Yesterday eve, Anyra went out to dinner with Heather and Rachael, old time friends.
Matt, Falipa and I went to eat at a Picanate', a Taqueria that is in the canal or Hispanic section of San Rafael... just east of where the old Circuit City used to be. I had been there before when I used to live here. Matt and I each had the taco salad... and it was a meal for 2. It was so incredibly tasty, fresh, and the spices and flavors were like no other I've experienced in any other place. The walls were covered with beautiful mosaics depicting scenes in nature and the comfy chairs and tables with windows all around gave it a very cheerful and comfortable feeling.
In the place of the old Circuit City is the Mi Pueblo Food Center... a giant super market catering to the Hispanic community. That was an incredible experience to go there. As we approached the big, brightly painted Food center, we first passed a large take-out BBQ serving people simple dishes from the window. Just beyond that were some table and chairs and another BBQ set up where they were cooking oysters - very large oysters and serving them with hot sauce and salsas.
Inside the store to the left was a huge area for eating as well and a very long cafeteria style food service serving more choices than I'd ever seen before. The produce section adjacent to that had an impressive huge array of vegetable and fruits and bulk items, like green garbanzo beans, tamarind seeds, cactus leaves, and dried beans in big containers. There were aisles of food like in a regular market but we stayed on the periphery where the produce, diary, meats and deli was. Matt told me that now the Latino community is big enough, they can sell their own meats raised and butchered the way that they like. He said they have better husbandry standards for their meat and the prices all around were better than our markets. The chickens looked fresh and real.... not factory raised. Besides the meat looking incredibly fresh and offering more cuts than I'd ever seen before, they had tripe, beef tendons, beef hoofs, chicken legs etc. they sold butchered pigeons which were incredibly tiny.
The diary section sold huge wheels of cheese, specialty cold cut meats, aspics of some sort, homemade yogurts in several flavors. It went on and on.
Matt figured that he paid about 40% less for the items when it was tallied up.
I couldn't imagine doing anything else that exciting on a Saturday night in Marin.
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