Vallarta Supermarket

22 01 2009
  • 312 W. Willow Street
  • Lansing, MI 48906
  • (517) 267-9999
  • No Known Website
Vallarta Supermarket on Grand River Avenue and Willow Street in Lansing.

Vallarta Supermarket on Grand River Avenue and Willow Street in Lansing.

I’m still amazed by all of the neighborhood grocery stores that have managed to survive with so many big box stores in Lansing.  I was driving around today looking for a restaurant for lunch while J was at a hair cut appointment.  I drove down Grand River after leaving the Aunt Millie’s Bakery Outlet and came across Vallarta Supermarket. 

I just left Walmart and didn’t need anything, so I didn’t really have a reason to stop in, but the name got me thinking.  I use a lot of ancho chile powder in my BBQ rubs and it’s not a spice you can find very easily in the mega marts.  I used to buy it at a Mexican grocery store in Bloomington, IL.  Since moving to Lansing, I’ve been grinding some dried ancho chile’s I bought for a mole with my coffee grinder.  It works just fine, but takes a while and can get pretty messy if I’m not careful.  I’d like to find a place to buy it in powder form.  The name Vallarta gave me hope that I would find the chile I needed.

Vallarta sits on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Willow Street in Lansing.  Like most of the other neighborhood markets in town, Vallarta carries Spartan products on their shelves.  You walk into the store behind the cash registers.  As you walk into the sales floor, you end up in produce and the first display in the middle of the aisles had a number of chiles and Mexican spices.  At this point, I had pretty high hopes that I’d be able to get my chile powder.  I started looking through the bags and found a number of different ground chile’s, but no ancho.  They had arbol which is another spice I use in my BBQ rub, but I don’t use as much and still have plenty of that in my cabinet. 

I took a quick look around the rest of the store hoping maybe there would be another display somewhere else.   No dice.  That was it.  All the Mexican food is right there in that first aisle.  They have a number of different Masa’s, beans, and other hard to find ingredients.  

The rest of the store is the typical market.  Like I mentioned earlier, they sell Spartan brand products, so you can get a number of pantry staples at a pretty decent price.  Other than the small Mexican section, Vallarta wasn’t much different than any of the other grocery stores I’ve been in around town. 

My quest for ancho chile powder continues.  I know of a few other specialty markets around town that I just haven’t tried yet.  It’s not a big deal because I can always grind my own…sometimes, I just get lazy.

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4 responses

22 01 2009
Ang

Right down the street to the west on Willow is Handy’s a little store that sells Mexican specialties, I buy my chorizo and tortillas there because they are pretty authentic, it would be worth a try when you are in that neighborhood again.

22 01 2009
Mid-Michigan Dining

Cool. I will check that out next time.

27 12 2009
Jeffrey Saari

I live one block from Vallarta’s, but only go there occasionally if I’m out of bread. Their selection is very limited (in their defense, it’s not a big store) and they’re a little overpriced. The wait at the checkout can be long, mainly due to people having problems with their foodstamp cards, which is how the vast majority of the customers buy their food. Why should they care about the high prices when us taxpayers are feeding them?

My advice–go to Kroger or Meijer for your groceries.

16 01 2010
Valerie

“Why should they care about the high prices when us taxpayers are feeding them?”

Jeffrey, do you think that all people that shop at a Mexican grocery are illegal immigrants? That was a ridiculous and ignorant thing to say. If you’re going to badmouth Mexican people, get your facts straight.

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