Yuma's Best 2012: El Charro
Best Menudo, Best Guacamole, 2nd Place Best Mexican
Adriana Gutierrez has fond menudo memories that go back to her youth in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.
During recessionary times, when work opportunities were limited, the family would make ends meet in part by making and selling the traditional Mexican soup made with beef tripe, she recalled
“My mother would make it and then my (siblings) and I would deliver it to neighbors and others in the community,” Gutierrez said.
That tradition carries on today in Yuma, where El Charro Cafe serves menudo made according to Gutierrez's mother's recipe.
And that recipe has enabled the restaurant — owned and operated by Gutierrez and her husband Raul — to win first place in the category of Best Menudo in Yuma's Best, the Yuma Sun's poll of readers' favorite businesses in the area in 2012.
The restaurant, located at 601 W. 8th St., also won in the category of Best Guacamole for 2012.
Menudo is served throughout the weekend at El Charro, but is most frequently requested on the weekends, when the restaurant may serve up dozens of bowls.
“The red menudo is the most popular with customers,” Gutierrez said, referring to the version of the soup that is made with red chili base. But, she added, the clear, or white menudo, also is served.
To this day, Gutierrez said El Charro's cooks faithfully follow the recipe handed down by her mother. “They make it with a lot of love and with a lot of passion.”
The guacamole, on the other hand, comes from husband Raul's mother.
The choice of ingredients is key to the success of either dish, said Adriana Gutierrez.
“Everything is fresh; nothing comes out of the can.”
El Charro — which she said has been passed down through five generations of the family — also placed second in the category of Best Mexican Food restaurant.
Apart from the menudo and guacamole, the Green Saddle offered by El Charro is one of the most popular items on the menu, she said. A burrito stuffed with a roast-beef-green chili mixture and topped with green chili sauce, it is ordered by the thousands in any given month, she said.
El Charro Cafe is open 11 a.m. to Tuesday through Sunday, but is closed on Mondays. Phone number is 783-9790.