A lunch in Puebla

One day during the meeting, my affable host Juan Matienzo offered to take me out for a typical Puebla lunch.  There was, he said, a special goat dish served only in November, made with goats that had been taken on long hikes (I don’t know what that does to the meat). I instantly acceded, of course, and we drove off to a remote region of town to try this delicacy.

Welcome to El Burladero, which I believe refers to the wooden barrier around the edge of a bull ring where the banderilleras and matador stand when not engaged with a bull (yes, there are still cruel bullfights in Mexico).

One wouldn’t know, from this unprepossessing facade, of the culinary delights within.  First, you park in a courtyard. . .

. . . and then enter the bullfight-themed restaurant, which has been there for decades. The restaurant was almost empty as we were there at 2 p.m., which apparently is early for lunch in Mexico. Most Mexicans, I’m told, have a reasonable breakfast in the morning, then the big meal of the day (comida) at about 2:30-3:30 pm, and a lighter dinner at about 9 p.m. When we had finished our meal, the restaurant was full, and everyone was eating the same thing: a tureen of stewed goat (see below).

We were handed menus and, as one should, I told Juan that he should do all the ordering as he was a local and had been there several times before.  So here’s my report on the meal. Juan ordered, and I sat back to await the viands. The first dish, one of three appetizers, was chalupas, small corn tortillas with green or red sauce and shredded chicken.

Then  guajolotes (“turkey”), a small sandwich made with turkey, guacamole, crema, and other stuff that I didn’t notice while I was wolfing it down:

Third appetizer: mollejas, deep-fried chicken gizzards served with guacamole, lime, and various salsas. You make your own nosh by mixing these ingredients in a fresh, warm tortilla.

Then the pièce de résistancemole de caderas, made from the hip of one of those hiking goats, stewed in a thick and savory broth. It was a huge hunk of meat which you could put into tortillas or simply fork off the bone. Then you’d drink the soup, which was incredibly luscious, meaty, and savory. It was a spectacular dish:

Here’s Juan with his portion. I believe these are from the hips of the goat, but perhaps a local can enlighten us:

During lunch the tiny but friendly owner, Don Onésimo, came by several times, as Juan told him I was from America and had come to eat his food. He seemed pleased, and even more so when I told him I greatly enjoyed his meal. We posed together under a bull’s head. This owner has managed the restaurant for 53 years, and had another restaurant before that!

I found a video made by the restaurant with bullfighting music, prominently featuring the goat, which is what the restaurant is known for. But they also show the chalupas and other dishes.

 

Many thanks to Juan not only for taking me here for lunch, but for his attentive hosting throughout the meeting. Muchas gracias, amigo!

16 Comments

  1. Merilee
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Looks yummy!! I think you mean PueblA in the title, no?

    • Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I fixed that immediately (a typo), but it still shows up on phones and in the URL. The best thing to do is read it online so I get a “view” for it, and I update posts or alter them regularly.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a great place. I did not know they still do bull fighting in Mexico. I would guess they do in Spain as well? I went to some in Spain years ago. It was pretty rough stuff.

    • Posted November 21, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes, sadly, still a common show around here. Disgusting -and, rationally, indefensible- spectacle.

  3. Posted November 21, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes that place looks wonderful similar to a restaurant I ate at on the road from Puebla to DF and I ended up with the worse salmonella poisoning ever; my Mexican co-worked became sick as well 2 days later.

  4. Posted November 21, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Jerry: did you get your shirt stained? Or the tablecloth? “Mole de caderas” and that kind of dishes are known as “manchamanteles”, “tablecloth-stainers”.

    • Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      That’s why they put a bib on you (see the picture of Juan). I didn’t get a spot on me!

  5. Heather Hastie
    Posted November 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    It looks even better than what you told me about it that day!

  6. Posted November 22, 2017 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Looks great! I’d love to try it one day.

  7. Posted November 22, 2017 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    The scapegoat?

  8. John Ottaway
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    I need to stop reading these posts so early in the day, it is two hours until my lunch break…

  9. Linda Calhoun
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The point of hiking the goats is not to affect the taste of the meat, but to develop the muscles and make the cuts of meat larger.

    L

  10. Posted November 22, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I’ve never been jealous of your many food access experiences Jerry but this post is just too painful for me to view…I grew up in East LA and miss authentic Mexican cuisine tremendously here in England.

    Or am I guilty of cultural appropriation???

  11. juan
    Posted November 22, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Jerry, for being so appreciative!

    I very much enjoyed meeting PCC[E] personally. He’s extremely good-natured, and living proof of the silliness of the claim that “militant” atheists are angry people.

  12. Posted November 23, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of bullfighting, or really of goatmeat, but I *am* fond of out of the way local restaurants in all parts of the world. Wonderfully interestingly different – and yet familiar – things. That’s the beauty of food – it is like that.


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