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« Chicago Restaurants Turn Up the Tunes Holy Mole! »

Review Sat May 08 2010

#3 Super Mas Market

IMG_0349.JPGSuper Mas Market
1424 W. 47th Street
Chicago, IL
Neighborhood: New City (Back of the Yards)
Hours: 7am to 9pm every day; Kitchen 8am to 8pm

This place is Clorox clean.

And truth be told, I was a little worried. From the festive music, to the expansive lunch counter and bright lighting, I thought I had encountered some sort of mirage on the South Side. But later I found out it's only been open since the last week of February.

Think of community when you go in here. From the soccer supply store just to the right of the entrance to the café and community bank and auto insurance chain, they seem to want to cover all the needs of a customer or compete with larger chains. Either way, this isn't a place to get in and out. So, if you're looking for the full shebang of Mexican ingredients and have the time for a trip then this is the place to hit up. In fact, the first visit, offered up a little surprise -- fresh mint leaves. And I did a little dance in the aisle since I found them just in time for my summer fruit salad. (See below for recipe)

IMG_0353.JPGService/Added Features: Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Generally, I try not to use those Hummer-sized grocery carts which mock my single status. But lugging around a basket is a pain in the butt by the time I hit the dairy aisle. So, in an effort to only spend the $20 I came in the store with, I stuck with using my arms. Of course, I get into a conversation with a cute stockboy about the fruit selection and he gently takes my produce and bags it for me. Ah, such attention....

IMG_0337.JPGAt the café and taco bar, employees try to chat you up to see what your tastes are like to suggest what dishes you can try. If you dine before you shop, then you can watch a telenovela (soap opera), sports match or movie on one of the two large flat screens.

At the la cremeria, Nora will give you a small history lesson on Mexicans in America if you slip up. She'll also try to drown you with sour cream and yogurt samples if you're not careful.

The customer service desk offers nothing new. The usual money orders, wire transfers to Mexico and so forth. However they do stock a few pharmacy items and cigarettes.

Prices: Overall, the prices are comparable to the area. Two for $5 for a gallon of milk, which I guess is pretty good. (I'm lactose intolerant).

Selection: Meat and spices are the two things I noticed in abundance.IMG_0356.JPG Again, you can find swine in all its full glory here butchered up in several ways. I didn't think to ask if they sold baby pigs for roasting. You could probably fill up your spice rack cheaply here with the range they offer.

IMG_0352.JPGEvery day fresh tortillas are made fresh and a fun process to watch. The Panaderia selection (Bakery) has enough gluten to bloat you, cakes and sweets to put you in a diabetic shock. I found a weird mix for a dessert -- Milk Jello. Fresh produce is in IMG_0350.JPGabundance but frozen items aren't. Most of the brands they carry tend to be from, I'm guessing, mostly Mexico and perhaps other Latin countries. Although they do have a few recognizable national and Chicago brands.

The liquor section sucks. Just beer and mostly sold in cases.

Accessibility: While it appears to be large due to the high ceilings and bright lighting, I believe it might be a bit hard for handicapped shoppers to maneuver the aisles and checkout lanes.

Location: Take the 47th bus Westbound to get here. Or the #9 Ashland bus and walk two blocks east.

Overall: If you're looking to have a bit of adventure and spice up your routine then do your shopping here.

Fruit Salad in Vanilla, Ginger and Lemongrass Syrup

from the Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, Murdock Books

500g(1lb) watermelon, cubed
260g(8 oz) honeydew melon, cubed
½ small pineapple, chopped
1 mango, diced
250g(8 oz) strawberries, halved
¼ cup small mint sprigs

Lemongrass Syrup
½ water
½ cup lime juice
¼ cup soft brown sugar
1 stem lemongrass, finely sliced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 vanilla bean, split

Place the fruit and mint in a bowl and mix gently.

To make the syrup, place the lime juice, sugar and half a cup water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then add the lemongrass, ginger and vanilla bean. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until it's reduced and slightly thickened. Remove the vanilla bean, pour the syrup over the fruit and refrigerate until cold.

Serves four. Prep time: 20 minutes, total cooking time 15 minutes

Nutrition per serving: Protein 3.5g, fat 0.5g, carbohydrates 40g, dietary fiber 6g, Cholesterol 0 mg, 191 cal

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alex / May 11, 2010 7:48 AM

Like the parts about the adventure, spicing it up, and "the trip" . Lord knows no one from the South side or Mexicans read this.
And ooh, exotic mint leaves! Pfft.

Spice Rack / May 15, 2010 11:25 PM

I am interested on that spice portion because I am currently filling-up my spice/herb containers. Maybe I should give this market a short visit.

Jennifer / May 19, 2010 11:32 AM

Thanks Alex for chiming in!! Lord knows that a Southsider like myself finds such pleasure in being able to fill up her spice rack cheaply is worth the "trip".

Rarias / June 22, 2011 5:19 PM

Thank you so much for this review. I was looking for their official website, but had no success. It's great to know that they are affordable. I live in the south side and am Mexican, (we do read reviews before grocery shopping).

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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