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The Best Menudo Restaurant in Mexicali

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The Best!

The best menudo restaurant in Mexicali is Menuderia Guanajuato at Calzada Independencia 1122, Mexicali (tel. 686 582-4371).

Menuderia Guanajuato is open 7 days a week from 7:00am until 2:00pm. In addition to menudo, (the best) tamales are also on the menu.

I’ve always wanted try menudo. So we started to ask around for the best place in Mexicali for menudo.  Everyone, even in Calexico and El Centro, recommended Menuderia Guanajuato.

First off, what is menudo?

Menudo is a traditional Mexican dish, made with beef and beef tripe boiled with chopped cilantro, crushed oregano and, for the red version, crushed red chili peppers.

Menudo is often prepared communally and eaten at a feast to celebrate births, Christmas and other memorable occasions.

Menudo has its origins in the preparation of peasant meals. In the past, the best cuts of meat were usually reserved for soldiers in the battlefield or for well to do folks—the leftovers like were left to farmers—who made them into menudo.

The two main types of menudo are the red and the white versions, both of which refer to the color of the broth. White menudo is the blander tasting of the two, but if done correctly, is still very tasty.

menudo

Red and white menudo with the trimmings

The red menudo is a bit spicier, evident by its rich red color due to the addition of red chili sauce and spices. The choice of chili is up to the cook. As with any other food, some like it hot and others a bit milder.

Menudo is usually eaten with tortillas or other breads, such as bolillo, or roll—the Mexican version of a baguette.

Now that we knew where to get the best menudo in Mexicali, Jim, Matthew, and I went down one Sunday morning to the Menuderia Guanajuato for some top quality menudo.

The place was just packed with customers—which is always a good sign for a restaurant.

We managed to get a table after brief wait. Once seated, we ordered both red and white menudo, along with four tamales.

Every menudo aficionado in the area visits Menuderia Guanajuato.  This includes folks from across the US-Calexico border make the trip to Mexicali to this restaurant just for the menudo.

Menuderia Guanajuato

Menuderia Guanajuato

The Menuderia Guanajuato was started twenty years ago as a Mom and Pop restaurant in an open empty lot. It is still family-run, but times have changed, and now it is housed in its own building—very nice with all the trimmings. The family has to get to work by 3:00am to prepare the menudo.

Why the early hours? It’s because menudo is often eaten after a night of drinking.  A bowl of steaming hot menudo is said to take away any sign of a hangover.

The real skill of Menuderia Guanajuato is in preparing menudo just right, which means cooking it to the point where the beef tripe is just to the point where it is tender, but still flavorful, spicy, peppery and wonderfully aromatic.

To achieve this, the menudo must be simmered slowly for several hours, allowing the mixture of seasonings and spices to blend into a satisfying, steaming bowl of satisfaction.

When our menudo arrived, it was aromatic and colorful, filled with a generous pile of meaty tripe chunks along with floating grains of hominy. The flavor of menudo is slightly reminiscent of tortilla soup, but far more flavorful and with more body.

Menuderia Guanajuato

Menuderia Guanajuato

For those who may not know, hominy is made from dried corn kernels soaked in a solution such as lye until the hard outer hull and germ come off the kernels. The kernels are then rinsed thoroughly and cooked until soft.

True aficionados give their menudo a light sprinkling of finely chopped onion, crushed oregano and a fine spray of fresh lemon juice.

As I gobbled up my bowl of menudo, Jim limped along, and Matthew was onto his second bowl.

“People say this is an acquired taste, but I see you are lovin’ it Matthew,” I smiled.

“Well,” as Matthew ate his menudo, “we use to eat liver and onions back home! This tastes just as good.”

“How are you doin’ Jim?” I asked.

“Here, this red menudo soup is hot, let me try yours, Matthew!” said Jim

“It’s white menudo, but it still has some spicy stuff in it, Jim,” answered Matthew. He continued, “Remember when mama used to cook us those delicious liver and onion meals?”

Well, we really had our fill at Menuderia Guanajuato. As we staggered out of the restaurant, we were happy it was Sunday, and we would not feel too guilty about going back to bed for a while.

Anyone that comes to Mexicali just has to visit Menuderia Guanajuato!

1 comment to The Best Menudo Restaurant in Mexicali

  • Eneyda

    This place is delicious! great service! Excelent enviroment. Only problem is that you have to park on the one way street & It’s usually always full. Other than that, Its EXCELLENT!

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