Cruising the streets of the Alisal district yesterday, I stopped at a small strip mall to check out this branch of La Esperanza Mercado y Carniceria at the corner of Del Monte Ave. and N. Sanborn Road in Salinas.
I got a great pineapple there, a new variety called piña miel, for $1.49. Here's my post on the General board, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407449 .
The meat counter drew my attention. The selection was broader and looked much fresher than found at many of these small stores. I asked the butcher about the labio (lips) on display next to the cachete (cheeks), and he recommended cooking, skinning, shredding, and then rolling the meat into taquitos.
Image of labio and chachete -
The proud carnicero then pointed to the other end of the case and said, "If you want to take pictures, then photograph the lengua. Beautiful." Yes, they were, and he had both veal and beef tongue, next to some very clean and fresh-looking tripas (pork chitterlins).
Image of lengua ternero, lengua and tripas -
They make the chorizo in house as well as chicharrones and carnitas. He said that many restaurants source from them.
La Esperanza Market
1002 Del Monte Ave # E
Salinas, CA 93905