The Mojave, CA location of El Grullense the latest link in the small chain of two resaurants, with the other "link" located at Gorman, between Bakersfield and San Fernando on the famous Grapevine. Like it's older sister restaurant, the Mojave location features authentic, Mexican cuisine, and specializes in mariscos, which is Mexican seafood. The menus are identical, but the restaurants are totally different.
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 little past 08:00 in the morning, Tuesday, April 06, 2021, and I've arrived a El Grullense to enjoy menudo for breakfast. As I enjoyed dinner the night before, I noted signs posted that menudo was available during the week - which isn't common in California - so I asked my server if it was available today. She asked the chef and he said they would be serving it today. Here I am... The opening time of the restaurant is 08:00 in the morning, every day, and the menu offers a great breakfast selection.
Does the building and the sign look familiar? Years ago, this restaurant was Mike's Roadhouse, but Mike closed down a few years ago, and the building sat vacant for several years. Check out my visit to Mike's Roadhouse, back on November 05, 2009 by clicking on THIS LINK.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you'll notice the counter, and the posted specials. The cashier's station is to the immediate right as you enter. The doors behind the separation of the counter lead to the kitchen. Note the menudo poster on the wall.
Photo: With the exception of the counter, the furniture in the restaurant is entirely upholstered booths, separated by low partitions. The walls near the kitchen and the entrance are wood-paneled, and hand-drawn posters are everywhere, advertising daily specials, and special items that aren't on the printed menu.
With the exception of the computerized cash register at the cashier's station, and the hi-def television monitors, the decor is pure 1970's and is as "old school" as it gets.
Photo: The hand-printed sign advertises menudo is served on Saturday and Sunday, but in reality, it's served nearly every day.
Photo: The menu includes all of your Mexican favorites, and specializes in seafood. The other side of the menu lists selections for children, including a few American items. There are hand-printed signs posted everywhere posting specials and items not on the menu. Notice the menu includes a "Hamburger and Fries" selection, for those who crave a burger at a Mexican restaurant.
Any item on the menu, along with daily specials, is available any time the restaurant is open. Sometimes... you just have to enjoy a burger for breakfast...
Photo: Tana writes up a to-go order for a local lady. As I dined at this amazing restaurant, I noticed there were a lot of to-go orders. Perhaps people don't want to dine-in because of COVID?
Photo: After placing my breakfast order, I got up from my booth and took a peek into the kitchen through a window on a side door. Note the pots of beans and most likely menudo on the back burner.
Photo: Meet Tana, my super-friendly server, who brings my breakfast of menudo and condiments me, behind a masked smile. She provided great service and treated me like family. All of the staff and most of the diners wore masks, thanks to the lingering effects of the virus.
Photo; Thanks, Tana, for taking my photo, as I prepare to enjoy an amazing Mexican breakfast of menudo, with all the condiments. I only wish the restaurant served beer, as good Mexican beer tastes even better when you're enjoying a bowl of menudo.
Photo: Menudo is on the printed to be offered only on Saturdays and Sundays. The night before, I asked my server, Renny, if menudo would be available the next day, so she said she'd as the chef. She came back with a resounding "yes," so here I am, on a Tuesday morning, enjoying one of my favorite Mexican breakfast selections, a hot, steaming bowl of menu.
The serving was very large, and included a generous portion of tender, honeycomb tripe, cut to the perfect size. The broth was brick red, savory, flavorful, slightly spicy, but not at all hot. My bowl of menudo didn't include hominy, which most menudo includes, but it's fairly common to have hominy omitted. It makes room for more of the delicious tripe! Great bowl of menudo! Naturally, I ate every drop of this delicious breakfast "comfort food" classic.
Condiments included diced white onion with diced cilantro, a package of three corn tortillas - you could go for flour is you chose - a few small dried chili peppers, and a small cup of some of the hottest salsa that I've ever eaten. I know all about the little chili peppers, and I know what happens to me, so I didn't touch them. I dipped into the cup of salsa, and it was too hot for my taste.
Photo: My bowl of menu after I added the diced onion and cilantro. Note the brick-red color, the wonderful tripe, and the sheen of the broth. This was a wonderful of menudo. It was especially a treat to enjoy menudo on a Tuesday morning, as this fine Mexican soup is normally only served on weekends.
For a weekday treat of menudo, El Grullense is YOUR Mexican restaurant in Mojave, CA!
The night before on Monday, April 05, I enjoyed an amazing dinner of "Carne Asada con Camarones" - steak and shrimp - from the "Combinations" section of the menu.
Photo: It's late Monday afternoon, April 05, 2021, and I've arrived in Mojave, CA, looking for a Mexican restaurant, and found El Grullense. This is a new location for this small chain of two restaurants, having opened only recently. The other location is in Gorman, CA, on the famous Grapevine. The menu at the sister restaurant is identical, but the decor and the building is totally different. Back on April 26, 2014, I had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast at the Gorman location. Click on THIS LINK to check out my visit.
Photo: As you walk in the restaurant, you'll notice to "old school" counter, and the 1970's-vintage wood paneling. The cashier's station, along with a few hi-def television monitors are the only clues that it's early April, 2021.
The customers, waiting at the counter for their to-go orders offer a clue that it's not 1971, as they're all busy testing on their smart phones.
Photo: Another view of the counter with the door to the kitchen. Hand printed signs hang shelves, advertising specials, including tamales. Back when this restaurant was Mike's Roadhouse, the shelves were decorated with vintage pedal cars. When was the last time you saw a child tooling around in a pedal car?
Photo; My friendly server, Renny, brings a basket of large, warm corn tortilla chips from the kitchen, along with a small bowl of the most amazing salsa on the planet.
Photo: The tortilla chips were large, fresh, and arrived warm from the kitchen. You could taste the fact that El Grullense doesn't use a heat lamp to keep their chips warm, as the chips were warm and fresh.
The chips arrived with a bowl of "House Salsa" which just might be the BEST salsa that I've ever enjoyed in a restaurant! It was flavorful but mild, with a smoky taste. Pepper seeds, cilantro, green and white onion added to the amazing taste. I wish I had the recipe for this amazing salsa verde!
Photo: Close-up of the bowl of "House Salsa," which is perhaps the best salsa that I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy!
Photo: Meet my friendly hostess Renny,who brings my order of #19 from the "Combinations" section of the menu, behind a masked smile. She was very friendly, and treated me like family.
Photo: Thanks, Renny for taking my photo, as I prepare to enjoy my amazing dinner of "Carne Asada con Camarones." Note the bowl of "House Salsa" is full, that's because I asked Renny for a second bowl, and she cheerfully brought me "seconds." I just HAD to enjoy a second bowl of this delicious salsa!
Note the glass of ice water, as my only complaint about El Grullense is no alcohol of any type is served, so I couldn't enjoy a Mexican beer with my dinner.
Photo: From the "Combinations" section of the menu, I ordered #19, which the menu states is a combination of shrimp and carne asada. I'd never seen a selection like this in a Mexican restaurant before, so I asked Renny if it was really true, and she said "yes."
Like all selections on the "Combinations" section of the menu, #19 includes a small salad, rice, beans, and a small cup of extremely hot, red salsa.
My amazing dinner came with five seasoned, juicy shrimp, that were grilled to perfection. El Grullense gives you a very large portion of seasoned, perfectly grilled, thin-cut carne asada, that melts in your mouth. Both the shrimp and the carne asada were smothered in grilled, white onion, which added amazing flavor.
The small side salad included lettuce, tomato, diced onion, a dab of guacamole, and a couple slices of lime. Salad dressing was "crema," which is essentially sour cream mixed with lime juice. Everything was super fresh and delicious.
The rice was great, but nothing spectacular, but the beans... oh the refried beans! They were some of most amazing refried beans that I've enjoyed in a long time. They were mostly creamy and smooth, but there were a few coarsely-mashed beans, which makes for a great combination. The beans were topped with a generous portion of anjo cheese, and you could taste the lard! These beans are not only delicious, but they're truly authentic!
I dipped a bit of the rice into the cup of hot sauce, and was I ever in for a surprise! This sauce was as hot as it gets, and it was so hot that I couldn't eat it.
This dinner was simply amazing! If you love great Mexican food head over El Grullense and order a #19 from the combination menu.
Photo: Close-up of my delicious "Carne Asada con Camarones" highlight the shrimp, carne asada, and the amazing refried beans.
El Grullense is new to Mojave, but the restaurant serves some of the best Mexican food that I've eaten for a long time, so I truly believe they'll do well with the locals, and visitors passing through town on Sierra Highway. Welcome to Mojave, CA, El Grullense!
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