There’s a little place on East Colfax in Denver that’s trapped in my brain and when I say trapped I mean like a vice grip that will not let go. It’s Sunday morning and I’m driving a rental, 5 feet of snow crunches on the ground. I’m the type of thirsty that only happens when you’ve slept in the scorching forced air heat of a low budget motel and it’s -9 degrees outside. At the 10:00 hour the Sun is performing madly, scattering photons on every snowy surface. I want a taco and I know I need to find an establishment with a plowed parking lot. A cleared oasis showing signs of life enters my windshield.
The TacoMex Trifecta
You can order broadly here, since it’s Sunday and they have a weathered paper sign taped to the glass entrance that states “Menudo $4.99.”
It’s typical for Menudo to be made only on the weekends, created by honored family recipes that often gain competitive momentum. If your going to go for a steaming spicy bowl of tripa shoot for a Sunday because (just like everything) menudo really shines after it is reheated a few times. I like to adopt authoritarian views on Menudo for dramatic effect, in truth, this is the first time I’d ever tried the dish. There are no experts here.
I only miss you on days that end in Y
On Sunday mornings I wake up and I want to be back in the green plastic booths at TacoMex assuring the waitress who delivers the menudo that she has the right table, she shakes her head and returns to the kitchen with my food. A few moments later a new waitress arrives with the same tray, smiles broadly and releases the feast. This makes me question how many gringas in Denver visit Tacomex for menudo. They are all missing out.
In the background you can see two tacos, one pastor, one lengua, both excellent. But the menudo, with the perfectly cooked hominy, balanced garlic and cilantro, garnish of dried oregano, lime, and onion creates one of those food experiences where an already sunny sky is suddenly gleaming and wide. I keep the business card for TacoMex in my wallet and on some Sunday mornings I take it out and simply turn it over in my hands.