When you eat in places not Frontera Grill, you run across dishes beyond the Bayless-Kennedy codification of Mexican food. I first discovered carne en su jugo at Los 3 Gallos, a specialist of the food of Guadalajara, and it has become one of my favorite Mexican food items. The other day, I noodled around Amazon, and I found not a single signficant reference for this dish in the major Mexican cookbooks. Then, a another poster, Christina, who lives in Guadalaraja echoed my thoughts, saying: "How serendipitous: yesterday I lunched at Karne Garibaldi in Guadalajara, famous for its carne en su jugo. It's the ONLY dish the restaurant serves, and it is absolutely fantastic...yet I've never seen another foreigner in the place, unless they happen to be my guests."
So, I keep on meaning to try this place I pass on Cicero, advertising prominatingly, carne en su jugo. We finally went a few weeks ago. The owner of this place, Patricio, has a certain amount of confidence, no, to name is first location, El Paso #1. He makes a great host. He was (justly) proud of his grilled steak taco's, and gave complimentary ones to us while we waited for our carne en su jugo. After stalling us with these teasers, he went to work.
I really, hardly know anything about carne en su jugo. I thought it was, like a soup, sitting around like all restaurant soups, waiting to be laddled out. No! It is a fresh made dish. Steaks are grilled, then chopped, placed in bowls with crumbled bacon, whole beans, and then, then, the juice, the soup gets poured over. El Paso's bowl was very rich, a fatty broth almost like a classic petite marmite. It was already garnished with radishes, onions cilantro and avocado, but one could add to their taste, flash fried dried chili peppers.
I do not know anything else on the menu here, but I really liked what I had. There are some weekend only specialites including that other non-Bayless dish, birria. If you are looking to expand your Mexican vocabulary beyond, try some carne en su jugo, and El Paso is a good as place as any to try it.
El Paso #1
2567 N. Cicero