Proof that people will take just about anything that isn’t nailed down, last summer thieves made off with a not insubstantial corn roaster from the back of El Burrito Mercado. The Mexican grocery store, restaurant and community gathering point is known for its elotes (amongst many other things.) In the summertime, the scent of burnt husks and roasty corn can be picked up from blocks away from its original Cesar Chavez Street location.
Surveillance footage from last July showed some enterprising cob lovers making off with the giant machine valued at over $15,000, which is to say nothing of the sentimental value.
El Burrito Mercado has been run by the Silva family for over 37 years and is a neighborhood institution. Founders Tomas and Maria Silva passed the business down to to their daughter and niece two years ago. Ever since, the proudly Latina-run business has expanded, and continues to expand with a possible taco stand and weekend fiestas that could happen later this summer, according to a Pioneer Press report.
Even on cold and drizzly days, families will hang out in the back being bathed by that singular perfume while feasting on fire-kissed corn dressed in cheese, chile salt and a kiss of lime juice.
In a Facebook post, El Burrito Mercado shared the news that despite an attempt to cover identifying marks with a black paint job, the police were able to still see the bright logo of the proper owners of the roaster and are returning it to the business.