Pandemic Takeout 7: Back to El Triunfo


El Triunfo, as I noted last week, is the place we’ve been ordering the most takeout from during the quarantine. Both because we like the food and because we want to support this immigrant family business that is such an important part of our town as far as we are concerned. I’m glad to say that, at least as far as I can tell, they are doing decent business during the pandemic. We get food from them about once a week and each week it’s seemed like there have been more people waiting outside to pick up orders. I do hope they will make it through. Here now is a brief report on what we’ve been getting from them over the last month.

Our default family order usually involves a plate each of their tinga de pollo and their carnitas—both served with rice and beans and tortillas and salad. The older boy likes to get either their arrachera or their milanesa and the younger boy’s favourite is their carne asada tacos. We’ve been getting some of all that over the last few weeks—though we haven’t seen the carnitas in a while—but in this post I am highlighting mostly dishes that were not in my takeout report from late March.

Among them is a dish we have actually never ordered before: carnes asadas para 2. This platter of grilled beef ribs, cecina and chorizo—topped with grilled scallions, onions and peppers as well as cheese—is billed for two but could easily feed four. Served—as most of their entrees are—with a mound of tortillas, beans and rice, this is a substantial and tasty dish for not very much more than $20. We’ve also recently eaten two more things we don’t eat there very often—though not for any good reason: a torta and quesadillas. Both come with a choice of meats; we ordered the torta with the pastor and the quesadillas with their excellent tinga. Dishes from our more frequent rotation include the encebollado (grilled beef with onions), the carne enchilada (pounded and grilled pork marinated with a guajillo pepper sauce), and a range of sopes. And most notably we managed to place an order last week on a day when they were making fresh tamales. These are sold by the bag: $15 for a dozen and if there’s a better deal in town for food of any kind I’d like to know what it is.

You can take a look at all these dishes from the slideshow below and call them to place your own order for curbside pickup (the number and menu pics are in the slideshow from my previous report).

I think we’re going to try to go without ordering any takeout from anywhere this week. We’ve been trying to support our favourite places and had been planning to expand our range a bit in May but ironically we’ve been eating restaurant food a lot more during the pandemic than we did before when we could actually go out to eat. This because we tend to order a lot more food for takeout than we go out to eat—both to support the restaurants and to maximize each trip out of the house—and as a result we’ve been ending up eating the equivalent of three or four meals out every week! I do have a couple of other repeat visits to write up: a couple of meals from Grand Szechuan as well as another round of excellent ramen from Bull’s Horn (eaten this past weekend). Beyond that we will try to eat more home-cooked food and more vegetarian food for a week or two!

If you’re in the Twin Cities metro do write in and let me know where you’ve been getting food from and if you’ve made any discoveries in the process. And I hope you’re all staying in as far as possible and all staying well.

3 thoughts on “Pandemic Takeout 7: Back to El Triunfo

  1. My wife is a great fan of the Lebanese food at Beirut restaurant on Robert Street in West Saint Paul, so we’ve gotten delivery from them a couple of times. We’ve also gotten gift certificates from On’s Thai and Cheng Heng, both on University, in Saint Paul.

    We’re a bit conflicted: we got the gift certificates because we really like these restaurants and want to see them survive. We’ve not cashed in any of the certificates because that way they can apply even the cost of food to whatever pressing bills exist. However, if they don’t make it, it would be sad to miss out on one last meal at either location. We can just hope they hang on and we can chat them up among our friends so they go and eat or buy gift certificates.

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  2. That looks really good.

    I indeed also try to patronize the local spots. But, have to say I’ve recently been making street tacos at home. Get the arrechera cut (like you had – skirt steak) from the mexie market. Make sure you get a tub of their own rendered lard to cook it, and the tortillas in. All you need is S and P – no need to marinate it – and throw it on your flat top pan. Chop it somewhat finely when med. well, and toss it on your griddled-in-lard tortillas (just a little lard) garnish and done. So easy!

    Also it’s impossible to find birria around here, so I HAVE to make it at home. Get the pork and beef cuts (traditional is lamb) from the mexie market. I have pics I wish I could show you. And here’s the recipe I used: https://www.chileandsalt.com/birria-de-res-mexican-beef-stew/

    I couldn’t believe how good it was I got 5 meals out of it. Used it for tacos ahogadas (drowned!) before it was gone.

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