I suppose my idea of fun is a bit strange to some. Last Saturday night, M and I went out in the evening to the Indio Open Air Market. We both like flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores, and we were looking for a few things for the new apartment. I also read online that there were food vendors, so we planned to eat there too.
The market is held in the evening to avoid the midday desert heat. Most local swap meets and flea markets are held in the early evening (7AM to noon) or late in the evening because of this. So we headed out at about 7PM to check out the scene. This market is held in the Riverside County Fairgrounds parking lot, and admission is just fifty cents per person. Such a cheap date night!
There were the usual swap meet suspects: vendors selling socks, health & beauty aids, cheap clothing from the LA Fashion District, and electronics like video games and cell phone accessories. Only a few spaces had used flea market items. There were also a LOT of strollers for sale and even more in use. This market is a family affair. We found a vendor selling animals (birds, bunnies, and frogs), which was pretty sad and surely illegal. But I was able to find the exact water dish I wanted for the dog’s crate; I’d seen it online but couldn’t find it locally. It was just $2 here, so I avoided the web’s $5 + shipping cost.
A few stalls sold all kinds of Mexican candy, so we tried a few new things like Skwinkles and chile-roasted garbanzo beans.
Dinner, though, was what made this evening fun. We got some elotes en vaso (corn in a cup), a deliciously unhealthy combo of corn cut from the cob and mixed with cream, mayo, cheese, chile, and lime. We also had some aguas frescas. The horchata was good, but I learned that I do NOT like tampeche (fermented pineapple juice). As expected, it tasted like rotten fruit. I loved my torta with carne asada, beans, and whatever else goes on a typical sandwich, and M was thrilled to eat his first Sonoran (read: bacon-wrapped) hot dog. None of the food was the best version of anything I’d had, but it was fun to be back in a region where I can get Mexican street food. Best of all, you can have dinner for two for under $10!
We’re already talking about when we’ll go back.