Houston's Best Bowl Of Menudo Is On Richmond

Houston's Best Bowl Of Menudo Is On Richmond

November 12, 2018

Growing up in South Texas, I always heard others talking about a well- known Mexican soup called, Menudo. As I grew older, this soup was known for its ability to cure a hangover. Either way, I could not eat the stuff. You see, my mind got in the way and I hadn’t quite acquired the taste for the broth nor the appreciation of the texture.

                Traditionally, families use every part of the animal they slaughter for dinner and menudo is the product of the “every part” thing. The protein is tripe or the inner lining of the cow’s stomach. Yeah, that probably doesn’t sound to appetizing; hence, why I avoided it for a while.  It wasn’t until one day my dad took me to a little place in North Houston (it’s no longer there and I forgot the name) that I had a bowl that I didn’t mind. I squeezed juice from a lime and added a substantial amount of onion, jalapeno and cilantro into the soup and suddenly it came to life.

                I was finally able to enjoy menudo. Like a lot of foods and drinks, sometimes you have to figure out how to taste it and for me  this was one of those times and one of those foods.  Once I moved to downtown Houston I was more than a half hour from the shop I had tried and liked for the first time so I was determined to find a good bowl of menudo inside the loop.

                A google search and cross reference on Yelp gave me a name of a restaurant I’d never seen and could not pronounce. Chapultapec Lupita is the name and locals are very well aware of this little hole in the wall spot. It’s 24 hours 6 ½ days a week and is a well- known hot spot after a night of partying near Richmond /Westheimer/Kirby/Montrose-ish area. I missed the entry to the parking lot twice on my first trip to this diamond in the rough. I squeezed into a parking spot and walked in to find this bowl of menudo that had been highly touted in reviews across the web.

                From the first step into the restaurant I knew I had found a place I was going to love. It is, truly, a house that’s been turned into a restaurant. You feel like you’re walking through the living room and dining room at you pick out your table. I usually wind up in the middle room but the back room has a juke box, large tables and access to the bar area. In the bar area, they offer a variety of drinks and cocktails but I’m 100% into the menudo.

                The staff is always quick to get the drink order and while they’re getting the drink the chips and salsa angels drop off their often spicy but tasty salsa. I mean, being a self proclaimed chips and salsa expert, I give their salsa a solid 8.8 on my 10 scale. The chips help it out, too. You never end up with crumbs of chips, you always have a solid chip that is built for salsa dipping.

                Now, the menudo at Chapultapec Lupita has become my weekly go-to.  The broth is sensational, the tripe is cooked to perfection and there are other pieces of the cow that I can’t quite identify but I know it’s innards. It’s my lucky day when the cow foot ends up in my bowl of menudo, too. The fullness of flavor in the soup is product of having simmered and cooked for hours on end prior to being served. There’s also hominy in the soup that gives  a starch to the mixture and this qualifies it as a complete meal. Of course, the vegetables come with the onions & jalapenos that I pour into the bowl before eating. My mouth seriously begins to water when I think about this menudo as it has etched a place in my heart for eternity.

I tore down this bowl of #Menudo a couple nights ago. Seriously, the best is at Chapultepec Lupita off Richmond. So much flavor and it has the cow hoof in it, too. #Houston #Food #Foodie #Texas #Flavor #Tripe #MexicanFood

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                To put it to the real test, I have taken my dad to see if he approves and he did. I then rolled the dice and introduced it to my aunts and uncles who all have extensive experience with menudo and they all cosigned off on this menudo being amazing. I take it one step further and challenge every menudo maker in the city with this establishment’s version of the traditional soup. I have told them multiple times and I tell everyone (now I’m telling you) it’s the best menudo in the city.