By Juan Reyes
La Villa de Jerez restaurant is typically packed on the weekends with customers waiting to get a bowl, or maybe two, of its famous menudo.
But Armando Castro, owner of the restaurant, said with the shelter-in-place order the process has been slowed by the restrictions on the number of people allowed inside the restaurant at one time.
He said the lockdown has affected the amount of sales. “It’s been down to 20 to 30 percent,” he said.
Castro, 49, said his family is from Jerez, Zacatecas where menudo is a big thing on the weekends.
“It’s a tradition,” he said. “So we brought the tradition here.”
Castro’s dad, Jose, opened the restaurant at 905 East St. 15 years ago and began serving menudo—only on the weekends.
The 72-year-old chef, along with Castro and the grandson, Jason, show up by 6 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday to cut the tripe, boil the chilies and prepare the garnishes such as lemons, white onion and oregano that go on the side.
The restaurant can produce up to 300 quarts of menudo each weekend.
A quart of menudo with garnish and tortillas costs $10.45 and they can sell out within three hours on a busy day.
The Castros have been in the restaurant industry for the past 40 years, which means they probably saw their fair share of battles among hard times.
Currently several members of the family are working to fill in positions once held by other employees.
“Right now we have a lot of family,” Armando said. “We have to help.”