I’m sorry, I would have never guessed that this was a Chinese grocery store from the outside. Seriously, we pass this place on 75 all the time, and until a few weeks ago, we never even knew what it was.
To be fair, it has no Chinese writing on the outside (as you can see in the picture). I’ve never heard of the 99 Ranch Market, and the website claims they are the largest Asian grocery store in the country. I think that’s wrong. I’ve been in plenty of H-marts and Lottes, and some of them are bigger than this one. Unless there is a really huge one somewhere else.
So, back to the market. We pass this place all the time and always wondered what the heck it was. If you had asked me a month ago, I would have guessed a Mexican grocery store. Yes, I know that sounds racist. But, come on! Look at the thing! It’s very brightly colored and it’s got a wreath around the 99. Course, I guess that could also mean some other European country, but we’re also in Texas, so I was going on the assumption that the chances were good that it was Mexican. Plus, it says “Ranch” in the name.
A few weeks back I was browsing through my Foodspotting app on my iPod Touch and came across some pictures for Mr. Tofu, which is a Korean restaurant. I was looking up the location online and one reviewer said that it was in the same shopping center as the Chinese 99 Ranch grocery store. SHOCK! So, the Hubby and I decided to check it out.
Imagine, if you will, that an H-mart and a Kroger (or Giant, depending on what region of the country you’re from) had a baby. Yeah, it was kind of like that on the inside. It had a ton of Asian grocery items, but also regular supermarket items too (like cereals that were not some weird Asian knock off, I’m talking real brands). They also had a really nice food court area that had *gasp* roast duck and crispy skin pork!!! I have been dying for some really good crispy skin pork, and we couldn’t find any after we moved down here from the Northeast. We definitely have to try it out. Also, the bakery is a mix between a typical Chinese bakery (with their baked goods leaning more towards savory items) and a Korean bakery (that has a lot of sweets and really pretty cakes).
We didn’t really get to explore too much, and honestly I think that the H-mart in Carrollton has a better variety of produce (they’re both really cheap though), but the 99 Ranch Market is waaaay closer to us and it also has duck and pork. At the very least, we have to go back and try out the food court area.