TacoAlvin.com (Alvin, TX)
One day while sitting around the house in Alvin, TX, we decided it was time for some lunch, but we didn’t have anything around the house. Just up the street, there was a little (and we do mean little) Mexican restaurant that advertised menudo. Menudo is tough to find and Scott’s a big fan, so we knew there’d be a stop there before we departed Alvin.
So on this fateful day, we headed up to TacoAlvin.com and ordered a sampling of things to fill our rumbling bellies.
For those of you that don’t know what menudo is, let’s start with a definition:
The soup Menudo is a traditional Mexican dish, made with beef stomach in a clear broth or with a red chili base (this variation is called menudo colorado).
The menudo at Taco Alvin is the red variety, menudo colorado. It came with huge chunks of tender, delicious tripe (beef stomach) in a thin, red, slightly spicy and flavorful broth. As is typical of menudo, it also had more than enough large kernels of hominy.
You have a choice of a small or a large container, though more appropriately, the sizes should be called large and enormous. We went with a small, which was probably a quart of soup. This was every bit as delicious as menudo should be. And all you squeamish folks out there, don’t knock it till you try it. [Robert M., even after your story of your post-boozing experience with green menudo, Edie still tried it!]
Next, we went with a torta, neither of us really knowing what a torta is. But we’d heard good things about them from our hosts, so we decided to give it a go. Well, it turns out that a Mexican torta is:
a kind of sandwich, served on an oblong 6-8 inch firm, crusty white sandwich roll, called a bolillo, telera or birote. “Telera” is soft, round bread; also commonly used is the bolillo, a torpedo-shaped French roll with a thick and crunchy crust. Tortas can be served hot, typically toasted in a press in the same manner as a cuban sandwich or panini, or cold.
Ours came on bolillo, which was soft inside and crusty on the outside. Inside was a generous serving of pork guisados, a type of meat stew, along with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. While not as pleasing as a Cuban sandwich, a torta is definitely a delicious sandwich.
The torta at Taco Alvin is plenty big to satisfy the appetite of most, but split amongst two, it gives the opportunity to try a few other things.
We rounded out our lunch with a sampling of three different tacos (out of 12-15 different options): Pollo Ranchero, Cochinita Pibil, and Lengua (beef tongue), all on corn tortillas. These come on small tortillas with a large serving of meat on each, plus a sprinkling of onions and cilantro at request.
The meats are well-seasoned and cooked to perfect tenderness. Topped with either the green or red salsa, they will definitely leave your belly happy.
The sampling from TacoAlvin was quite good – a massive portion that was dense, sprinkled with cinnamon, and had the occasional cooked apple tucked into the layers of bread. The caramel rum sauce was thick and rich, but not very heavy on the rum at all.
Like I said, this place is little. There are two tables inside and a counter with a kitchen behind it. You place your order and off you go. Both ladies behind the counter were incredibly friendly and our order came out perfectly…once we got past Scott’s inability to say “guisados”.
The small size of menudo is $4.99 and is enough to split amongst two or serve as lunch for one. Similarly, the torta was $4.99 and can work as a snack for two or a lunch for one. Each taco is $1.99 and 2-3 of these will fill up most people. And the bread pudding was $3.50 for an enormous piece. Considering the quantity of food we walked out with, it’s hard to complain about spending $20.
The Doggy Bag, By Knox
I’d had a rough day on the farm – first, Wicket stepped on me while we were running trails in the woods, and then Goodall decided to go all bitchy and sink her tooth in deep right next to my eye. Not a stellar start to that Tuesday.
So when Scott & Mommy put me in the truck and drove to the little Mexican restaurant, I knew they understood my need for a little protein pick-me-up. We got the goodies to-go, and then they shared a little bit of everything with me. Woohoo!! That was some yummy food – especially all the different meat. Corn tortillas on the other hand…the humans can keep those.