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Monday, September 27, 2010

Ochoa's Chorizo Store

220 W. Warner Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 850-0052

I was driving around Santa Ana recently when I saw a sign out of the corner of my eye. The sign read, "Ochoa's Chorizo Store. OC Best Homemade Style Chorizo" I wasn't able to turn my car into the parking lot fast enough. I went in the store and was amazed by what I saw. With the exception of a few bags of chips and packages of tortillas in the corner, this clean, little shop sells nothing but chorizo. I felt as if I had been transported to some kind of chorizo heaven. Racks and racks of fresh chorizo links were being made behind the counter.

(Photo from Yelp, used with permission from Ochoa's Chorizo)

Ochoa's Chorizo store offers 4 different kinds of chorizo. The 4 types are regular, spicy, chorizo verde (green) and chorizo de pollo (chicken). Other than the chorizo de pollo, all of the chorizo is made with ground pork. The chorizo is sold by the link or half link and ranges between $7.00-$7.50 per link. Each link is about 3 feet long and weighs about 1 1/2 lbs! On my first visit, I purchased some spicy chorizo. It was so good that I returned a week or two later and purchased about 6 lbs. of spicy and chorizo verde.

After my first visit, I came home and researched Ochoa's. Apparently the Ochoa family has been making fresh chorizo in Orange County for over 35 years. They used to sell the chorizo out of their home, but it became so popular that they needed to open a retail location. People apparently drive from all over Southern California to buy this chorizo in bulk. I don't blame them. This chorizo is so good that I would happily drive hours to buy some. Luckily though, it's only about a 15 minute drive from my house.

The chorizo from Ochoa's is not your typical grocery store chorizo that transforms into a neon orange, greasy mess when you cook it. This chorizo is made from lean ground pork. The chorizo crumbles and cooks up nicely, similar to lean ground beef.

(One link of chorizo verde, casing removed, cooking up in a pan.)

The flavor of the chorizo is absolutely amazing. If it's not the best chorizo I have ever had in my entire life, it's pretty darn close. Ochoa's will most likely be the only place I purchase my chorizo from now on. I highly encourage all of you to walk, run, drive or whatever down to Ochoa's as fast as you can to get this chorizo. Oh......and I know you all like to mix chorizo with eggs, but in my opinion this ruins it. Make yourself a burrito or some (corn tortilla) tacos with just chorizo, cilantro, diced onions, cotija cheese and your favorite hot sauce or salsa. It'll blow your mind.


Chubbypanda said...

Awesome find! I loves me some spicy sausage. :D

christoofat said...

I & a couple friends hit this place last week on the way back from lunch.
The lovely Vanessa explained everything about what went into their great sausage, & I bought 1/2 spicy link & 1/2 of the verde.
Cooked some of both up w/ eggs (yeah ,well I'm a Traditionalist), along with some O'Brien style potatoes on Sunday & it was deelish! However, be forewarned...the spicy version is called that for a reason. Thanks for the head's up on this place!
I'm hooked.

Griffin said...

I had their chorizo on Sunday too! Glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

for all of you in the southernest part of SoCal...there is 1 opening in San Diego (National City) mid October!!!

Melissa said...

Saw your post on Christian's blog and went today to pick up a link of spicy, which, like christoofat said, IS really spicy. Nice. I made chorizo and black bean chili with it and it's crazy good. I am definitely going back.

Thank you for this amazing find!

Griffin said...

Glad to hear you liked it Melissa!

Anonymous said...

The store in San Diego opened about 2 weeks ago so I stopped by to get some and it was crazy good!!