Around lunchtime, regular customers at this no-frills sandwich shop eyeball the calendar, and mouths a-water for that day’s handcrafted sandwich. Every weekday, staffers build a different daily special. On Wednesdays, it’s barbecue beef. Fridays, calamari. As the lines inch longer, the deli clerks stack, slice, and bundle sandwiches, exchanging observations about the weather or the latest trends in paper-hat fashion as they toss in a bag of chips and a frothy Coke. They wrap the rows of meats and cheeses as the lunch crowd dwindles and start cleaning up for the next day, just as they’ve done since 1937
Amid the bustle of Mi Pueblo Foods, aromas of Latino cooking traditions fill the air. At one end of the store, shredded carnitas simmer in copper tubs, soft breads bake in ovens, and traditional pollo al carbon char over mesquite and open flames. At the other end, thinly sliced sirloin arrachera soaks up the flavors of Mi Pueblo's lauded green marinade while delicious 'tres leches' cakes are baked and decorated for special occassions. Here, the store's team of culinary traditionalists cull flavors from generational recipes and pass them onto their guests. In fact, for more than two decades, Mi Pueblo Foods has provided classic Latino flavors and products alongside national brands to create a unique grocery shopping experience. The store stocks fresh fish and seafood, natural yogurts and cheeses, homemade tortillas, and store-prepared mole. Mi Pueblo Foods also celebrates numerous holidays with its local communities, including Latin American ones, such as El Dia de los Reyes, when stores bake the holiday's traditional Rosca de Reyes using the original recipe.
As the autumn air turns crisp, red and green fuji and gala apples grow plump and shiny on the tree branches at Clearview Orchards. These tempting fruits aren?t just pretty; they?re also free of pesticides. Just 10 years ago, owners Mel and Carol LaRussa took over the hilly orchard and replanted all its trees to grow CCOF-certified organic fruit. Now, in addition to packing up its organic apples to send off to wicked stepmothers across the country, the orchard invites visitors to drop by for seasonal picking trips. While there, they might run into the owners? children and grandchildren, who help out on weekends. Visitors can also pick up pumpkins, turnovers, lavender, or organic honey, before they head home.
Refrigerated glass cases brim with vibrant red steaks, pink hams, and lightly browned turkeys. The aromas of spice rubs, marinades, and barbecue sauces fill the air. Amid these colors and scents, Freedom Meat Lockers & Sausage Co. owners Howard and Debbie Walker bustle about, directing their knowledgeable staff members as they slice and cure succulent cuts of meat. Seasoned prime rib, skirt steaks, and tri-tip steaks, turkeys and sausages, and a smoked ham that received accolades in a recent American Cured Meat Championship all promise amazing meals. Yet the meat experts don’t stop there. To complement the future feasts, they offer free food-preparation guides to aid home cooks in crafting the perfect steak or a juicy bone-in pork chop.
In a deli adjoining Freedom Meat Lockers & Sausage Co., sandwich-smiths pile steak, slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, and turkey onto slices of fresh bread. They also draw from an arsenal of bavarian, polish, and hot Cajun sausages, dressing any of their creations in 12 available toppings such as honey mustard, avocado, and cheddar.
The merchants of Monterey Bay Spice Company purvey an online apothecary of aromatic herbs, spices, oils, and teas from around the world. Mortars and pestles pulverize enticing spice blends—including Indian garam masala ($8 per lb.) and Cajun spice blend ($5.80 per lb.)—to bring imported ideas to the tongue without the need for a phrasebook. Organic herbs, such as sage ($9 per lb.) and cinnamon ($6.10 per lb.), fill open spaces in under-stocked pantries. Monterey's teas tint hot water with black, green, herbal, and Mr. blends in both loose-leaf and bagged form. Beautify brews with jasmine pearls ($12.60 per 1/4 lb.), hand-rolled to preserve their freshness, or dunk portioned parcels of english breakfast ($9 per lb.) sealed inside unbleached tea filter paper.
Every day Mission Hill Creamery spoons succulent servings of artisan ice cream in 16 rotating flavors, including turkish coffee and cherry-chocolate italiano. By preparing small batches of ice cream and sorbets using quality, organic ingredients, chef David Kumec can ensure each bite is as remarkable as the last. And he would know remarkable tastes: he discovered his passion in Paris after eating the world-famous Berthillon ice cream, a flavor and quality which he aspires to emulate every day.