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Ranch 99 Market

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  • Tari Sep 8, 2006 07:57 PM
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I have been wanting to go check this market out..and may go tonight. Are there any "must buy" items that I should check out?

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  1. I think the appeal of Ranch 99 is more that its stock is comprehensive than that it's unique. However, one cool thing is the fish frying service. You can choose your own whole (even live) fish, and they'll fry it for you for a nominal charge. Can't get much fresher than that!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Well, I guess I had it in my head that this place was more than what it is. I was expecting a deli or hot food area where I could buy some dim sum and other asian entrees. I did pick up some oils and sauces and I would go back but it was less than what I had hoped it would be. That is what I get for assuming :)

      1. re: Tari

        The one in San Diego has a Chinese fast food area, Vietnamese fast food and dim sum area, and an area where you can get coffees, teas, fruit ices/desserts and soups made to order, as well as a bakery and fish frying service.

        I did notice on the free calender I get each year that some are "Licensee Stores" versus company owned....

    2. If Ranch 99 is the only Asian market in your area, check out the sauce isle to see bottled sauces for any Asian dish. Lee Kum Kee has made Asian cooking too easy.

      The live fish and shell fish tank is always interesting.

      1. It's actually called 99 Ranch. http://www.99ranch.com

        Second on the live tanks.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Thank you Robert. The signage, the shopping carts, the website...they all are 99Ranch....and everyone I know calls it Ranch 99 and for the life of me I do not understand why.

          Fresh veggies and fruits always good prices. The one in San Diego has fresh, hot soy milk and tofu delivered daily before 10 am. Its a display in front of the milk case. The bakery has something on special weekly...and its all baked in store.

          1. re: Cathy

            I'm pretty pleased by the quality of the fruits and vegetables there, too. I really like the white peaches. My local branch sells many of the vegetables pre-rinsed and bagged.

            1. re: Cathy

              Most of the people I know (those who live in Northern California) call it Ranch 99, too... Those in Souther California, call it by it's real name - 99 Ranch.

              1. re: Foodrat

                Actually, us "southerners" in California call it "Tawa" ...

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  True, but its the whole 'Ranch 99' versus what is written *everywhere* that makes me crazy....

          2. Like Ruth said, it's more comprehensive than unique. At least in the Bay Area there are better places to get fresh produce, although maybe not as cheap (e.g. I always get my Hawaiian papayas there). The fish frying service is good, and roast duck and pork is cheap and handy for quick dinners, although I could not find any whole uncooked ducks with legs (but I did find ducklings without)! They also carry more Filipino food items than anywhere, aside from Filipino specialty stores.

            I'd stay away from the live shellfish, though. Cheap, but you don't want to risk quality with something like that.

            5 Replies
            1. re: coolbean98

              Never had a problem with the shellfish from 99 Ranch. Now, Shun Fat, on the other hand... yiiiiiiikes.

              Asian produce, especially the herbs -- where else can you get ngo gai so cheaply??

              Thai curry pastes; fresh dou fu fa, just heat up the tofu.

              Skip the hot-food section, it's pretty nasty in most places.

              1. re: coolbean98

                The point is the fish is alive. ant get much fresher than that. I have never had trouble with their shellfish

                1. re: coolbean98

                  Note that "live" does not always mean "healthy".

                  1. re: coolbean98

                    For shellfish, live is healthier than dead.

                    1. re: MVNYC

                      Well, sure, for everything live is healthier than dead! But for fish (not shellfish) it's better to aim for something than just the fish not being dead.

                      Anyways, the point I was making was that my local 99 Ranch often has a high population of dead shellfish in the bins, so I prefer to go somewhere like Tokyo Fish Market for that.

                2. My local 99 Ranch has a barrel of fish parts for 49 cents a pound. Where else can you get a deal like that?

                  1. The 99 Ranch Market that I frequent in SoCal has a fish monger who will give me, gratis, fish guts to use as fertilizer in my garden.

                    Not in the "must buy" category necessarily, but more like in the "must get" category ...

                    1. The one in Van Nuys has a wild game section at reasonable prices.

                      I bought some Venison Medallions there for about six bucks a pound and they turned out great.

                      They had a wild boar roast I've been wanting to try.

                      It's all frozen, but hell...

                      1. If you're looking for a tub of chicken gizzards -- not easy to find in the part of the SF Bay Area where I live -- 99 Ranch has them.

                        1. gizzards, livers, feet, ears... all the goodies from 99 ranch. and you can`t beat the prices.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: rumgum

                            Don't forget the ever popular "pork bung"!

                            1. re: Humbucker

                              always wondered, What is pork bung?

                              1. re: rumgum

                                It's just pig intestines. The way people go on about it, you'd think you were trapped in an episode of Beavis and Butthead.

                                Pork sung, on the other hand, is dried pork with the texture of steel-wool. Theoretically one adds it to porridge. That "one" is not me.

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                  how could i forget about the intestines. i was actually picturing pork sung in my head.

                              2. re: Humbucker

                                how about those pig uteruses???

                                and the flat foam tray of duck tongues.....

                                mmmmm!

                                1. re: Cathy

                                  I remember the duck tongues... chasing a friend around the store with the package. The one here in Phoenix has rattlesnake in the frozen section. Then there was the Beef Pizzle. The stocker got it mixed up with the rattlesnake.

                                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                    They have duck tongues near you???

                                    Oh, my god, I'm going to Ranch 99 today!

                                    Love, Peace, and Organ Meats

                                  2. re: Cathy

                                    Cathy, If you want a truly cross-cultural experience, make some duck tongue gorditas...

                                2. re: rumgum

                                  Ears??? What do you make with ears?

                                3. The Phoenix location just changed its name to "Super L." I'm not sure if that is a change with that one store, or the entire chain. In any case, I endorse the produce selection, especially the half dozen varieties of bok choy. Until my first trip to 99 Ranch, I though of bok choy as a single vegetable. I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the different varieties available.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: silverbear

                                    Oh yeah, I worked in a restaurant where we played with baby bok choy...one of the best veggies I've ever had!

                                  2. Try the pineapple bread(without filling). That's a must get for me at 99 Ranch!

                                    1. The 99 Ranch by me in Van Nuys, CA is not one of the flagship stores. The fish dept stinks, the hot food/take out steam tray area looks like the food has been sitting too long and the produce is wilted and lacking. I went once and it was a large disappointment after hearing great things on this board. I wouldn't go back again.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: davinagr

                                        Yeah, it's pretty dismal. Go to the SGV instead. Or go to Bangluck on Sherman Way. It's not any cleaner but the produce, meat and fish is much, much better.

                                      2. Ranch 99 is about the only place(besides some of the small mom and pop stores)that I can get roast duck.Its good most of the time a couple of times it was way too salty but most of the time is good.Its only 15$s for a whole duck.I like there fish frying service wish some of there fish was fresher,I mean when it gets red eyes and slimy its garbage.The Tilapia is a good choice because its a fair price and a big seller so you know it will be fresh most of the time.You can get it live which costs more is the only way to get it fresher.At lunch and dinner theres lines of people getting the Tilapia deep fried.The store in Washington doesnt charge for deep frying.The variety is great.Lots of hard to find things.Prices arent bad alot of things can be bought at other places cheaper.

                                        1. NOTE: If you shop there regularly, you can get a card that can entitle you to discounts when you check out. I've had some good fish from there but had to fillet it myself (they won't fillet, but will cut steaks). The sauces and condiments are extensive and, if you know what you want, you can buy a good wok cheaply along with some wonderful knives (but you have to know what you're getting). Again, if you know the pricing of produce, you can sometimes find great stuff like baby bok choy there and fine apples. A fun place to shop.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: EclecticEater

                                            AND when you apply for the card and give them your correct name, address and birthdate, they will send you a coupon good for 10% off on any one purchase (not item, total purchase) for your birthday. That's when I stock up....