Chapter 46- Supermercado El Rey


I’d heard on Radio Milwaukee about the El Rey grocery store, and that you can get lunch within the market.  So while running some errands sort of near 16th and National, I made my way to the Nuevo Mercado El Rey.


There are a few different locations of El Rey, but this market has a deli, meat counter, produce section, bakery, dry goods section and restaurant.  I browsed around and looked at pinatas, then found my way to Taco Loco to get some lunch.


I wasn’t quite sure how to order, so I caught the eye of a woman behind the counter to ask if I should just sit at the counter.  She motioned “yes” and I took a seat.  She handed me a menu over the divider, and I decided on the tamale plate and a horchata to drink, just because I’d never had it.  A minute later the woman handed me some salsa (pico and hot) and chips, by reaching over the plexiglass divider.  Both salsas tasted fresh and bright.


A nice gentleman sat next to me at the counter, and we struck up conversation about the food.  Gil was familiar with El Rey, and we talked about the authenticity of the market and how it’s the right place to go for the best Mexican food in town.  I learned a little about him (he works for La Nueva Ritmo, a Spanish radio station), a lot about local food, and he was nice enough to pose for a picture with me.


Another few minutes and a waitress came by with my tamale plate and horchata.  Both were great.  The horchata was a rice water, flavored with cinnamon and other spices, and served over crushed ice.  The pollo tamales were soft and flavorful, and were just what I wanted.

Gil and I continued to talk about other Mexican restaurants in town, and how Cempazuchi is known for their Oaxacan influence.  I learned that Oaxaca is famous for their seven moles, all different colors and made by different methods of cooking the peppers and adding spices.  When Gil comes to El Rey, he simply takes a look at what’s cooking that day and orders what’s freshest and most appetizing.


It was a really enjoyable and quick lunch, which combined fresh and delicious food, visiting a new community, and chatting with a stranger.



A. Storm




One response to “Chapter 46- Supermercado El Rey”

  1. Gilberto Avatar

    Thanks Amber, let me know when you are going to be around here again.

    Take care.

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