El Triunfo, 2019 (Northfield, MN)


I may not have much of a readership on my blog but I also am under no pressure to chase novelty. I am free to return to restaurants, either to check in to see if they’re still as good as they were or to continue to shine a (small) light on deserving places that don’t get much if any attention from the professionals. The latter description fits El Triunfo, the best restaurant in Northfield, MN very well. I’ve reported on them twice before in the last five years but that’s not to say we’ve only eaten there twice in the last five years. They are our go to for all our “oh shit, we haven’t cooked” dinners or weekend lunches and I often stop in for lunch from campus as well. I am glad to report that they’re still going strong—though their menu has shrunk quite a bit since my first report—and that their food is still very tasty.

They’re still at the corner of Second St. and Highway 3. Though sometime in the last year they’ve picked up a fresh new coat of paint on the outside, the interior is largely unchanged. I reported last time that they were no longer serving goat barbacoa on the weekends and, alas, this is still true. And, alas, the posole has also gone the way of the goat barbacoa. Menudo, however, is still available on the weekends as are freshly made carnitas and beef barbacoa. And on weekends and weekdays you can still get their excellent tinga de pollo, their arrachera and carne enchilada, their very good quesadillas, milanesa and a small assortment of tacos. And, of course, burritos and such as well. When tamales are available they will also be very good, but it is hard to predict when they will be available.

When we eat in we get plates that include rice and beans and tortillas. When we do takeout we buy chicken and/or carnitas and rice and beans by the pound. Whichever way you do it you will get good, tasty food made to order at a very reasonable price. And you will get Alicia Hernandez’s outstanding green salsa, which should really be available in vast quantities. One of these days I’m going to suggest to her that she try to get it into some of the local co-ops.

Here is a slideshow of pictures from some of our meals in the last year and change, including a recent takeout meal. Take a look and scroll down to see what’s coming next.

As I said, the food is very reasonably priced for the quality. That takeout meal towards the end of the slideshow, for example, fed five adults and our kids, and generated leftovers for another meal for a total of $70 with tax and tip. You really can’t do better for the price in our little southern Minnesota town and I’m not sure you can do better for more money either. And the only reason I’m not sure is that we have a new, more expensive restaurant in town that I have not been to yet. I can only hope El Triunfo will continue to thrive. Though I still would not make over-large claims for them, or suggest that anyone needs to drive long distances to eat here, I can’t imagine our town without them,

Speaking of places I can’t imagine being without, I also hope to return to Homi—our favourite Mexican restaurant in Minnesota—this month and then to explore more of the Twin Cities metro Mexican scene. If you have recommendations for other places that I have not reviewed, please write in below. For the next week or two, however, I’ll be trying to get done with more of my New York reviews.

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