Time to take the next step, to go to the next level.
It’s nothing dramatic, just a jump from a small farmers market to a medium-sized one.
I told you it was coming. Remember when I wrote that story about the Plaza de Mercado La America?
Now I tell you about the Minorista.
I had known it was there for a while before I finally went. I had already been to the Mayorista, the biggest of them all, and I’ll tell you about it soon, and from that brief trip I found out there is another market just like it, but smaller, in the northwest section of El Centro.
I had seen buses with “Minorista” in the placard too, which offered other downtown destinations.
I made it a destination because a friend invited me.
Joan, one of my very first friends in this city, was teaching an international business class at Esumer, a university in Robledo. During a rare lapse in judgment, Joan asked me to speak to his class, thinking I could be useful resource.
I am good at teaching people what NOT to do.
Jokes aside, it was a fun experience. We spoke only in English because that’s how the class was structured.
The best part came after, when Joan invited me to eat at one of many restaurants in the Plaza Minorista, this one called Aqui Paro Lucho. When I saw the white tablecloths, I thought, “This is gonna be good.”
I had breakfast, a big one. A pork filet, calentado, eggs and an arepa. I was so full.
I think the meal was 17,000 pesos, very expensive for breakfast, normally 5,000 pesos or so, but also much smaller and nearly as tasty as this one.
We walked around for a bit afterward and I saw that the Minorista is very similar to the Plaza de Mercado de La America: seemingly unlimited amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood, and useful kitchen utensils in some areas.
I went back recently, but only to take pictures.
It was a hot day, so I found a juice stand somewhere in the middle. I paid only 2,000 pesos (about $1) for about 1.5 liters of lulo, a sweet and tangy fruit popular in Colombia.
My roommate Kevin — who is now known as Yonkers because my friend Marcello and I make fun of his New York accent — got guanabana, or passion fruit.
He wasn’t as thirsty as me and was taking what seemed like forever to finish his juice.
“Dis fewken’ guy,” Marcello would have said.
I took a few more pictures and then we left.
Some friends recently told me that the area outside the Minorista is a little dangerous.
I suppose at night it is. I was there during the day so I had no problems.
It was a quick walk from metro Estacion Prado, just several blocks west, then I walked all the way to El Hueco afterward.
I’ll tell you more about that later.