@Thanks for the Crepes Are you certain the cactus pads had thorns and not just the nubs that remain after the thorns are removed? Here and in southeast AZ they were always sold denuded. I like nopales but often they are overcooked here and they get the same slime texture as overcooked okra. My go-to place for chicken al carbon (over real wood charcoal) is the chain Pollo Feliz and they make a very nice nopales salad which is never slimey. I think Pollo Feliz has expanded into the US but not sure which states.
That market sounds great!