Local News

Tex-Mex Merchants Share Tradition with Basketball Fans

Posted March 27, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— The rhythm and the pulse of San Antonio is so strong, that it sucks you in like a magnet. Market Square is just one place you can experience the Tex-Mex culture, while buying pieces of culture from small but grateful merchants.

The heritage and traditions of San Antonians have been lovingly preserved at Market Square. It's the largest Mexican market north of Mexico. Evidence of that embracing of the past is evident in a gift store that features masks of Mexico.

"Once a year, they have a festival," says shopkeeper Cleo Marshall. "And the scarier it is, the better it is for them because it scares away the spirit."

There is a refreshing spirit of unity at the Market Square-. Some of the best Tex-Mex enchiladas, tacos and fajitas are served up at wonderful little outdoor stands staffed by several generations of a single family.

"We have much love for the community, for the public," admits one happy cook. "It's a family secret. I like my work."

It's obvious that other merchants like their work as well. But at the Market, there are definite breaks from tradition, like a single mime joking with passersby.

Several businesses are grabbing a share of the city's economic windfall from hosting the Final Four.

"This is one the best things to happen to San Antonio," says merchant Michael Ramirez. "You get this type of event in town, and hopefully the small business owner can make some money."

Market Square continues its success into the 90's, merchants say, by combining history, culture and good old fashioned fun. All my ex's live in Texas. That's why I hang my hat in Tennessee.