More On Best Friends - So the other day I wrote this piece about best friends for xojane. But in all seriousness, it was just one of those topics that came to me on a busy week...
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Rincon Duranguense, Tijuana:Public Safety and Home Cooking from Durango
Comida corrida is a great way to dine in Mexico.The comida is the big meal of the day that takes place in the afternoon, multi-course dining of home cooking that is inexpensive. The comida corrida consists of a soup, and dry soup such as rice or spaghetti, and main course of traditional or regional specialty, followed by a dessert. A drink is often included, at least water, or an agua fresca such as jamaica.
Tijuana has many comida corridas which feature daily menus(menu del dia) of enticing plates for around 40 pesos(around $3 USD).When it's a regional restaurant, it's even more interesting, the chance to try home cooked versions of unique dishes from all over Mexico. These are ostensibly matronly establishments.
Rinconcito Duranguense is a comida corrida that serves the hearty northern-Mexican cuisine of the state of Durango.
It was opened three years ago by a police officer of the Secretary of Public Security, Blanca Torres. Blanca cooks in the mornings and throughout the comida hours, from 1PM-5PM then heads out to her shift.I once saw a police car pick her up after she finished cooking a plate, giving instructions and relaying orders to her assistant as she ran to the unmarked unit and sped off. Now that's comida corrida!
Rinconcito Duranguense(Durangan little corner)has typical comida corrida items like bistec ranchero, chile relleno, enchiladas,milanesa,and hidago encebollado(liver and onions) all cooked with Durangan subtance.
Daily there are true regional plates from Durango like caldillo(meat stew),mole de la olla(clay pot mole),enfrijoladas(tortillas covered with beans),lengua con papas(tongue and potatoes in a Durangan stew), and others.
They have a breakfast menu of chilaquiles accompanied by mouth watering fried eggs, the kind my grandma from Aguascalientes makes, and even carne asada if you wish. People from Durango enjoy nourishing meals.
The restaurant is located on the edge of the downtown section of Tijuana in a fairly busy neighborhood,but once inside you are in Durango, with a decor and theme of familiarity.
There are the Pancho Villa pictures and posters, scorpions,Catholic symbols, a few plants, and some monthly themed displays. This month it's skull mugs, in anticipation of Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos.
It's the kind of place that most would pass off as simple, but looking around one can see the love and care in which this place was first decorated on a shoestring budget.
Ordering the enfrijolada, most commonly associated with Oaxaca, will come as a surprise to those more familiar with the the Oaxacan version. The puree of beans are pinto, not black.The tortillas are stuffed with melting cheese, covered with pinto beans blended with a bit of Durangan beef chorizo, and finished with cheese, and Mexican cream. In this case, more is more. These amped up enfrijoladas from the state of Durango are scrumptuous, sinfully good.This starter is a must order plate.
The locals that dine at Rinconcito Duranguense come for the comidas, which all start with a cool agua fresca, this day it was jamaica. These 3 courses with an agua fresca cost 40 pesos, about $3 USD.Amazing!
The soup course arrives, a satisfying caldo de res(beef), or pollo, naturally flavored from slow cooking with large pieces of vegetables and meat.
Today's guisado(stew), the name of your main course, is the Durangan version of tongue with potatoes. The sauce reflective of the Durangan palate, a simple, filling dressing to meld with splendid tongue.RIce is served with the tongue, in other comida corridas it would come on a separate plate.In general, Tijuanas comida corridas are a little less formal than ones found in Mexico City and other parts of Mexico.
Many comida corridas do breakfast as well to serve the morning crowd often seeing the same customers come in for the comida corrida.While most Tijuanenses will tell you the chilaquiles and omelettes at La Espadana are the must do breakfast, the chilaquiles at Rinconcito Duranguense are better.
Get the eggs here on the side, on your plate, but do indulge.These are the eggs made by Mexican grandmothers.Their texture is soft and wrinkly, with tender yolks three-quarters runny.I don't know how my grandmother and Blanca make these eggs taste so good, nor do I want to know. I'm content to enjoy them.
The chilaquiles verdes are excellent. A mildly spicy tomatillo using day old tortillas fried in oil, and them cooked in the salsa, still slightly crunchy.
But the star attraction here is the chilaquiles rojos. Made with guajillo chiles so densely expressed in the sauce as to be mole-esque.The chilaquiles are amply garnished with queso freso and fresh onions.You can get them in various configurations of eggs, carne asada,with rice and beans laid to the side.
Rinconcito Duranguense is a superb place to have a comida corrida experience, and enjoy rich home cooking for prices unbelievably low.Whether it be chilaquiles on a Saturday morning or a mid-week comida corrida to energize you before getting back to the office, Rinconcito Duranguense is another local gem in the Tijuana regional dining scene.