Alex Hughes — November 2018 … I was taking a look through Fallbrook to see if they had any Mexican grocery stores as I was out of options in Vista, and coastal cities were looking a bit too far. I found several on Main St. such as Bonita Foods on 311 Main St. I went there after I ran a few errands and took the 306 which is actually the bus I use for home. This time I would be going past my stop and in through the mountains. The trip over to Fallbrook is quite nice with dense trees, and one long road going in the middle of two steep mountains. I did not realize that the last stop for the 306 was right in front of Bonita Foods. I must have looked funny signaling for the driver to stop when that was already planned.
I have been to this complex before, and this location. That was before I was even doing news articles. That first time was awkward for me as I was not used to going to grocery stores by myself let alone a Mexican one. Luckily, I had over twenty stores under my belt! Outside was not in the best condition as the parking lot was full of cracks that were big and deep enough to do some damage to cars and my feet. The sign towards the sidewalk was faded out. The building was the size of a department store as I would find out that they sold clothes, toys and beauty products.
Photos by Alex Hughes
The inside of the store has a high ceiling that includes mural pieces and hanging pinatas. The murals are of farm life such as chickens and cows. The products in front are the spices and bean barrels which are self served. There is a modest sized produce fridge with the common veggies seen at Albertsons. I took notice of the variety of chilis and peppers which I decided to try such as the Anaheim pepper. A word of caution, some of these peppers should be used right after buying. I noticed the color change and the inside texture becoming juicy. There was a fair amount of customers. It was a Friday evening, and some seemed interested in the deli counter. I gravitated towards the tortillas as I seem to do elsewhere. I found some brands that I had not seen at other stores. Bonita Foods makes their own tortillas in house along with chips. This in addition to a Temecula based tortilleria made me realize that buying local is possible.
I wandered down the well stocked dry foods and drink aisles to find that they even had coconut water which my sister likes to drink. They were not as healthy as I had imagined but at least they were trying. The most interesting past of the store was that the frozen and dairy items were in the back which was dimly lit. They had more frozen food variety than I saw elsewhere such as frozen pupusas! These are great and eaten in El Salvador. The dairy section is where I made my discovery of several types of Reynaldo’s chorizo which are not sold at Albertsons such as vegetarian chorizo made from soy. This was just as good if not better than meat, and I have eaten meat since before I was born!
If you have the time, you may want to check out the other toys and clothes sold at the store. I was trying to catch the bus back, so I merely glanced. Not too often do you see these types of department stores now. I made sure to grab some Ponchin and Sabritas before I left!
Locally made tortillas, vegetarian chorizos and much more awaits at Bonita Foods!
Bonita Foods -311 Main Street – Fallbrook, CA 92028
- -Bonita brand tortillas
- -Reynaldo’s Soy Chorizo
- -La Fiesta Chia Seeds
- -Ponchin Peanuts Chili Lemon
- -Sabritas Botana Mexicana
- -Goya Pico de Gallo
- -Anaheim pepper
- -Yellow chile peppers