Al's Market in Sacramento
Here's an update for the Sacramento Hounds that remember Al's meats from Elvas and H. You remember the high quality meats, the fresh fish, the chicken loaf! Well, he opened up this morning in Ikeda's on Folsom Boulevard, near Corti Brothers.
Apparently, the owners of Ikeda's are sparing no expense, so the ahi is sushi grade, the ribeyes are prime, and the chicken loaf sandwiches are, well the chicken loaf!
I have been rather put off by the fish quality at Corti Brothers, and the meat hasn't been the greatest. Now we East Sacramentans have a butcher / fish monger with whom we can build a relationship.
Thanks for the post Larry. I drove by recently and wondered what the sign outside was about. Now I know!
I've been looking for a good place to buy fresh mussels - preferably a fish monger. I'll have to try Al's. Are there any shops in Sacramento that sell only seafood?
re: Lisa T
Y'know, the lack of good quality seafood has been a problem in Sacramento for quite a while.
I usually head out to a large asian market like SF Market (65th street) and get live fish, live prawns, live crabs, etc. But there's no place to get good, fresh escolar, or tombo, or sushi-grade salmon (for lomi-lomi).
I just heard from a colleague that Pacific Fresh Wholesale (1420 National Dr
) sells retail as well...
I'll give them a try and report back.
re: Larry Conlin
Another great place for fish in Sacramento is Taylors Meats in Land Park, at Freeport where it turns into 21st street. Never had a bad piece of fish there and great meats too, Niman Ranch lamb, beef etc.....
Also try Fins out in Citrus Heights somewhere. Got great reviews, kind of a dive, but fish is fresh, on ice, great variety, and also they serve lunch and dinner too. I haven't eaten there but did buy some Escalar and it was very fresh.
re: Karen In Sac
Turns out there was a review of Fins in the Sacramento Bee on Sunday. It's at 8525 Madison in Fair Oaks. The reviewer only critiqued the restaurant part of the shop, but had very complimentary things to say. I called and they said they do sell raw, unprepared fish but they only keep restaurant hours (11-2:30, 5-9). I'm curious so I'll have try to go check it out this weekend.
Thanks for the information.
re: Karen In Sac
re: Ken Engelbrecht
Okay - now you've done it! The cat's out of the bag! Actually, most of the Asian markets have been running specials the last 2 weeks. Live lobsters are $4.95 a pound and crabs are $3.49. Bought the clams for Christmas Eve Clam Chowder at Welco Supermarket on Fruitridge east of 65th Street Expressway. They have three tanks of RUNNING and CLEAN salt water just for the clams.
Welco is THE place. It's an Asian and Mexican market. West side of the store is Asian, east side of the store is Mexican. In the back, in the middle, is a take-out deli which serves up hot Chinese and Mexican food. Produce, although all on the east end of the store, has both Asian and Mexican vegetables - with photographs and their names on them. No more guessing games, especially about the green leafy vegetables. They even had the spiny Mexican chayote last week.
On the west end wall are shelves of cooking utensils. Everything from sticky rice bamboo steamers through tortilla presses. What a kick!! They have lucky red paper goods with pinatas hanging over them.
Other than volume, the one thing which they have at SF Supermarket which they don't at Welco are live frogs. Also phantom crabs. Anyone tried those? They're a spiny crab with an entirely white shell.
I vote for field trips with knowledgable guides. And take-home recipe cards. And labeled photos of all the produce.......do you realize that they have oyster mushrooms for less than a dollar a pound? And young coconuts for 69 cents each? And longans in season?
And litchi's in season for less than a dollar a pound?
And bags of boiled peanuts for a buck? Don't get me started.........
I have been there on my brothers advice, you make the cooked food sound so delictable and it didn't look at all appetizing nor the fish in dirty tanks and on ice. Very little is fresh and not worth the trip however I do completely agree with you on the hard to find fresh vegetables.