Yesterday after one year of not grocery and seafood shopping at Sea Food City, my wife and I decided to drive about one hour to Sea Food City near Elk Grove, and south of Sacramento, California. We invited our Italian neighbor, since she had indicated she wants to buy fresh fish and vegetables to get ready for her thanksgiving celebration. My next door neighbor had been to this oriental grocery store about a year ago and she knows there is always fresh fish in that store. In our case we go to the Filipino store near us ( only 20 minutes) every other week for our Filipino Food needs called Peenoy Grocery and Video Store near the former McClelland Air Force Base. We buy filipino dishes, desserts, seafood products and can goods at the Peenoy Grocery store. My favorite dishes are the blood pudding ( dinuguan), pancit (noddles), barbecued pork and filipino sweets( bibingka and puto).
Our trip to Seafood City yesterday felt like I was just in the Philippines. The store has a big fish market section as well as a fruit and vegetable section carrying all kinds of Philippines and oriental vegetables. The fish market has more that a dozen fresh fish and also a frozen section. In the fresh fish section, there were red snappers, ocean white fish, squids, live blue crabs, prawns, shrimps, golden pompano, and several other species of fish that I am not familiar with. In the frozen section, there were salmon, tuna, dungeness crabs and several other kinds of frozen sea foods popular to the oriental taste buds.
The store was not too crowded, but there was a 30 minute wait if you want your fresh fish cleaned and degutted. My wife and I purchased a 3 lb red snapper with the head intact which cost us only $10. We purchased prawns and live female blue crabs also. Besides the seafood products, we purchased a duckling, beef bones for soup, egg rolls, and pork knuckles and feet ( for the Kari). The store clients were about 99% oriental and/or with Filipino Faces.
Besides our white Italian neighbor, I meet a few Caucasian men tagging along with their filipino wives. One white guy was next in line to me, when I was purchasing cooked Filipino dishes in the Filipino restaurant( Grill City) inside the store. He was asking the sales lady if they have chicken or pork adobo. The sales lady answered negative and I saw disappointment in the white guy face. The guy said that he and his wife drove about an hour to the store to have adobo for lunch. I felt sorry for the guy so I told him that the dish I am buying "humba” is almost like adobo but has a sweet sauce. I told the sales lady to give the guy a sample to taste. The guy tasted it and like it. He ordered the dish and I was happy to see him enjoying his lunch. That was my good deed for the day.
In this shopping compound besides the grocery and fish market, there is Filipino Bakery Store( Red Ribbon), Chowking and Jollibee ( fast food restaurants), a travel agency, a bank, Max Fried Chicken and several other stores catering to the Filipino and other oriental residents of Sacramento and Elk Grove, California. Again, if you feel nostalgic about the Philippines all you have to do is visit Sea Food City and enjoy its ambiance, and purchased Filipino Food and groceries. Our grocery shopping to Sea Food City yesterday felt like a one hour mini tour of the Philippines. Here's a short description of Seafood City from Wikipedia.
Seafood City is a Filipino supermarket chain in the United States with branches in California, Nevada, and Washington. Seafood City Supermarket specializes in Filipino food and products while offering a growing selection of imported Asian goods as well as popular American staples. As its name suggests, Seafood City also provides shoppers with fresh seafood, as well as quality meat and produce. In some of its locations, it acts as a marketplace and serves as an anchor to many known Filipino businesses such as Chow King and Red Ribbon. In other locations, Seafood City also features locally-owned Filipino video rental stores, immigration offices, travel agencies, and restaurants. Here's a short video of Sharon Cuneta, Philippine actress singing a commercial for Seafood City.
Again, may I reiterate that our trip to Seafood City yesterday cured my longing for Filipino foods and nostalgia about the Philippines. Except for its location, Seafood city in Mack Road and Highway 99 is clean and well stocked with Filipino food and delicacies, fresh fish and vegetables at reasonable prices.
Planning to Retire Soon!
If you are planning to retire in the Philippines soon, I suggest you visit several excellent websites on pro's and cons of retiring in the Philippines. However if you want to retire in the provinces, where life is simple, standard of living cheaper, less traffic congestion and pollution, availability of fresh seafood and vegetables compared to the big cities, my island province is the place for you! If this is your first time in my site, welcome. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news in the right side bar of this blog. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on the infringement of your copyrights. The photo above is the front yard of Chateau Du Mer-Our Retirement Home in Boac, Marinduque, Philippines