Canino’s

22Jun10

I have a few favorite areas in Houston, and the corner of Airline just south of 610 is one of them. Down here is the meeting of several of Houston’s culinary gems: Canino’s grocery outlet, Taqueria Tacambaro, the back of Canino’s, and Connie’s Seafood (which deserves a writeup on its own).

Canino’s is a produce and grocery outlet where you can get local and imported fruits, vegetables, and spices for a real bargain. It exists as a sort of terminus and more accessible part of the whole Houston Farmer’s Market on Airline complex. In Canino’s it is shaded, you have carts, there are labels, you can pick however little produce you want, and you can pay with credit card, assuming you have a purchase of $5 or more.

Not so much the case with the back of Canino’s, Houston’s Farmer’s Market. Here, the big discounts begin, assuming you are willing to carry around your wares, and buy in bulk with cash. Not to worry much, as in the summertime, a dollar will get you 2 pounds of tomatoes or peaches, or a pound of mushrooms. Dried chilies are sold by the pound, and I am sure the even deeper discounts come if you speak Spanish (which I am working on). Some of this stuff isn’t local, per se (lots of stuff comes straight from Mexico), but most are fresh, and bleedingly inexpensive.

You can also find Taqueria Tacambaro back there, tucked away.  Best barbacoa taco in the city. make sure it’s Tacambaro; there’s a crappier taco stand that’s more prominenet.

I just came back from Canino’s and the back of Canino’s with 2 grocery bags full of produce, $15 poorer. Behold, my take (except for the Tapena):

Where else can you eat like a yuppie for 2 weeks on $15? Man, I love Houston’s hispanic community.

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