Monday, July 7, 2014

Just What The Doctor Ordered: Menudo

Doña Bola, on the corner of Calle Calzada de la Luz and Calle Amado Nervo 1A in Colonia Guadalupe, is one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in San Miguel. Just ask my friend Charles who has been eating there every Sunday morning for the past two years.

Their specialty? Menudo.

In Mexico, Menudo is believed to be the medicine for a hangover.

My father, a pharmacist and inventor, developed a cure for the hangover back in the 50's which he did not have to cook seven hours to Sunday. Unfortunately, the formula died with him and we've been searching for the cure ever since.

One does pays attention when every Tequila and Mezcal lover you know tells you that Menudo is "that cure." In fact, their testimony was enough for me to try a bowl.

Doña Bola started out as a little street stand and is now a thriving three room restaurant.

What was my first clue that it was that good? My friend Charles and I were the only gringos in the place.

It was packed with Mexican families enjoying a "home cooked" meal or standing at the front door with a large Tupperware container ready to carry it home. This place does a significant carry out business.
Doña Bola buys 50 kilos of tripe a week and starts the cooking process 3 days in advance. The soups are cooked for 7 hours - one with Callos and Trotters - and then combined when they dish it up.

Pork trotters, a.k.a. pigs's feet, are now appearing on menus all over New York, L.A. Chicago and San Francisco.

The condiments included dried red chili peppers, jalapeños, onion, limes and cilantro. As usual, I overloaded the bowl and really savored the taste with all the additional flavors.

Women in the back room at Doña Bola's were making fresh tortillas. Of course, the only one that knew how to make a tortilla by hand was grandma. We asked and the young girl tried to make one but she ended up shaking her head half way through the process and quickly went back to her press. It's a dying art and yes, even the taste is different.

The cost? Take your pick on the bowl size for 15-30 pesos.

It's a time-honored spot that will not be found in any of your guidebooks.

If you've been in a restaurant like this before you know. It's one of those places you've got to see to appreciate what real Mexico and the importance of Sunday desayuno together is all about.

It's also proof that word-of-mouth marketing works. By the time we left, the line out front was halfway down the block.

According to the website, nearly 30% of people have tried tripe once and will never do so again.

So to all of my friends who told me I would not like Menudo...Tequila's on you Saturday night!

And guess where we're going for breakfast Sunday morning?

Buen Apetito!