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Lily's Mexican Market in Columbia


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If you're looking for Mexican in Howard County, your first stop should be Lily's Mexican Market off Dobbin Road in Columbia.

Lily's is your place for a Mexican lunch -- tacos and horchata at the takeout counter in the back of the store. Start with the carne asada and the carnitas. Lily's makes its own corn tortillas, so the tacos start off fresh. They're one of my favorites with the Pupuseria Lorenita's taco truck on U.S. 1 in Elkridge.

Lily's also sells all the Mexican basics that you need to explore a Rick Bayless cookbook. Packaged goods like dried or canned peppers, masa, spices, and pre-made sauces. Fresh items like cheese. A butcher counter. And those fresh corn tortillas, which are worth a trip on their own. They're usually stored in a cooler next to the takeout counter, where they're often still warm when you pull out a bag. You can ask for smaller bags if they only have the family-sized.

The produce is limited, although I have bought avacodos and tomatillas. The one special item is cactus -- nopales, which are surprisingly easy to cook on a grill pan and slice for tacos at home.

Overall, Lily's is a great place for anyone who wants to explore Mexican food. On top of lunch or ingredients, you should also check out the snacks like the fresh Mexican cookies or the plantain chips. Certainly, the Panam Supermarket in Laurel is larger and has a full produce section (Latin and American). But Lily's is your neighborhood store and has months of items to explore.

Lily's Mexican Market

6490 Dobbin Center Way

Columbia, MD 21045

410-772-5459

NEAR: The DMV off Dobbins Road just south of Rte 175. Look for the intersection with a Blockbuster. The shopping center with the DMV, Lily's and Sushi King restaurant is across Dobbins from the Blockbuster.

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