EL SOMBRERO – Menudo and Sopapillas
If you ever faced a craving for some nice, spicy, deeply flavored, Mexican-made, oregano-enhanced, cilantro-garnished, cow’s stomach lining, and let’s face it who hasn’t, then you owe it to yourself to get to EL Sombrero pronto for some of Chef/owner Jose Aragon‘s superior menudo.
On a cool and rainy day like today, there is nothing that warms the heart and bones better.
Unless, maybe, it’s Aragon’s sopapillas that send us straight to Old Town Albuquerque with every bite.
Hummmm…Aragon’s ethereal, sublime, artistic puffs of deep fried dough taste just like they do in ABQ.
Coincidence? We didn’t think so.
So we asked Jose where he learned to make these beauties (sopapillas that, btw, put every other Mexican restaurant’s in town to shame).
His answer? La Placita Dining Rooms smack dab in the middle of Old Town, Albuquerque, when he was a teenager back in the early ’60′s and before he moved to Vegas to help his uncle, Clemente Griego with running El Sombrero on Main Street. Jose manned the sopapilla station there for awhile, way back when, and, as you can see, La Placita is still going strong.
Jose’s super sopapillas are so good they will make you weep. Which is almost what ELV started to do the other day as he was eating them (no sh*t).
We advise doing what ELV and his staff do: tear off a corner (caution: it will be HOT!), toss a pat of butter inside the cavity, follow with a generous squeeze of honey, let cool slightly, and then try to resist the temptation to bite into one while it’s piping hot. Once you do, wolfing down ten of these at a time will be, as the Mexicans say: “No problemo senor!”
Those sopapillas cost $5 an order.
A big bowl of menudo is $10.
Just thought you’d like to know.
EL Sombrero is open for lunch Mon.-Fri and dinner Friday and Saturday nights. Jose and wife Teresa have been at this restaurant daily for forty years. Old and new customers should make a point of going now (and often) while they can. It is Las Vegas’ oldest restaurant and (sadly) won’t be around forever.
807 Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101