New year’s day is just as good as any other to tell you about my recent foray into trying, once again, something I’d for years decided I didn’t particularly care for. I was down in San Diego recently and after visiting the farmers market, my friends wanted Mexican food, so, I pulled out my trusty Yelp app and this place popped up. Now, I have never met a menudo I’d like before having tried it in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and Orange County.
We waited about 25 minutes for a table and judging by the crowd and the clientele (I was the only non-Latino in the joint), I was hopeful that this might be where I find my first palatable menudo. Luckily, they had other stuff on the menu even though they were a menuderia. I was also thankful that menudos were ordered so I could get a taste without having to eat it all if I didn’t happen to like it.
It helps if you speak Spanish here but I got by with my preschool version. After we ordered, they brought out an amuse bouche if you will, of the Costillitas ($8.99 a la carte), for us to nibble on while we waited for our food.
These pork short ribs have been braised for so long they literally fell off the bone. I love the little bits of tendon attached to it. It was extremely flavorful and seasoned just right. They also specialize in tortillas hechas a manos — hand made tortillas which they served with the costillitas. Next time, I’m getting a plate full of this!
I gathered a bunch of condiments ready for our soups and they have a good array, nice and fresh.
Enchiladas ($7.99) are rolled with your choice of chicken, cheese or beef, we chose the latter, with red sauce or mole. I don’t care for mole so I went for red. It was some of the most delicious enchiladas I’ve ever tasted. The sauce is rich and the shredded beef, tender. The three enchiladas are topped with crema and shredded lettuce, way too much for me as a whole meal, but great if you have a hearty appetite.
My Pozole de Pollo Verde ($6.99/$7.99) was vibrant in color and very aromatic. You can choose either red or green, I wanted green. I added onions, cilantro and lime juice to mine. The pozole was heavy on hominy and made for a very filling meal. Very tasty indeed.
The piece de resistance, Menudo ($6.99/$7.99) arrived and it smelled fantastic. I eagerly poised my spoon over my friend’s bowl and waited while lime juice and oregano was added. I took a spoonful sans tripe to begin with and then took another with tripe. It was delicious! The tripe was cut thin and small enough so it didn’t become gnarly when chewing. There was also a large piece of hoof which my friend removed. I ended up eating the gelatinous bits between the bones — ahhhh, so so good!
I’m definitely coming back! I want a bowl of menudo for myself and to try some of the breakfast items they have, including cactus and eggs. I am so glad to have found a menudo that I like!
Menuderia Don Vincente
2637 Highland Avenue
National City, CA 91950