La Michoacana - Vallejo's Newest Ice Cream/Paleta/Bakery Place
Yes, it confused me a bit when I drove by it the first time last week. I knew that this is also a brand name of frozen treats you find in Mexican markets. However, a newspaper article confirmed that a new business with this name had opened up along this stretch of Broadway, so I decided to stop by today.
Despite exterior appearances, the interior is fairly roomy and makes the place look like they had just moved-in, which in fact they are. Hand-written signs and labels detailing the flavors are posted on the walls, main counter, and bakery stand, which also kinda' fits in with the store, where everything is made in-house.
After passing by what looked to be some yummy bakery goods, I went to sample some of the ice cream. I sampled the tuna (no, not the fish - it's actually cactus fruit) - I found it rough-hewn in texture with a pleasant but somewhat subtle taste I've never experienced before. I wanted something a little more distinct today, so after more sampling, I went for a scoop of the mango and the peaches & cream ($2.70). The pleasant young woman manning the counter (I'm guessing it's a daughter of the owner) explained that certain flavors were made from milk while others were made from water, and that there were even some sugar-free flavors available.
I sampled the mango first - it definitely didn't have that waxy mouthfeel that's a turnoff for some, like in the Mitchell's version that I'm familiar with. I found ample chunks of fruit within, though I wished the mango was just a touch sweeter. These comments also held true for the peaches & cream. They have sundae type toppings available as well if you so desire.
I bought two paletas ($1.50 ea) to bring home - coconut and pineapple. My nieces were over, and they got to sample them with me, and we all reached the same verdict for both of them: "Tastes like (insert the flavor here)." The tops of the paletas were icy but flavorful; the bottoms were populated by lots of chunks of the respective flavors.
The pineapple left that certain tart feeling in my mouth that you get after eating fresh pineapple, and I really dug the coconut - great flavor and texture to the chunks surrounded by ice goodness.
A chocolate coating for $.50 extra is an option for your paletas if that's what tickles your fancy.
I hope that September and October are warm months - it'll give me and others good excuse to further sample and help along what seems to be a promising venture.
La Michoacana Ice Cream & Bakery
Hours: 7 am - 8 pm daily
Vallejo Times-Herald article:
Jojo, thanks so much for telling us about this one. I finally made it up there Saturday morning. So what if we might be a little late for our res at Ubuntu, this was my chance to grab a paleta. No time to sample the nieves, will have to do that another time. It's a sunny, cheerful place and a nice stop for to- or from- Napa.
I got a fresa (strawberry), the non-dairy version. It was nice, and better than any commercial brand of paleta I've had. But it was very cold and therefore hard to bite when I needed to wolf it down, I might not have appreciated it as well. FN tried the nuez, which is made with dairy, and it was FANTASTIC. Not just ground up nuts or chopped nuts, this had big pieces of walnuts like halves or close to it studding the popsicle. Delicious, rich and intensenly flavored, great texture.
504 Broadway St, Vallejo, CA 94590
Wow! I am so there this weekend if I can get away. From the article in the link you provided ...
""I learned in Jalisco," Ubaldo said. "My grandfather and my father were in the business. My father owns a dairy ranch, and produces the milk for the ice cream and baked goods."
In fact, Ubaldo Alcazar likes using the freshest ingredients so well, that if he could, he'd keep a dairy cow out back, he joked."
Really crossing my fingers that this will fulfill my paleta dreams ... thank you, thank you !!!
Who cares if Ici opens .. there's paletas up north.
Thank you for that great article. Recently when I learned popsicles originated in the San Francisco Bay Area I wondered what the Mexico connection was and you answered that ...
"Ignacio Alcázar of Tocumbo, Michoacán had a vision. Paletas—frozen treats similar to Popsicles—were on his mind. "
This shop always makes me happy. They do a good job with paletas, nieves and baked goods. I might be up that way today. A paleta dipped in chocolate is calling to me. The coconut dipped in chocolate is my favorite, but maybe mango/chocolate today ... or maybe plantano/chocolate.
I added your great link to a long ago question I had on paletas on the general board.