As I sat at my desk this morning and noshed on delicious potato chips from La Palma Mexicatessen, I realized that I’ve taken it for granted that every San Franciscan foodie knows about these delightful treats. Were YOU aware that La Palma sells, arguably, the best potato chips in the city?
Walk into La Palma Mexicatessen, and the impulse is to walk straight to the back. It’s where the action is. There, you can purchase hot foods, freshly made tortillas, and party-sized amounts of rice and beans to go. I have often used La Palma for dinner parties and days when I don’t want to cook. Their chile relleno is great, doused in a red chile sauce, and I dream about La Palma’s carnitas.
The three small aisles of La Palma carry Mexican staples — everything from queso fresco to paletas to cans of salsa to tortilla presses.
But, the best thing about La Palma is their patatas fritas, or potato chips. They are tucked into the middle of the aisle across from the coolers in a bin full of bags of chips. Each bag has a packet of Tapatio hot sauce (click through to hear their catchy tune) to dress your chips.
Jim Leff, founder of Chowhound, did an extensive potato chip survey of the United States a few years back and has said about La Palma, “They make the best potato chips anywhere in the continental U.S.–fried up in yummy corn oil.” And Sara Deseran of 7×7 Magazine declared them “perfect with a martini.” Personally, I love their perfect thickness and satisfying crunch. At home, I sometimes add some lime to my Tapatio topping.
So next time you’re on 24th Street in the Mission, make sure you pop into La Palma and pick up a bag of these tasty chips. They make a magnificent breakfast.
La Palma Mexicatessen
2884 24th Street (at Florida)