Think about this... Brawley, California is the largest city in Imperial County, California, and is located only thirty or so miles north of the Mexican border. Considering the geographic location of Brawley, and the geographical location of Brownie's Diner, it only makes sense to serve both American and Mexican "comfort food." If "comfort food" is what you're looking for, look no further than Brownie's Diner, in Brawley.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's about 0730 in the morning, December 31, 2019, and we've arrived at Brownie's Diner, located in Brawley, CA, to enjoy a great Mexican breakfast. This fine restaurant serves both Mexican and American "comfort food," and is open for breakfast and lunch. It you love menudo, you've come to the right diner, as menudo is offered every day, all day, and any time the restaurant is open.
Photo: You enter the restaurant through a small entryway, with double doors, to keep out the scorching heat during the summer and the desert sand. Since it's New Years eve, the restaurant is still decorated for Christmas, including a Christmas tree as you enter the dining room. Note he counter, and the "old school" seating. Brownie's Diner is "old school" in every way, which adds to the amazing atmosphere.
Photo: The dining room is quite spacious, and furnished with tables. Booths line the walls, and the dining room is decorated with movie memorabilia, posters and photos of movie stars, and some are autographed by movie stars who have enjoyed a great meal at Brownie's.
Photo: The "Mexican Favorites" section of the menu is quite compact, but covers all of the bases. Note that menudo is served every day. This isn't you "rico menudo," as this is some of the best menudo that I can every remember of enjoying! The only changes in the menu, from my previous visits are the prices...
Photo: You have to love any restaurant that proudly displays a portrait of John Wayne on the wall, as you know the "Duke" would love this diner. I wonder if John ever enjoyed a fine meal at Brownie's?
Photo: Our friendly server, Lisa, works to prepare our order. One order of birote is on the shelf, at the window to the kitchen. Note the "old school" order wheel, where order are relayed to the kitchen. I doubt the decor in this fine diner has changed since the 1960's... I love it!
Photo: Lisa brings a bowl of menudo, an order of birote, and condiments to our table. She provided outstanding service, and kept of mugs full of delicious coffee.
Photo: Lisa places a large bowl of menudo, and an order of birote on the table, in front of a smiling Dan. Booths line the window, and offer a great view of Main Street, unless you're distracted by the movie memorabilia, the diner decor, or the outstanding food.
Photo: Thanks to Lisa for taking our photo, as my friend Dan I prepare to enjoy some of the best menudo EVER!
Photo: From the "Mexican Favorites" section of the breakfast menu, both of ordered menudo, as Dan and I have loved menudo all of our lives. Your bowl of menudo comes with all the garnishes, including cilantro, chopped onion, oregano, crushed red pepper, sliced lemon, and a stack of corn tortillas. The menu offers to substitute birote instead of tortillas, for a nominal fee, so we went that route, as neither of had ever tasted birote. Yes, that's an order of birote next to the bowl of menudo.
We were absolutely STUNNED by the menudo... as both of agreed that it was some of the best menudo we'd ever eaten, and my friend and I have been eating menudo all of our lives, on both sides of the border. Each bowl of this delicious stew contained the perfect ratio of tripe and hominy, and the broth was flavorful, savory, and absolutely amazing! Words can't describe how delicious a bowl of Brownie's menudo is... Perhaps the location of Brownie's Diner has something to do with it, as Brawley is just 20 miles north of the Mexican border. I can truly state that Brownie's serves better menudo than I've enjoyed during countless trips to Mexico. If you love fine menudo, a visit to Brownie's is a go-to destination. The coffee is delicious as well...
We went with the optional birote, which was a first for both of us. Just for the record, a birote is a sourdough roll, similar to a bolillo or a baguette, with it's origins in the city of Guadalajara, during the French occupation of Mexico in the 1860's. Our birote arrived cut in half, toasted and buttered, which made a great side to the menudo. It's crunchy on the outside, and tender fluffy on the inside, and tastes almost like a sourdough roll. We tore off chunks of the bread and dipped them into the savory menudo broth. Oh yeah!
Brownie's Diner, located in Brawley, CA, is a destination for "foodies," and for all those who appreciate the best American and Mexican diner cuisine.
Back on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, we paid a previsions visit to Brownie's Diner...
Photo: The photo doesn't show it, but Brownie's Diner, in Brawley, CA is quite full on this Wednesday morning in mid-October. There is plenty of easy parking close to the restaurant.
Photo: It's a little after 8 in the morning on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, and we've just walked into Brownie's Diner, and we're ready for breakfast. This diner is a definite "old school" diner, and considering that we're only about 30 miles north of the Mexican border, the menu offers a full variety of Mexican favorites, as well as all of your traditional "comfort food" breakfasts for those with tastes, north of the border.
Photo: When you walk into the aisle near the restrooms, you'll notice this photo of these "bad" dudes on the wall. Imperial County isn't really a "gun friendly" county, but management at Brownie's Diner seem to embrace the gun culture in every way.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, there are period high school yearbook class photos on the wall. The restaurant decor includes many photos of locals, as Brownie's is a local, mom and pop owned and operated diner.
Photo: The dining room is quite large, and features lots of local memorabilia. The furniture is mostly tables; there are a few booths near the front window. There were only two of us, and we felt a bit awkward sitting at a table for eight, but since there was plenty of room in the restaurant, we sat down, and enjoyed our breakfast in comfort.
Photo: Brawley is located about 30 miles north of the Mexican border, so the breakfast menu features many choices of all things Mexican. If Mexican food for breakfast doesn't suit your taste, there are many American "comfort food" choices on the menu.
Photo: Our friendly server, Jianna, takes Michael's order. Michael isn't a gigantic fan of "traditional" breakfast choices, but everything that Brownie's Cafe offers on their menu is available any time the restaurant is open. That's good with me, as occasionally I crave a burger for breakfast.
Photo: Brownie's Diner is definitely "old school," as the restaurant includes a counter, which is ideal for single diners.
Photo: The daily specials are posted on a white board near the window to the kitchen, where the staff picks up orders, ready to deliver to hungry customers. Note the "old school" order wheel, where orders are actually clipped to the wheel to communicate with the kitchen staff, just like it was done in the 1960's.
Photo: Our friendly hostess, Jianna, was busy, and a bit camera shy as she brought Michael's order to the table, along with a squeeze bottle of ketchup.
Photo: Thanks, Jianna, for snapping the photo of my brother Michael, and I, as we're ready to enjoy breakfast. It was mid morning on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, and since Michael isn't much of a "breakfast person," he ordered a "Club Sandwich" which is on the lunch menu, but is available anytime Brownie's Diner is open.
Photo: I really wanted to order menudo, as the restaurant says it's available anytime the restaurant is open. Wow! I absolutely LOVE menudo, but the "Chili Colorado and Two Eggs" was calling, so that's what I ordered, along with a side of guacamole.
So, I went for it all, including chili Colorado, two eggs, refried beans, guacamole and two corn tortillas. Talk about a great breakfast! I could have opted for hash brown potatoes instead of beans, and toast instead of corn tortillas, but I absolutely LOVE Mexican food, especially breakfast, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. I left the restaurant with a smile on my face, and a full stomach.
The food is amazing, as you can choose between Mexican, or American "comfort food." The staff is friendly, the atmosphere is down-to-earth, and reflects the character of the Imperial Valley city of Brawley, and the taste of the locals. If you're in the mood for delicious food, friendly people, and food that characterizes the taste of the Brawley locals, Brownie's Diner should be on your to-do-list.
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