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Jul 15, 2006 02:40 AM
Discussion new favorite grocery store in Reno -- Ranch Market!!!!

I realize that there is a possibility this is a chain, but there's nothing like it in these parts. Its billed as a latino grocery, and its certainly that. But based on a tip from my coworkers, I went tonight to check out the produce. Wow! Everything looks so good (and what I've tasted so far is delicious) and is cheap!! Plus they have items not usually found around here: manila mangoes (around 3 for a dollar); large pink-fleshed papayas (79 cents a pound); fresh nopales leaves; fresh coconuts; wonderful tomatoes; sweet seedless green grapes at 1.29 a pound; etc, etc. Plus there is a big machine churning out fresh corn tortillas all day long, not to mention a panaderia and a butcher. There are aisles upon aisles of unusual and hard-to-find Mexican grocery items: unusual salsas, sauces; canned goods; chilis; etc. I bought two cans of green chickpeas: I've never seen them before but I bet my Gujarati husband will find some nice way to cook them up....Oh, and the nice young man in produce apologized to me in broken English that they were all out of fresh guavas....but then he got a big smile on his face and exclaimed: "Lunes!" I guess you know where I'll be Monday..:-) Ranch Market is on Wells Ave a couple of blocks south of Vassar.

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  1. I'm reasonably sure that there is a Ranch Market (or two) in Phoenix...where it has also gotten raves on the Southwest board.

    I look forward to checking it out on my next visit!

    1. btw, went back today looking for a molcajete. No luck (they had some but someone had taken all the grinding stones...). However, we couldn't resist taking advantage of some incredible "weekend specials." Definitely worth looking out for: decent bing cherries at 1.69 a pound, watermelon 10 cents a pound, limes 25 for a dollar, fresh key limes, papaya 69 cents a pound, canteloupe 3 for a dollar, etc, etc. Also bought some Chilean wine and Peruvian beer on a bit of a whim, at 3.99 a bottle and 5.99 a six-pack they seemed like risks worth taking.....

      1 Reply
      1. re: janetofreno

        janetofreno, if your Ranch Market is kin to ours in AZ, you're in luck! This is a gem with produce that begs a camera to record its freshness. Also, on your next visit, take your appetite because the food court is a find - have never had a dud there. Two additional spots worth checking - the dairy section with the best and freshest crema I can find, queso fresco that really is and the butcher section. Beef cheeks are a huge bargain and the small chickens are worth my 50 mile drive. The carne asada meat is wonderful and if your Spanish is only so-so, there will be a helpful somebody to assist. The fresh sausages are also marvelous with the chorizo among the leanest I've ever cooked.


      2. There isn't really a food court in the Reno store (too small, I guess) but they did have some good looking takeout items at the butcher' that what you meant? I bought some of the queso fresco today...looking forward to trying it. And the meat looked good (and inexpensive!) too, although I didn't get any. Funny you should mention the crema, I *almost* bought some because it looked so good, but wasn't planning to be cooking much the next few days so passed. (Come to think of it, it probably would make a good base for the dips I've been experimenting with ...see my post in Home Cooking). The produce is definitely worth the drive; of course I only have to go about two miles :-) And I'm not worried about communicating; my Spanish is just fine. (Although most of the employees are very bilingual...).

        1. I finally made it to Ranch Market yesterday. Janet, I've had your OP bookmarked since July! I was on my lunch hour and didn't have a lot of time, but I did walk the entire store. I recently saw a write-up in the RGJ, too, so I thought I'd better make the trip before it becomes mainstream. Anyway, the article I saw was about take-out. I've been looking for a mexican food caterer for my daughter's graduation party, so I went in to see what they could do...WOW! Did I hit the jackpot - they gave me sample tastes of everything I was considering - fajitas, pork chile verde, and a slow roasted beef in a red - enchilada type - sauce. It was all wonderful. For $4 a person, they provide entree, rice, beans, fruit salad, and all accoutrements, i.e., cilantro, lemon, onion - and the best part - its delivered! They make their own tortillas (they're working right in the store). I'm going back and getting take out for Fri nite's dinner.

          5 Replies
          1. re: nancyhudson

            Hey, I found this!!! And this really deserves to be bumped. We've been driving past King Ranch Market for months but always on the way somewhere. Finally stopped there a week or so ago. It's amazing! Just inside the door are the still warm in the bags corn tortillas so grabbed those, of course. Mountains of peppers. All manner of fruits and vegetables. Rice and beans in huge bulk bins sitting on pallets on the floor. Every imagineable Latino condiment. Great selection of cheeses. The cooked food area looks great. We're definitely getting some of that on a future trip. That day and again today, we got beef cheeks, pork spareribs (which are actually meaty chunks of pork on the bone), bulk chorizo (they have links also), oxtails, beautiful snow white lard by the #, a big chunk of cotija. Their meat department has every single part of the pig and the cow. The cut on site so you can get a whole pig's head, feet, skin, etc. Same with the cow. Even cow lips! Good looking seafood also. Whole fish, filets, baby and not so baby octopus, squid (bodies and tentacles), etc. You get the picture. As we will be living part of the time in Reno from now on, this is going to be a regular stop. What a place!

            1. re: c oliver

              Oh, I miss that place (their prices, mostly - ex: watermelon for .10/pound)! There used to be a tamale lady in the parking lot selling her homemade goods - give her a try if she is still around. If I remember correctly, theyr pan dulce was very good. Also, don't be afraid to approach the staff; they are very helpful. If your Spanish or their English isn't polished enough for a complete conversation, they will find someone to help you :) I am jealous!

              1. re: enbell

                Tamale lady is still there and we'll definitely follow your rec. When we've been there it's been after a big breakfast so haven't been tempted enough :) My Spanish is pathetic but overall we've been able to communicate. I asked and they answered that if I want a whole, intact pig ahead to call ahead of time. I thought that was pretty good. They have them but already cut in three big slices/chunks. It's an amazing store.

                1. re: c oliver

                  The chicharrones in the restaurant section are amazing. They have meat still attached and are warm. I love that store. I try to go there every time I go home for a visit.

                  1. re: danceremix

                    Next time get the 'chicharrones en salsa verde.' It's the same chicharrones that they then put in the hot salsa verde. It's amazing. We've bought it the last two weeks. We've also bought the carnitas and birria. Oh yeah.

          2. Latest trip we got lengua in salsa verde, $7/#, and it makes easily 3 meals for 2. If you've never tried tongue, this is the dish to start with. So good. We buy big poblanos/pasillas which I then, roast, peel and puree. Rice and beans. I divide the tortillas into packs and freeze. I'm guessing three dozen are $1.20. I'm sure we'll be buying almost all our meat here. Can't believe it took us so long to 'discover' this jewel.

            2 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              Try their queso fresco and crema, c.oliver. It's sold in bulk at the dairy counter and you can buy as much or as little as you wish. Another plus is the crema is available with or without salt. Chicken feet are readily available at Ranch Market as are the small chickens I use for broiling. I plain love this store and it is on my regular rotation with one notable exception -- I try to avoid the enormous crowds on weekends.
              Edit: I forgot to mention buying rajas con crema at the food court. They're wonderful wrapped in the fresh tortillas or mixed with chicken and served with rice and beans.

              1. re: Sherri

                I've bought the cotija; will check out the others. Bob saw a sign that they'll do a whole roast pig with sides for approx. $220. A CH told me that they catered her daughter's graduation party. I think we're working our way through all the cooked food :) Bob said if he were single, he'd probably be eating from there every day. I love it that I can buy something that's every bit as good or better than anything I can cook. We had the chicharrones en salsa verde one morning with fried eggs on top.