Sunday, December 13, 2009

99 Ranch Market in Houston

We stopped at the new 99 Ranch Market in Houston (1005 Blalock Road, Houston, 77055) on the way from Galveston to Austin for amazing groceries last weekend. It's my new favorite place for nearly all groceries. The variety, freshness, and prices of the fruits and vegetables are unbeatable. Ok. So I heard an elderly Caucasian couple complain about 99 having no tomatoes. Sure. Tomatoes are some of the few things you would expect all supermarkets to have, but you don't really go into an Asian market specifically for tomatoes. How can you be picky when there are all the following goodies?

Green Daikon!!! I'm the biggest daikon fan and didn't know green ones existed!; Chinese Okra

3 different kinds of mangoes, all in beautiful condition...unlike the expensive crap I find in even the *fancy* grocery stores in Austin

A gigantic mound of coconuts from Thailand. I bought a box of SIXTEEN. They're the best coconuts I've ever had!
What also sets 99 apart from other Asian grocery store competitors is its cleanliness. That truly is a rare feature among Asian grocery stores.

I saw workers constantly wiping display cases and straightening packages to keep the place nice and spotless
It makes me feel more at ease about buying seafood and meats here. Ah, the glorious seafood and meats! I actually bought a big box of frozen uncooked soft shell crabs for only $19.99, an amazing deal. The lean beef tenderloin and 7 duck legs were gorgeous. Just because this store appears clean, does not mean it's a watered down version of Asian stores. They still sell various animal innards and other Fear Factor worthy items. It's a gourmand's paradise!

Live King Crab (When I was in Alaska, everyone told me that it's nearly impossible to buy LIVE king crabs...Lo and behold, they sell them at 99 in Texas!); Box of Frozen Soft Shell Crabs
Frog Legs; Whole Geese (One is around $55. I didn't know that geese are so expensive.)

My favorite part about the store is how they knew that going down the aisles of dizzying amount and variety of foods would surely work up the shoppers' appetites. I noticed how many shoppers would munch on freshly baked Asian breads and buns (all brioche-like texture) and sip a cup of coffee from the on-site bakery before commencing their shopping adventures. 99 even has a food court with an impressive dim sum selection, a standard Chinese fast food section, a Chinese BBQ window, a Taiwanese bento and beef noodle soup section, a prepared Chinese cold dishes section, and ready-made sushi, sashimi, and unagi rice bowls section. When I was there, a man was also serving samples of homemade Korean potato noodles and kimchee made and packed by his wife that very morning.

99 Food Court; Prepared Chinese Cold Dishes
Dumpling Samples; Korean Potato Noodle Samples and Homemade Kimchee
$3.99 Unagi Rice Bowl
I dare you to come out of 99 empty-handed and on an empty stomach.
They're opening another store in Dallas soon! (131 Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, 75023)


  1. OMG! This looks like heaven! So need to go check it out. Thanks for the great post!

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