An Obsession with Primavera

Food often dictates where I choose to travel, but when planning our family trip to Mexico, I wasn’t focused on food. Instead, we looked to find where we could go on the coast that didn’t involve spending 8 hours on a flight. These criteria meant that places that tend to come up as food destinations in Mexico, like Oaxaca or Mexico City, were out.

San Pancho turned out to be a great choice for us, but the food was nothing special. (Although I did get to try something new: pelliscadas (also spelled pellizcada) which Wikipedia says are a type of sope; masa with pinched edges that is topped with meat, cheese and salsa.) So I wasn’t surprised that when I returned to California after spending six days in Mexico, I couldn’t wait to eat at Primavera.

I talk a lot about Primavera here and to better explain why I think Primavera is so special, I offer this cell-phone-photo tour of just some of the incredible meals I’ve eaten at the Saturday market over the years. (Note that this is just an example of some of what Primavera sells every Saturday and what they offer at their little Sonoma restaurant, El Molino Central; it is in no way a complete list.)

Poached eggs on potato-filled tortillas with refried beans, guacamole and pickled carrots.

A Primavera classic: under that pile of shredded cabbage are two beer-battered fish tacos.

Poblano chile filled with corn and topped with a cherry tomato salsa, rice and tortillas on the side.

Masa cakes filled with chorizo and beans and topped with sour cream, cilantro and chopped radishes.

Tostadas de tinga: fried tortillas topped with refried beans, stewed pork, avocado, lettuce and a pickled jalapeno.

Two of my all-time favorites: the top plate is albondigas (meatballs) in a tomato sauce and served with tortillas. The bottom plate has tacos al pastor, served with pineapple on top.

Regulars need no introduction to chiles en nogada, one of Primavera’s most spectacular meals: a chile relleno filled with picadillo (stewed pork), topped with a walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds. On the (sadly) rare occasion that Primavera has this on the menu, I notify my neighbors and they come running down to the market.

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One Response to “An Obsession with Primavera”

  1. Mike Says:

    She is not kidding, by the way. Mrs. Hog will definitely offer a text when chiles en nogada is available. Thank you for that — totally made my holiday season! What a great paean to primavera this is!

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