I am finally peaceful enough to write after a health scare that sucked away all oxygen for nearly a year. The last three weeks turned nightmarish, because my eyes were to be implanted with medicine at St. Mary's on Wednesday. A foreign object was going to be plugged in near my retina. After seeing a fourth specialist, it was determined that the original diagnosis was wrong. I know I've been smiling in my sleep, smiling as I rise, smiling as I regain control over my life.
So, life means food. Eat to live. Come have a foodie adventure with Belle. Have you ever driven by a Ranch 99 Supermarket and wondered what goodies were being sold inside? The number 9 is the highest numeral in Chinese cosmology as seen in the hexagrams of the I-Ching, so 99 is an even luckier, more prosperous number than a mere 9.
Ranch 99 has absolutely the freshest fish and live sea food and shell fish!
Restaurant quality and affordable dimsum galore.
Fungi, fresh woodears (so good stir fried)
Noodle shop. I recommend the shrimp wonton noodle. The bowl is big enough for two. I only wish they were more conscientious about recycling plastic
Mom loves her roasted beef bowl. Very nutrituous with crunchy, parbroiled bokchoy.
Fresh burdock. Good detox food for the liver.
East Indians, African-Americans, plain ol' white folks have discovered the treasures at Ranch 99. They all look like they know what they want and make a beeline for it.
My dad's favorite delicacy. Very hard to reconstitute.
Don't laugh till you've tried pellucid duck feet or chicken claws. The latter are my faves
Tofu in all flavors, shapes and forms. We like the tofu noodles, which is a great cold dish with garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and green onion.
And if you feel a bit overwhelmed, the Verizon man will remind you you are in the Silicon Valley.
Butcher tells me no pictures are allowed!! I don't see why not. The place is very clean. He is cutting up char sau meat for me to take home.
Check out. For the full effect of how busy this place can get. Go on the Saturday of a Chinese holiday. It's well nigh impossible to push your cart through the aisles without knocking into others. Everyone is very patient.
Ranch 99's are Chinese superduper markets, which sells everything from fresh grown fungus (wood ears) to conger maw (I have no idea what it is). But this is the season is when my mother and I make our trek to Cupertino, San Jose or Pacifica. Fresh lychee fruit season is the main draw. Lychee, if you've only had the canned type, is bland compared to the ambrosial fresh fruit. You simply peel away the bumpy, spiny shell, and on the inside you will discover luscious, fragrant white flesh. The aroma remains long on the palate. Puhleeez, don't do anythig to it Don't put it on ice cream. Slurp it up right out of the shell and let the juice run down the corners of your mouth.
The famous/infamous Tang Dynasty concubine, Yang Guifei, loved lychees. She lived in the northern capitol of Xi'an, and fresh lychees were pony expressed to her from Szechuan to the south.
Chinese food, not restaurant food, continues to reigns supreme in my belly. Chinese food is fresh. Chop suey is not Chinese food. (Neither is the fortune cookie.)
The Ranch 99 mom and I frequent to is on Wolfe Road in Cupertino, just East of Hiway 280 in the leafy Chinese Village shopping Center. If you want to spend a slow Saturday in the Bay Area, pay a visit here and you will have traveled to Taiwan or Hong Kong. It is clean, welcoming, with plenty of eateries offering congee specialties of Formosa.
Jewelry stores cater jade and pearl. Chinese do not like glittery cut gems, preferring semi translucent stones that hold an inner light. Jade is the epitome of elegance and restraint. I am not speaking about the apple green jadite stones, which is gaudy for my taste, but the mutton fat nephrites that come tumbling down the mountains south of the Gobi Desert.
Bookstores sell Chinese DVDs, which my parents watch obsessively. Some of the TV serials run 80 episodes at 45 minutes each. And since the Communist state has relaxed its entertainment criteria, the story lines are clever, poking fun at the gamut of political movements that have wracked the country in hunger and turmoil since 1949. Tragedy plus time equals comedy.
Causes Belle Yang Supports
826 Valencia Street