We found ourselves in downtown Phoenix last evening, detoured at 16th Street on the way to the 202 freeway. Forced to turn right on Roosevelt provided the luckiest detour in the history of driving! Voila! The new Ranch Market was brightly lighted and welcomed us. It was a fiesta in the making!
The enticing smells of freshly cooked food wafted through the doorways even before we set foot inside. I didn't know where to head first -- the prepared food smelled wonderful, the produce section is my first love but the butcher counter and creamery won out.
Fresh Crema - South American (unsalted) and the salted Mexican, Cotijo and Queso Fresco were in my cart almost before I knew it. The neighboring offerings of fresh tortillas in several varieties provided snack inspiration.
Shrimp with heads, whole fish and a seafood mixture were fresher than I had a right to expect in our desert environs.
Ranch Market offered small chickens, almost unavailable anywhere else, so the Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken is on our menu tonight using some non-traditional fresh Mexican bread. The pork and beef looked wonderful but our cart was getting full. Except for a pork shoulder and beef flank steak, I passed.
Produce offerings were fresh, varied and well-priced. I bought dried white corn kernels that I rarely find and very fresh dried chiles and black beans. The chiles are simmering to make a traditional red sauce and may top the corn once it is cooked. Avocados, Poblano Chiles and Tomatillos were gorgeous but the cilantro stole my heart. I foresee a salsa verde in our future. A whole banana squash, pineapples and more greens than two people can sanely consume are ours also.
We nibbled a seafood "coctel" while shopping and bought a dozen tamales for "later" -- HA!
Breakfast this morning was a feast of chorizo & eggs with pan dulce and fresh pineapple. As soon as I quit typing, I'm getting to work on the chicken!
I'll invent another reason to be in South Phoenix very, very soon. The Ranch Market is a treasure! Thanks to all the CHs who recommended it.
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