Hi again. You are reading mmm-yoso!!! It's a blog about food in all its forms. Today Cathy is blogging, because Kirk is on an adventure somewhere in the world and ed (from Yuma) is busy. Really busy.
Kaelin's Market has been in the same location in El Cajon on Main near Greenfield for more than two decades. It has had its ups (it was THE fancy IGA in East County) and downs (it got pretty scary for a long while) and recently is under new ownership. It is still IGA.
There are always weekly specials in each department.
As with other Ethnic markets I have posted about, there is a small area inside where you can order food to eat in or to go. The Taqueria area near the doorway offers five different Aguas Frescas daily(three more five gallon jars are along the other side of the counter). Next to the cash register, you can see small bowls of salsas and other condiments. There are burritos and tortas sold here, in addition to what I am showing in these photos.
The salsa and condiments include grilled onions, radishes, lemons and three types of salsas. However when you order, a 'proper' salsa is put on your item.
Tacos are $1. Every day. (The fried fish taco is $2). The store sells corn tortillas, sopes, hurrache shaped corn tortillas, flavored (chipotle, cactus and other flavors, depending on the day of the week) corn tortillas in the store. Those fresh tortillas are used for the items sold at the counter.
The carnitas tacos have been simmering and are rich flavored. Those are my favorite. The fish ceviche tostada ($3) is fresh and brightly flavored. Both carnitas and ceviche are sold by the pound at the Deli counter in the store, as are guacamole, salsa, refried beans, chicharrones...
The birria, a beef stew, is very good here. I have had birria made with pork or goat and never beef. This version is really good, tender and rich flavored.
On another visit, we got a pork adobada taco ($1). The pork is marinated in a vinegar based marinade and that breaks down the meat to be very tender. The hot sauce which was made for this was complimentary and negated the tartness of vinegar.
Mulita ($2). Two corn tortillas, each with melted cheese surrounding (in this case) al pastor beef. You can choose the meat for this quesedilla on steroids...excellent, filling, fresh. Worth it. Of course, beef made in the al-pastor style is cooked on a spit...
The Mediterranean flatbreads sell for 75¢.
Gigantic super sized flat bread, as large as the top of the indoor picnic table where we eat. Hot from the oven...the freshest you can get. Fresh hummus ($2.99) sold in the refrigerator next to the cash register, is the accompaniment.
Then there are the kabobs. Beef kabobs $1.25 each (or 99¢ each if you buy ten). You read that right. These are large, juicy, nicely spiced, beef (or chicken) really meaty, tasty kabobs. Five is too many for The Mister and I to eat for a meal. We always order five and always end up taking at least 1 1/2 home, to use for breakfast the next morning.
This store is not at all selling only Mexican foods.
The Meat Department is NOT Halal. It can't be. Know that Kaelin's sells spices, vegetables, and ready to eat items are Mediterranean based and this is not just a Mexican Market. Stop in if you have the chance.
Kaelins Mi Pueblo 1435 East Main El Cajon 92020 (619) 440-1423
Here is a photo of a carnitas quesedilla ($2) to show you the size perspective, as well as a flour tortilla...The quesedilla is very stringy melty cheesy...
I hope everyone is starting out the week on a good note!
Kaelin's Mi Pueblo Market 1435 East Main Street El Cajon Ca 92021 (619)440-1423