Guadalajara del Dia 2
Words and Images by Pelin Keskin
Never downplay the the contribution immigrant communities have made to the environment. We will make tupperware out of old butter boxes, moisturise and cook with the same oils, have a plastic bag full of plastic bags and bathe out of buckets. In the case of Guadalajara del Dia 2, it’s making a restaurant out of a small grocery store. Here in Ridgewood, you will walk into this establishment and find six tables placed next to packets of chips and snacks, order your food at the cashier up front, take your seat and marvel at the resourcefulness.
The menu here is vast, especially considering the fact that they serve all day breakfast. I opted for the mole poblano and a pork tongue taco because I am partial to tongue meat and partial to tacos in general. Mole poblano is considered by most to be the national - and indeed ancient - dish of Mexico, with its rich flavour made out of a concoction of over twenty ingredients. The real stars of these ingredients are the nuts and chiles but unfortunately chocolate tends to be the most talked about despite the fact that its taste takes a backseat. This is a dish usually served at special events as the main course, and is something differs from establishment to establishment, home to home because like many ancient dishes, the way it is cooked changes from generation to generation.
The mole poblano at Guadalajara del Dia 2 was divine. The chicken was cooked to perfection, tender and fell off of the bone and the sauce is *instrumental to Best I Ever Had plays softly in the background* incredible. They give a few extra tortillas to mop up the leftover sauce you didn’t use, thank god, because when the chicken and the rice ended I *Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing plays softly in the background* wanted to make sure I got every last drop of the mole. Instead of ending my meal on a sweet note like I usually do, I decided to end it with my taco de lengua.
Word of advice: do not sleep on the lengua - or any meat of an animal’s face, period. Some of the most tender, flavoursome meat comes off or out of a skull so please embrace your carnivore spirit if you have one and give it a go. The tongue taco here was browned perfectly and despite the potential softness of tongue meat, was tender enough but firm and crispy to avoid any mushiness.
As I draw this glowing review to a close, a final note; there is a Guadalajara del Dia near Dekalb station and they are different. Hit up number 2 instead. No offence to the other spot, it’s just that the food here is better and they care. How do I know? In true maternal fashion, the lady at the cashier asked me why I didn’t enjoy your meal just because I left one tortilla on the table.
You can find Guadalajara del Dia 2 here