Here you are, reading mmm-yoso!!!, the food blog, again. Kirk, Ed(from Yuma) and Cathy pretty much are the writers of various who-what-where-when-why-how posts here, which are food-centric. Today, Cathy is writing.
In case you haven't noticed, just about every grocery market has an area where you can purchase ready made foods and have a seat to eat those foods inside the store.
Vallarta Supermarket is a California Chain of 42 markets which started in Van Nuys in 1985. Only two locations are in San Diego County- this location in National City and one in Escondido. This National City location (on Euclid just North of Plaza Boulevard) used to be a Ralphs.
I'm not even going to show you the various departments. The prices here are great, the items sold here are varied, fresh and the people who work here are more than helpful (and multilingual) if you have questions. Here's a link to the page where you can put in your Zip code and see the weekly specials at the location closest to you.
It's a great market with great prices. When you walk in the door, to your left is the Produce section and to your far right is the bakery and extensive prepared foods area.
The center area is what I call the 'refrigerated section', where you can choose and pay for various custards, gelatins, ceviches and have fresh juices made to order.
Along the wall -this is the far corner- is what I call the 'heated' area.
When you find a seat in the center, you can see the ice cream section as part of the 'refrigerated' area to the right, the salsa selections in the center and again, the far wall, which is filled with steam trays of prepared foods.
Again, the refrigerated area not only sells fresh juices, sodas and the aforementioned desserts and ceviches, but also various fresh made aguas.
You can order from the steam trays and pay at this cash register, as well as the register on the side of the steam trays. It's all automated; you pay, get your number and wait for your order to be called.
Here's a medium (32 ounce) spinach-pineapple blend ($2.89) agua. You can see the plethora of egg selections available in that open refrigerator section.
Of course, there is the spit of al pastor meat waiting to be shaved off for an order...
along with too many steam trays of various stews and soups to photograph.
This is a copy of the menu- note the various fresh juice combinations in the far right bottom of the page. Having seen juices made this way is why I was confused the first time I went into Jamba Juice, (only three years ago)when I was so confused as to why they had so many out of season beverages available...nothing frozen here.
This particular heated area was most fascinating to me- because I had had a pupusa at the Escondido World Marketplace earlier that week...
This is a regular size (not small) plate under the $2.69 pupusa. I asked for the cheese (chicharron filled was also a choice). The pupusas are wrapped in plastic wrap in the steam tray. I saw the lady who was preparing my order take the pupusa out of the plastic wrap and place it onto the hot grill in the back, completely warming (and crisping) the masa based crust. She placed it over the (not Americanized-nicely, hot chili spiced) generous portion of curtido and similarly (heat wise) spicy hot pepper red salsa.
Here's a cross section of the cheese filled pupusa. You can see the flecks of green chiles and melting Mexican cheese, which was a very rich (full fat) cheese.
I also ordered the salsa verde chicharron platter ($6.99). A wonderful home made green salsa (again, spicy hot as well as heated) filled with meaty fried pork skins and accompanied by Mexican fried rice, wonderful, flavorful refried beans and four thick, fresh made, hot corn tortillas.
I noticed the "Macho Banana" ($1.50) (it was listed as "Platano Frito" on my receipt) and since I had never bought one properly prepared, I ordered it also. The lady who was crisping and re-heating the pupusa on the grill, also had pulled out the plantain to re-heat and crisp on the grill and asked me if I wanted 'cream' with the plantain. I said 'oh yes', as if I knew what she meant...sweetened condensed milk-that's what she poured in the cut portion- and it made for a perfect dessert item. The plantain is more starchy and potato-y in texture, but on its own (with the carmelization) had a slight sweetness. A piece coated in the condensed milk made it really, really perfect.
Again, the grocery store is one of our regular stops because the prices and variety and freshness is great. The Eat In area is wonderful, consistently fresh and very, very organized. Here is a link of another post about Vallarta, from fellow blogger, caninecologne; it was her first visit here, and she had a different purpose for stopping by.
Vallarta Supermarket 901 Euclid Avenue National City, CA 91950 (619) 472-1683 Open 7 days 6:30-11 website