Cinco de Mayo Mercado

Not long ago we got dragged to that most tired of south Minneapolis institutions: the block-club potluck. There was potato salad. There were brownies. There was even a cheese and fruit board that must have cost a week's paycheck and an entire morning of indecision at Surdyk's. But you know what really flew out of its casserole? A chicken tinga—chicken braised in a sweet and savory red chili broth until it was falling apart, served with some soft, pliable corn tortillas made minutes before. Turns out the neighbor that would later proudly tote home his empty Dutch oven had made peace with the Latino grocery that, in 2006, in nearly every neighborhood in south Minneapolis, serves as the corner store. So much peace that he figured out which chilies promise a tinga that's zippy but not too blistering for a block party; so much peace that he doesn't see toasting, soaking, and grinding said chilies as any more trouble than making pasta salad. We like Marissa's southern outpost because of its homemade tortillas—they make pretty much anything taste like your abuelita slaved over it—but your corner Latino grocery might hold the makings of a killer feast, too.


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