Pozole rojo is always in season

You won’t find slow-simmered pozole rojo at the chain Mexican restaurants owned by corporations run by suits who likely wouldn’t know a molé from a guacamole. But you will find the traditional homemade soup at family-run Mexican restaurants such as El Amigo in East Sacramento and La Placita in South Sacramento.

Pozole and menudo (tripe soup) could be the national dishes of Mexico, just as the beef noodle soup “pho” is so identified with Vietnamese cuisine.

At El Amigo, our “small” bowl of deeply flavored broth brimmed with balls of firm hominy (hull-less, germless kernels of corn) and chunks of tender pork ($7.50). The broth is from a passed-down family recipe, bright with red chiles, onion and garlic, and herbs and spices. The from-scratch soup is made daily, said Miriam Flores, standing behind the bar. “We’re all family here,” she said.

Also, check out the salsa with warm tortilla chips. The condiment is a blend of tomato, chili powder, garlic, white and green onions, cumin, cilantro and jalapeno. Just enough heat.

El Amigo is at 5722 Folsom Blvd., (916) 451-8482. La Placita is at 8164 Florin Road, (916) 386-0982.