Asian produce in Mission or Excelsior?

Duc Loi’s produce is horrific. Manila Market’s produce is cheap, but the quality never approaches what you can get on Stockton or the Avenues. Are there any reliable sources of Asian greens in the Mission or Excelsior? I’m mainly interested in seasonal greens for Chinese cooking, but I’d also like to find a source for curry leaves (Rainbow doesn’t have them, and that place in the Fillmore isn’t convenient for me).

The Saturday morning Alemany farmers market is great, but I’m looking for a place where I can get greens any day.

Pacific Super?

I stopped at the Pacific Super on El Camino in South San Francisco on my way back from the airport last week and it was much bigger/better/fresher than my recollections of Manilla Market.
Obviously, not in SF proper. Neither are 99 Ranch, Pacific Market, or Kukje in Daly City, but might be faster because of 280.

Great, I’ll stop by Pacific Super since it’s pretty convenient and parking is easy. ! I’d written it off for some reason, but that probably had more to do with them not having certain packaged goods than good produce, which is my current priority.

If there are any small shops people know about closer to the Mission, please add them to this thread!

There are dirty and stinky Pacific Supers (the one on Alemany might be) and there are really nice stores too. Kukje is indeed very quick to get to off 280, but I don’t think produce is where they excel.

I agree about Kukje’s produce.

I agree. I haven’t been to the Pacific Super inSSF, but the one on Alemany doesn’t have better produce than Manila. I will also add, that I think Manila has upped their offerings in the last year or so. There must have been some kind of management change or change as a result of the health department. The store is cleaner. They don’t do fish frying, so the store smells better. The area outside the meat dept. is cleaner. The greens are reliably fresh and there are lots of options.

Agreed that Manila’s greens usually look quite good. What is usually a crapshoot is the fruit, much of it out of season here and imported. Sometimes you’ll get a steal on something ripe and delicious, other times it turns out to be a disaster - either overripe or never-ripening because it was shipped or stored at too low a temperature.

(Also, the herbs are always weirdly expensive and poor quality relative to most other markets.)

Not sure I’ve noticed a huge difference in cleanliness in the store, though admittedly I haven’t seen any pigeons flying in to eat the peanuts out of the bins lately…

1 Like

Oh, and I doubt there has been any change in management beyond capitulating to various complaints. They still treat any customer coming in on foot with a backpack like a criminal and make them check their bag at the front counter before entering the store. I actually yelled at the owner/manager about the policy last year because a) it sucks to have to run back for your own bag just to pack your groceries when there is a person behind you in the checkout line - if they’re going to require checking bags, they should be the ones conveniently bringing your bag back to you in line; b) half the time there is no person behind the counter when you check out, meaning that you have to steal your own bag back from them just to leave the store.

They whine about their chronic shoplifting problem, but are such cheap bastards that they refuse to deal with it by simply hiring a security guard to check bags on exiting. Instead they think they can draft their overworked cashiers, under penalty of firing, into doing a second job as bag checkers/security.

Any seagulls?

This weekend I stopped by Pacific Super, Manila Market, and every produce/meat market (Asian, Latino, etc.) along Mission in between them.

Yangtze Meat Market on Mission and Friends Fish and Meat Market on Geneva had a tiny selection of produce, but they had some pristine items (e.g. choy sum and Asian eggplant, respectively).

Pacific and Manila had good specimens and bad, depending on the item, but I’d be able to find something good at each if I didn’t have a specific green in mind. Many of the greens are pre-bagged.

It is not in Mission or Excelsior. Have you tried the new Duc Loi’s Pantry in Bayview?

No I haven’t! Has anyone had a chance to go there? It would be a nice excuse to get a weekday breakfast at Huli Huli …

Manila has had ginormous Chinese eggplant recently, so I’ve been shopping there. Their Shanghai bok choy has been good too. The only drawback is the horrible muzak— if I hear one more mutilated song from the Top Gun soundtrack, I’m going to Duc Loi’s Pantry!

Ha, ha about the music. It really is laughable how bad it is. I was in there about an hour ago and they were playing a Muzak version of America from West Side Story. Good times.
Edited to add: I didn’t even know the Duc Loi Pantry existed. I’ll definitely check it out soon. I’ve always been sort of lukewarm on the one in the Mission, but I’ll stop in.

The Filipino muzak there cracks me up.

I stopped in today. It’s more spacious than the Mission Duc Loi, and it seems to stock the same stuff. Their Asian herbs and curry leaves looked good today. There were lots of sad greens (kale, chard) compared to what I get at Gus’s, Valencia Farmers Market, Rainbow, or Casa Lucas and Asian greens were wilted too.

It’s next door to Limon Rotisserie on Third St. They need better signage for the parking lot, the entrance of which is on the south face of the building, down a street that looks like it was going to condos.

We were at Duc Loi Pantry this weekend. I’m pretty sure that particular Limon Rotisserie next door is out of business. We knew where to enter the parking lot because we’d been to the Fresh & Easy in the past. The signage definitely needs work.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2