Mercado Bravo is an important part of daily life in La Paz, Baja California's capital.
We just finished polishing off a seafood feast at Bismark-cito, but as Street Gourmet LA founder Bill Esparza pointed out, it’s hard to know the soul of a Mexican city without visiting the central market. So we forged ahead to Mercado Bravo and walked the tiled floor before settling on Loncheria La Morena, a seemingly basic stall that far exceeded expectations.
A dark-haired woman from Acapulco, la morena, opened the U-shaped counter in 1998.
We started our comforting meal with a plate of Machaca de Pescado (40 pesos ~ $3.50), shredded yellowtail stewed with tomato, onions and mild chile poblano. On the side, we received fluffy rice and larded, re-fried pinto beans.
Carne de Puerco (40) was our token meat dish, featuring tender chunks of pork shoulder braised with sweet red guajillo chiles, served with more re-fried pinto beans. We wrapped steaming flour tortillas around both components, flirting with first-degree burns, and it was worth the pain.
We considered settling our bill, but couldn’t resist ordering one more dish, Pescado Empanizado (40), a compelling piscine play on Milanesa. We squeezed lime on the crispy breaded pescado de pierna, a flaky flounder-like fish fillet.
Loncheria La Morena was one of the top values on a one-week mission in Baja California Sur, and it once again proved that it can be worth pushing the limits of patience and capacity.
Our visit to Loncheria La Morena was part of a Baja California Sur tour sponsored by Baja.com.