Erica’s Meat Market isn’t owned by anyone named Erica any longer, but the sign is unlikely to change anytime soon. Behind the large green sign saying Erica’s is a smaller, more colorful sign that says “Tienda Mexicana,” and that tells more of the story. The market is larger than it looks from the outside.
It is a meat market to be sure, but it also sells produce, cooking utensils and housewares such as laundry soap or tortilla presses. The meat packages in the freezer aren’t labeled, although some are, like the quail and Cornish hen, so you had better be confident in identifying your meat cuts or go in with someone who speaks Spanish.
At the meat counter, long, thin longaniza seca, a sausage similar to chorizo but usually spicier, sits next to adovado picada (marinated beef) or palomilla (butterflied steak). Make your own at-home feast with the pollo marinado (marinated chicken), a tub of fresh red or green salsa, a bag of tortilla chips, a gorgeous avocado, some cotija cheese and the street taco-size tortillas that you can’t find in a regular grocery store. When you don’t feel like cooking, take home some steaming hot carnitas (meltingly tender, juicy pork). Don’t forget the Jarritos soda. Go ahead, try the guava or watermelon flavor this time! — Vanessa Salvia
Erica’s Meat Market is open 9 am to 7 pm every day at 602 Main Street in Springfield. 541-747-6328.