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Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2009 11:17 AM

I like Ryan Farr's gourmet chicharrones, but I like the old-school stuff too.

Best I've had recently were from La Tapatia Market in Vallejo. I think they had a choice of three kinds, made in-house, sitting on top of the meat counter.

I'd sure love to find a source for those microwaveable ones they have in Mexico. They look like microwave popcorn.

La Tapatia Market
601 Broadway St, Vallejo, CA 94590

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    luckytomato RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2009 11:34 AM

    All this talk of chicharrones has got me craving them. I will be in the Mission tonight, around 16th St & Mission. Any suggestions on where I can get tasty chicharrones in the neighborhood?

    1 Reply
    1. re: luckytomato
      mmerino RE: luckytomato Apr 23, 2009 05:08 PM

      On 24th & Florida there is Las Palmas Mexicatessen, which may have them.

    2. rworange RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2009 11:42 AM

      Vallejo is probably the chicharrones capital of the Bay Area due to three ethnic groups, Latino, Filipino and African-American, who have this snack as a part of their cuisine ... so to speak ... I mean, chicarrones and cusine in the same sentence is a little much.

      Anyway, the most likley spot to find those microwaveable ones would be at Islands Pacific Supermarket on 2110 Springs Rd. They have such a large variety of the bagged type that it caught my attention ... and I'm not someone who normally glances twice at them.

      Seafood City has a good selection, but doesn't match Island Pacific. Even the Vallejo Food4Less has a larger than average selection, though not as many as the other two. After Island Pacific, when I was shopping the Vallejo markets these started to move into my line of vision.

      6 Replies
      1. re: rworange
        mmerino RE: rworange Apr 23, 2009 05:16 PM

        rworange, do you know the name of the thin, chip like, Filipino chicharron? I had then in the Philippines recently and loved them. They seem to have a slight circle shape and a nodule on the edge. Maybe a little lacy too...they were definitely called chicharrons on the menu. Delicious.

        1st photo is with the Chicharron plate in background, foreground are Shanghai Lumpias. 2nd photo is a closer view of the little devil.

        1. re: mmerino
          rworange RE: mmerino Apr 23, 2009 09:32 PM

          Great photos. Not sure of the Filipino name.

          1. re: mmerino
            pilinut RE: mmerino Apr 23, 2009 10:52 PM

            You're looking at "chicharon bulaklak". "Bulaklak" means "flower" in Tagalog. Pork intestines (I think), boiled and deep fried. I almost never eat them myself, but the ones in your pictures look pretty good.

            1. re: pilinut
              mmerino RE: pilinut Apr 24, 2009 08:29 AM

              Thank you pilinut! They were great! Does anyplace around here do them well?

              1. re: mmerino
                pilinut RE: mmerino Apr 24, 2009 01:00 PM

                I've seen them at Tribu Grill in San Bruno, but I've never had them there (or anywhere I can recall from recent memory). I think the last time I had them was in the Philippines, and they were pretty good: crisp around the frilly edges, chewy in the middle, and oozing warm pork fat when chewed, without the pigsty aroma that too often accompanies such dishes. But I'll ask around and post back with feedback from my friends.

                Tribu Grill
                235 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066

                1. re: mmerino
                  westcoaststyle RE: mmerino Apr 30, 2009 10:57 AM

                  I love chicharon bulaklak. Ongpin makes some really good ones. Also, Toppings (the one in Daly City) restaurant.

          2. mmerino RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2009 05:04 PM

            Yeah I am glad you liked both those! the micro bag I brought you from Baja, is "Morelos Insurgente-Chicharrones de Cerdo " and I asked earlier just after I took you to Tapatia for the "Gruesas" variety of by the pound...as seen in the link below.


            Concord, in that funny strip mall on Willow Pass, Montanas(?) was where I took the picture. It seems like they are often in the Taqueria/Deli section of Mexican Grocery stores. On Monument there is a great little/midsized market called, I believe, Los Rancheros, they have them consistently too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mmerino
              mmerino RE: mmerino Apr 23, 2009 05:20 PM

              Here is the manufacturers micowave bag!

              Las Montanas Market
              1725 Willow Pass Rd, Concord, CA

              1. re: mmerino
                mmerino RE: mmerino Apr 23, 2009 07:19 PM

                los rancheros

                Los Rancheros Supermarket
                1099 Reganti Dr, Concord, CA

              2. scarmoza RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 23, 2009 06:20 PM

                The Carneceria on Mission (between Highland and Park ) fries up some very good ones. I forget the name of the place - but it's next door to Rico Pan. It's a butcher shop that seems to deal strictly with pork (from head to patita).

                Chicharrones are often given with burrito orders. The carnitas are very worthy of a try. We love to make carnita sandwiches with the pan frances from Rico Pan.

                1 Reply
                1. re: scarmoza
                  scarmoza RE: scarmoza Apr 23, 2009 07:04 PM

                  Remembered the name: Carnitas Sandoval

                  It closes early (not exactly sure but I think around 5:30pm) and is closed on Sundays.

                  Carnitas Sandoval (CLOSED)
                  3723 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

                2. PorkButt RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 30, 2009 09:43 PM

                  I've had two local chicharrones that aren't like the typical sheets of skin found at Mexican markets.

                  La Borinquena in Oakland sometimes has a tray of fried chunks that includes the underlying fat and some mere streaks of meat along with skin in the store side of the business.

                  Ramiros & Sons in Alameda has similar fried chunks of chicharrones that are chopped up for tacos etc that is similar but are much meatier and are wonderfully crunchy.

                  My question is where do these versions fall within the canon of chicharrones? I suspect that La Borinquena's stuff are a by-product of rendering manteca for their tamales. It was still so fatty that I couldn't eat it out of hand.

                  La Borinquena Mex-Icatessen
                  582 7th St, Oakland, CA 94607

                  Taqueria Ramiro & Sons
                  2321 Alameda Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

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