With several locations around the Metro area (the giant one at Airline Dr is a sight to behold), these stores carry great produce, condiments, and cheeses and a hot line of prepared foods, bar none. When there is “pollo con coco,” get it. Chef Will hits this store for culantro (long, bright green, serrated leaves) for making his “sofrito” and to add flavor to the broth for the masa in his tamales.
Chef Will also gets Fresno chiles for making piri piri sauce, Salvadoran crema, hard cheeses, and the house brand of “manteca” (lard). His guilty pleasures include “chile con limon” yucca or plantain chips, and the marinated meats Ideal sells to grill at home. However, he warns that the cooks at Ideal Market love the all color, no flavor annatto, which turns fingers bright yellow. “It’s like turmeric and is mostly used as a coloring.”