El Mercado del Pueblo has opened on 1814 N Division, which is all kinds of awesome. Up until now, the Mexican food market of choice was all the way up on Francis, which is great if you live north, but not so great if you don’t.
And as, inevitably, comparisons will be made, we decided to just provide you with a Prize Fight challenge, pinning El Mercado against De Leon!
Round 1: Deli
There’s not much of a competition here: The reason most of us go to De Leon is to check out their ever rotating selection of guiso and whatever other crazy things they can come up with. El Mercado, for the moment at least, only provides tortas, tamales, and menudo. Not that what they have is bad, far from it. It’s just that De Leon is pretty much untouchable in this category.
Winner: De Leon
Round 2: Tortas
Comparing tortas, De Leon wins out on having better carne asada, though El Mercado has better bread. The tortas are comparable in quality and toppings, although, really, Guerrero beats them both.
Round 3: Bakery
El Mercado’s baked goods section is huge, and full of Mexican goodness. Great cookies, but really, what you want is to get the aforementioned bread. They might not have the best torta in town, but my goodness, the bread definitely is top of its class. In fact, buy the bread, take it home and make a torta yourself. There’s plenty of strange and wonderful baked goods you can buy with it. You know. For dessert.
Not to say anything bad about De Leon’s baked goods. They do of course make their own tortillas (El Mercado doesn’t), but that’s not quite enough to reach up to El Mercado’s variety and freshness.
Winner: El Mercado!
Round 4: Groceries
De Leon is good. Many fun things to be found there, obviously. Yet, El Mercado wins out on having a larger variety of your daily perishables. Canned beans, a large spice section, dried peppers… El Mercado’s selection is excellent.
Winner: El Mercado!
The battle was close, but the winner is… El Mercado! Unless you’re going for a meal at their deli, in which case the winner is… De Leon!
No really, just show them both love. They deserve it. And now you have a choice, which is awesome.