Menudo Rojo at Taqueria Playa Tropical

The other day I decided to take a lunch break to get away from the computer and go to a  Mexican restaurant called Taqueria Playa Tropical (Facebook page here) in New Westminster, BC. I heard that they had some mighty fine tacos and some authentic soups.

There were four soups on the menu, and I decided to have to most authentic one (in my mind) that may not be served in many Taqueria’s in the lower mainland. My choice was the Menudo Rojo – a Mexican soup with beef tripe and beef feet!

The Verdict of Menudo Rojo?
I first tried the Menudo Rojo and it was wonderful! It had a very warm spiced broth with a lot of depth to it. I’m guessing that it may have been simmered with a lot of TLC and perhaps around five different mexican spices. When I added the finely chopped onions and cilantro and tried my second spoonful, the soup sang in my mouth with some zippy freshness! Yum!

But I then tried a piece of tripe…

I decided to try some of the spongy looking tripe. I didn’t like the texture of the tripe. Felt fatty on my tonque and very much tasteless. I’m usually pretty open to different kinds of foods (IE  liver, heart, bone marrow and pigs feet) but tripe did not fancy me what-so-ever for texture and taste. While I was eating the soup, I decided to Google `”tripe” and I read what Wikipedia had to say about it here:

Beef Tripe: Beef tripe is usually made from only the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach: the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe), and the omasum (book/bible/leaf tripe).

Not a good idea to read about during my meal. I was fixated on the reticulum part and it grossed me out a tad. I couldn’t swallow another piece of tripe – the texture just bugged me. I slurped up the broth leaving behind feet and tripe all by their lonesome.

What I Would Change With This Soup

If I was to serve up a more contemporary Menudo Rojo and win over some not-so-adventurous soup lovers, I would sieve the broth and omit the tripe and feet bones from the final presentation of the soup. If those body parts main purpose were to give great depth to the broth I really don’t think they serve a purpose in my bowl – adios amigos! I would perhaps add some shaved or thin slices of beef to the clean broth and keep the side of onion, lime, cilantro mix to be added at the table. I would also add a great big dollop of sour cream and serve the soup in a shallow bowl with a full sprig of cilantro as a garnish.

Don’t get me wrong, I will return to this hidden Mexican gem in New Westminster to try their soft tacos! With my soup, I had a stellar tasting mushroom Quesadilla that came with a pretty flower of sour cream! Not a crumb left behind.


Soup Mistress Rating for Menudo Rojo:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (3.5/5)
Presentation: (3.5/5)
Taste (broth only): (4/5)

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