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My Field Trip to 99 Ranch - Tell me what your favorites are

A while back there was a thread that discussed how we chowhounds are viewed by our family. I mentioned that mine think I'm nuts because we travel to cities around the world and I am just as excited to explore the local supermarket as I am to visit the museums.

I followed a thread on this board to 99 Ranch in need of reasonably priced Lobsters. Our local markets should be charged with highway robbery. The only unfortunate thing about my visit was that it was Xmas Eve and the place was packed so I could not do the aisles justice. I also had to survive my teenagers looking at me like I was crazy while I looked like a kid in a candy store.

I have never been to an Asian market of this scale before. Our local Asian Markets are generally small and dark. I wind up going there when I have an individual item on a recipe I need.

I was overwhelmed at 99 Ranch and plan on going back when I have more time to peruse and the place is less crowded. I didn't know where to start. I saw produce items I had never seen before. A whole aisle of asian noodles. 3 aisles of frozen dim sum.

I had to calm my daughter when she saw the head of a fish still moving even though the rest of it's body had already been chopped off. She turned in awe to the gentleman next to us that was expressing his dismay as he had actually wanted the head included with his order.

I got my lobsters (HUGE), had to add on a bag of oysters, some frozen dim sum items for a later date. We ate some items from the steamer table while we waited for our number to be called in Seafood. It was only the tip of the iceberg.

I would love some input as to special items I should look for on my return.

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  1. You're lucky your daughter was just fixed on a man with a fish -- I once took a pair of teenaged girls to 99 Ranch and had to deal with their embarrassed tittering at the sight of a man ... palpating ... an extremely phallic-looking geoduck clam.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      We saw them too........I explained them away as "long neck clams".............I'm originally from Long Island, after all.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I recall a similar scene at the old Dupont Market when three Filipino matrons were buying geoduck; they started tittering, which made the fishmonger break into laughter, and soon everyone in the place was roaring.

      2. I like to cruise the sauce aisle and try to figure out what to make with them. The cheap side of me loves the steam table "chicken mcnuggets". You can squeeze about 20 of them in a small size container for about 4 bucks. Take that Mickey D.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          'chicken mcuggets'? Are they just fried pieces of boneless chicken? I occasionally get the fried chicken drummettes/wings that are sauced - remind me a bit of Korean drummettes or San Tung chicken when I can't get them

          1. re: balabanian

            Well Xmas eve day they were $9.99 at 99 Ranch in Richmond and I considered myself lucky. They were big ones too.
            Picked up some dim sum while I was there too.
            MSK Dec 24, 2008 06:27PM

          2. 99 Ranch is a good place to buy pork - they go through a lot and it's always fresh. if you buy a whole fish they'll fry it for you - no extra charge - such a deal! as you've already noticed : the seafood tanks are full of good deals ....... crab, lobsters, live shrimp, fish ..... also live clams ( manila, littleneck, geoduck ) mussels, oysters etc.....

            1. I visit the 99 Ranch in Daly City, off Skyline, on occasion. Their fish is usually vey fresh and very good. The crabs and lobsters are lower-priced than elsewhere but I have read somewhere that since they are packed into the tanks they consume more waste than they would in the Ocean. Does anybody know if this affects the flavor?