This is a sponsored post with Northgate Gonzales Market in Norwalk and Society Culinaria, but all opinions are my own. We’d like to thank you for supporting those brands that support LatinoFoodie.com. ¡Buen provecho!
Come hungry, they said. And boy oh boy, they weren’t kidding.
Grocery stores can be like a religious experience for foodies: you pray you’ll find what you’re looking for and sing praises when you find something better, or you’re stuck in a tchotchke gift shop buying old wafers. As a foodie, quality is everything. I recently attended a tour of the newly reopened Northgate Market in Norwalk. Northgate Gonzales Markets are a family-owned chain of stores throughout southern California. I’m reluctant to say it’s a “small” chain, because at over 40 stores, it’s anything but. Their very first store opened in 1980 in Anaheim, CA, and it’ still there. With thousands of employees, the family still works at Northgate. You can see the joy and pride as they talk about their family’s legacy, and it shows in their commitment to quality products and some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced.
And now, with their Norwalk store reopening to the community as a Supermarket Mercado, creating individualized mariscos stall, carniceria, floreria, lecheria, panaderia and a coffee shop for shoppers to enjoy, reminisce or experience for the first time.
While they have always embraced tradition in things like house-made tortillas, fresh baked pan dulce and bollios to brightly painted Talavera pottery straight from Mexico, they understand and cater to the demands of modern families with their hot food bar where you can buy steaming hot tamales and chile rellenos by the pound, or their grab-n-go section with mariscos and ceviche freshly made and packaged in-house.
Heck, you can order Argentinian empanadas from their Argentinian empanada maker or grab some chop sticks and try some sushi. Yeah, sushi. And it’s made right in front of you, just like the ceviche, pan, jugos naturales, tortillas and even the cabinet full of chorizo…about 5 different types of chorizo. So while Latinos can be fiercly loyal to a single brand their whole lives, if you haven’t been yet you must go to experience this Supermarket Mercado, but remember, go hungry, because, yes, you can dine in their café or outside on the patio, but more importantly, they give samples. Lots of samples. Just ask. Oh and don’t miss the made-to-order guacamole as you enter the store. Like I said, go hungry.
Northgate Gonzales Supermarket
Address: 11660 Firestone Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650
Phone: (562) 863-8203
Feast your eyes on this! I’ve collected some of my best shot from my tour.
I ended my tour in the bakery, but I feel like I must start here! Shelves filled with freshly baked pan dulce and artisanal breads, some still warm. My favorite spot because it was filled with bollios, telera bread, chorreadas, conchas and even entire baskets made from bread and filled with tiny pan dulce.
Below: a vast array of aguas frescas, aguas naturales and cafecito can be found in the small café. Enjoy some pan from the bakery on the small outdoor patio or wait for the made-to-order guacamole stand to open for a sample.
Below: As you walk between the self-serve hot food, notice the long white box near the salsa stand: it’s filled with fresh, hot tortillas for you to chow down with.
Below: The entire store is filled with titillating aromas, but the fish department is thankfully lacking that fishy smell. Instead you greeted with some of the freshest seafood in town.
Below: You can’t miss it, the aroma of warm tortillas will carry you there. Along with their yellow corn tortillas, they also have Hatch and chipotle corn tortillas. They also make flour tortillas now too!
Below: Tamales to take or tamales to make! As part of their hot food section, you can get a number of different tamales OR you can find one of their tamal displays and get everything youll need to make your own.
Below: Take the sample! Then come back for more. I’m a sucker for good ceviche, but this was pretty great. All made on-site too. Aguachile verde, aguachile negro, agachile chiltepin plus they have more than a few types of ceviche.
Below: Authentic Mexican sweets
Below: Beautiful cuts of beef, pork and chicken from their army of butchers.
Below: Beautiful Talavera pottery from Mexico