he would be right over to help us and the others gathering around the freezer full of scallops, tuna, squid, swordfish, and other seafood, all labeled with their MercaMar brand name. He cheerfully rang up our purchase, helped us pack our salmon into the cooler we had brought with us, and gave us two recipes for preparing our salmon, as he thanked us for shopping with him. That's service that will keep the gringos coming back often!
Hector's Bistro in the Culinary Market
We finished our shopping with a purchase of fresh whole grain bread at the bakery and then settled into Hector's Bistro for a delicious lunch. Jon had a Reuben Sandwich that was large enough that we could have shared it, but we didn't. I had a refreshing salad with grilled chicken, goat cheese, roasted green beans, and various other fresh vegetables and nuts. We enjoyed the atmosphere in Hector's and appreciated the decor that included the original old ceiling beams, new wall textures and colors to compliment the beams, rustic metal light fixtures, and interesting artwork throughout. The service was very good, the waiter friendly and English-speaking. We plan to return to the Culinary Market and next time we will try Hector's for dinner.
Hector's Bistro and the Culinary Market are located at the corner of Mariano Escobeda and Heriberto Frias, one block from the Plaza Machado in the Historic District. They are also conveniently located one block from Angel Flores where we caught the Sabalo Centro bus back home to the Mar Rosa RV Park in the Golden Zone.
This fun day of shopping and lunch in the Historic
District of Mazatlán definitely qualified as "Healthy Living in Mexico".
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