69¢ Gulf oysters and lobsters for under $9 a pound are among the grand-opening specials worth checking out at 99 Ranch Market, the new supermarket at I-10 and Blalock where the big Fiesta used to be. 99 Ranch Market is an Asian supermarket chain out of Los Angeles. The first store was called Tawa Supermarket; it opened in Westminster, the Little Saigon of L.A., in 1984. The chain now has 24 stores in California, two in Washington State and one in Las Vegas, along with the new Houston store.
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The bakery turns out hot bread products every hour, the manager told me, and each time the bread changes, so lots of cuisines are represented. There were all kinds of Chinese buns, Vietnamese breads and sweets when I stopped by for samples. The food court includes a sushi station, Chinese barbecue (more about that soon) and a very intriguing buffet. The frozen dumpling selection is amazing, and so are the dim sum to-go items.
The store isn't nearly as big as Hong Kong Supermarket or Viet Hoa, and it's not as bright and shiny as Super H Mart, but it's certainly worth a visit while the oysters and lobsters are cheap.