Sunday, September 19, 2004

El Continental and La Terraza

In a rack at La Terraza was a newsprint tabloid not seen before, printed in black and white with red spot color. El Continental seems to be based either in San Antonio or in Houston. It features very simple and old-fashioned jokes into which are inserted the names of advertisers. The ads are very cheap. There were at least two full-page ads, one for a chain of San Antonio tire shops, each owned or managed by a different member of the same family, and a San Antonio chain of small markets and butcher shops, each photographed with hand-painted signs of the weekly specials in the front windows and each owned or managed by a different member of the same family. We're not seeing any chains of tire shops here yet (although there may be a two-shop outfit). The most similar markets here are La Hacienda, La Moreliana, and La Michoacana, all of which are in newer buildings than the San Antonio stores are. El Mundo is getting full-color ad inserts from builders, banks, furniture stores, and car dealerships. This was also at the restaurant. The soup was full of chicken pieces nicely trimmed, in a broth of chicken and tomato, with big hunks of field carrots and a piece of corn on the cob. To accompany it were a serving of rice and some pieces of lime. The charro beans were tastily seasoned with tiny bits of sausage and of a deliciously smoky bacon. Fried potatoes in cuadrito form were very good also.


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