Corralitos Meat Market and Sausage Company Report
First off, for all those who recommended it...THANK YOU! We now have a fun little detour on our bi-annual trip down to Pacific Grove.
We lingered in Santa Cruz longer than intended, but still managed to hit Corralitos at about 4. We surveyed their selection and chose some pre-marinated skirt steak (bloody mary variety) and two sausages as it was just the two of us. The steak was perfectly tender, and, being premarinated, had amazing flavor.
We got the andouille with cheese on the sausage man's recommendation, as well as a "fine ground" keilbasa-esque sausage, though I don't remember the exact name.
One thing I didn't expect, was that all the sausages were smoked. When I think of sausage, I often think of raw. Not that this was a draw back, however. The smell of smoke permeated all of lovely Corralitos.
Oh, the BACON, how could I forget the bacon? We purchased one pound of smoked bacon. It was promptly devoured Valentine's Day morning. It doesn't cook exactly like regular bacon, so took some getting used to, but by the second pan-go-round we were in a perfect rythem. DELICIOUS and smoky!
Their selection is really unparalleled in quantity and quality.
With its easy-on, easy-off driving style from the highway, I recommend Corralitos Meat Market and Sausage Co. highly if you are in the area. I would even say it would be worth the trip, with San Mateo County as the far range to the north.
We'll be going back. Yum.
Corralitos Market & Sausage Co
569 Corralitos Rd, Watsonville, CA
JB just caught up with this thread following the CH crab post. How could you only buy 1 pound of the fabulous Corralitos bacon. On one of my trips I was 6th in line at 9AM on a Sunday morning and almost teared up when #5 emptied the pan with the bacon for his order. Was elated when my turn came to find that there was lots more. Scare caused me to buy quite a few more pounds for stuffing in the ice chest to tide me over for my next trip south. I like the back way into Corralitos, Freedom Blvd to Hames Road. Twisty back roads like Hames and Trinity (Sonoma-Napa) add to the fun.
Must report on the friendliness of the staff, too, from the butcher counter to checkstand.
I dug for a little background/history and found the current owners are "newcomers" of about 4 years, but had worked at the market for many years. The building itself is over 100 years and has been a market since the 40's at least. Now that's some history.
We bought Kilbasica, smoked anduoille, cheddar, and linguisa. I love the fact that they sell lots of insulated traveling bags for impulse buys.
Also among my groceries were items from Croatia. Turns out there is a large number of Croats who shop there for the meats, and they asked the owner to bring in more Croat delicacies, so I got to try a banana candy bar, some biscotti type cookies and some chocolate covered tea biscuits. All very reasonable and good!
My last purchase was a 1# container of the most beautiful organic strawberries I've ever seen in a grocery, @ $3. Completely refuting the going argument for Methyl Iodide use. From Sandpiper Organics (Beach Street Farms, Watsonville).
We are locals and shop at the Corralitos Market occasionally. Definitely good stuff.
HOWEVER, if you really love sausage and want the very best in the area, go to Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus in Mountain View. Their German sausages are the real thing.
re: Melanie Wong
And THAT is what it was! Good call Melanie! Thank you. We tried the "fine ground" but I am VERY interested in trying the "coarse ground." Is there a flavor difference, or just the texture? I described them as "grown-up hot dogs." Like what hot dogs were meant to be, years ago. Truly awesome. (Though the cheese andouille was pretty outrageous too!)