Menudo by Joseph Najera

Here is a picture of my mother’s oldest brother, Faustino Ledesma.

 Faustino Ledesma

  Faustino Ledesma 1904-1979

My mother often talked about him with a lump in her throat and a tear in her eye. My grandfather Odilon died when a wagon turned over on him, Faustino was twelve years old. He quit school to work and earn a living to support the family. Counting my mother, there were four daughters and two other brothers plus my grandmother.

Here’s a picture of my uncle’s house.  He lived on C Street near downtown Oxnard. It is still there and looks pretty much the same as in some old family pictures we have taken in the 1940s.

P1010244

Both my parents grew up in Oxnard, California. Through the years our family eventually settled in Northern California. We lived in various locations of the Santa Clara Valley.

Several times a year our family would travel down there to visit the relatives. Our first stop was at our grandmother’s house, where we stayed.

The next stop was often a visit to my uncle Faustino. Whenever we showed up he had waiting for us a huge pot of Menudo. I do not know if he made the best ever, but I remember the warm happy feelings gathering at his kitchen table.  He provided a  generous supply of oregano, chopped onions, lemons, tortillas.

But, this story is not about him. It is about the fond family memories and I want to relive those warm feelings when I get the urge to have a bowl. I am still looking for that one place where I can say, “This is it! This is the way I remember it!”

    DSCN1204

Not too far from our house here in San Jose, is this place. It is in the shopping center at the corner of White Road and Story Road. (1020 S White Rd, San Jose, CA 95127)

It is called El Cerrito Taqueria 2. Here is the link to their website:

http://www.bing.com/local?lid=YN124x1829479&id=YN124x1829479&q=El+Cerrito+Taqueria+II+San+Jose+CA&cp=37.35797~-121.8208&qpvt=el+cerrito+restaurants+san+jose

The place is small, I counted eight tables. There is always music playing. The staff is friendly and they serve menudo on weekends. They offer two sizes of bowls. The small one is plenty generous.

 DSCN1202

They bring a bowl of chopped onions and another set of bowls of seasonings you may choose to add.

DSCN1203

The corn tortillas are handmade in the kitchen and a treat all by themselves.

They cook patas, feet, in the menudo, a bonus feature I really enjoy.

I come here often when I have the urge for this comfort food. My only negative comment is not really a negative, it is just an observation, they do not use hominy which I really enjoy.

See you there.

Advertisements

About jedwardnajera

I am a Poet. I live the life of a poet. I am an artist, a member of Gallery 9 in Los Altos, California. I published a novel Nena the Fairy and the Iron Rose, available through Amazon Books. I spent over thirty five years in a classroom. My father kept a living record of his lifetime as he lived through the Twentieth Century. He was born in 1908 and almost lived long enough to see us enter the new millennium. He was a mechanical engineer and had a wonderful love of history and science. He entrusted to me nearly 400 pages that he wrote through the years. He wrote in Spanish and I have spent six months translating these pages into English. Now I am in the process of editing, rewriting, and revising them. I am trying to post a new entry or chapter each Friday. Check in on us at least once a week for the latest post.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s