We’d never heard of Mi Pueblo Food Centers before embarking on our almost-but-oh-so-achingly-not-yet-complete kitchen remodel project last December. Their East Palo Alto location is in the same large strip mall that is home to “our” Home Depot. Since we’ve been spending inordinate amounts of time in that ‘hood, it only seemed natural to check out Mi Pueblo.
And I am sure glad that we did!
This place is enormous. It really is a “food center” and not just a store. Aside from the aisles and aisles of groceries, they’ve a huge working kitchen which serves a thriving open restaurant; a bakery that makes a wide range of cakes, cookies, tropical fruit-filled confections as well as tortillas that you can sample warm from the grill. I’ve seen staff behind small portable counters shucking oysters and trimming thorns off nopales (edible cactus). Once we went and they had tequila vendors hawking their wares.
I really like the bright colors and the cheery mood I always feel while perusing the produce and guava-filled sweets. Most times I’ll get some pastry or other to munch on between samples while I fill my shopping cart. On our last visit, part of the parking lot had been blocked off for a children’s birthday party. Inside festive brassy Mexican music filled the air with its happy sound.
Many of the items for sale, as you might expect, focus on Mexican and Central American cuisine, which I adore. Mi Pueblo has an especially exciting selection of mild white cheeses, which taste great with jam on crusty bread at breakfast. I’m partial to the Los Altos Queso Fresco. You can easily get all the staples here: rice, beans, various fresh and dried chiles, tomatillos, tomatoes, tortillas and crispy corn chips, homemade salsas, cheeses, you name it.
Turns out that this is just one of 19 stores in the Bay Area. Their newest just opened in Newark, CA and they’re developing one now in Gilroy. So if you haven’t seen Mi Pueblo already, you will, somewhere soon. When you do, go there, and go often.