Saturday, January 22, 2011

Delgado’s Market

324 West Main Street

Jacksonville, AR


Looking for a grocery at which to buy some Arbol, Pequin and Guajilla peppers, my friend and I stumbled on to Delgado’s Market, a café, bakery (panaderia) and butcher shop (carniceria). We were both really hungry, so we decided to try the food. It was a good idea.

She had the Pollo Mexicana ($5.95) and I had a carnitas burrito ($5.95). We shared a half-liter Mexican Coke (bottled in Monterey, Nuevo Leon – about 400 miles southwest of San Antonio -- and made with cane sugar instead of the ubiquitous, American high-fructose corn syrup). Salsa and chips came with the lunch, and the salsa was particularly good. Fresh, with a nice blend of tomato, pepper, onion and cilantro.

Another handy touch were the photos of the meals they prepare, with the names and prices underneath posted above the counter. You don’t have to speak Spanish to point and garble out your choices. It seems as though tacos were $1.50 each, and had all the typical meats available. I need to go back and try some of those, because I’m still searching for that one transcendent taco that explains their popularity. Don’t get me wrong, I love tacos. But, I want to find one that, when you bite into it, your eyes bug out because the thing’s so good. Of course, you’d have to try this by yourself, because, if your eyes really did bug out, your companions might think you had suddenly developed Graves disease and panic.

The Pollo Mexicana at Delgado’s was like a large quesadilla, i.e., chicken and white cheese wrapped in a soft tortilla with more cheese on top, plus some sliced avocado. My carnitas burrito was filled with, naturally, carnitas (pork shoulder or butt fried in lard or roasted; in this case, roasted) rice and spices. Both were ample servings, which, to my surprise, we managed to polish off completely.

When paying for the meal ($14.54), I noticed a large display of pastries. The owner said that all were baked fresh there, and I made a mental note to head back soon and buy a few. Same thing with the meats. I’m guessing they make their own chorizo, and that’s another reason to go back.

I’m a sucker for places that actually try to please. The guy who prepared our food and served it was very nice, checked on us several times, and was obviously delighted when we were complimentary of his food. It’s a simple thing, but I like that. I’ll go back for the pastries soon.

Most Mexican food is tasty and seems to satisfy some basic cravings. Mexican was the one cuisine that Julia Child did not have a particularly high regard for, and I think that was because of its complete lack of subtlety. It’s a primitive blending of really powerful flavors, i.e., the AC/DC of food. But it can taste SO good. And, like I said, it seems to tap into some basic taste cravings that we all have.

The food at Delgado’s Market fits neatly into this category. Nice, honest Mexican food prepared in authentic fashion. Nothing fabulous, but still good. Plus, they have “Boing” sodas in the cooler, and, with a name like that, I’ve got to go back and try one.


At 3:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delgado's is one of our favorites, especially since taqueria Garcia floated to the top of the tank. The torta is amazing with that crusty home made bread and perfectly prepared meats. I like mine al pastor. The quesadilla is good and filling, though not what you expect after having eaten in any of the myriad cookie-cutter mex places. The tacos are as good as any around here, better than many, and I agree that the owners are extremely nice and accommodating people. Oh, and that fabulous salsa? They'll fix you a giant container of it for only four bucks!


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