Reno: User's guide for gringos for Los Cuatro Vientos
How cool of a place is Los Cuatro Vientos (The Four Winds) as a place to eat?
How about quesadillas made with mushrooms or squash blossoms? The tortillas are freshly made, adding to the overall awesomeness. There’s also corn fungus (huitlacoche) quesadillas, but after trying one they’re pretty rich for one person to eat. They’re perhaps better split between two or more people. Some on the Internet call huitlacoche Mexican truffles.
Another gem of a food item to try: Molcajete. This is a sizzling hot pot with a mildly spicy tomato base and beef steak, chicken, chorizo sausage, shrimp, cactus, white cheese called queso fresco, one big onion and one big pepper.
Check out my YouTube video for the molcajete I had:
Los 4 Vientos has an extensive menu with freshly made food. Much of it comes from scratch and not out of a can. This is a great place for people who like quality food that isn’t expensive. I saw lines backed up out the door for Chipotle and wondered why we can’t get the same level of enthusiasm for Los Cuatro Vientos, which has a greater variety of better food for less money. Some of it is people being intimidated by the language barrier. So I’m taking it upon myself to help people along, including giving translations for fillings available for tacos, burritos and quesadillas (see the list at the bottom). Granted, pig esophagus isn’t going to be what everyone wants in their burritos, but some of the dishes are both delicious and different. And safe to eat for picky eaters. And you really need to try them in a quesadilla. The corn tortillas are freshly made (or at least taste that way) and the meal is just that much better with one.
Also, ask what kind of drinks they have behind the counter. I’m not a horchata (rice milk) fan, but other drinks are tasty. Jamaica is a hibiscus ice tea and it’s one of my favorites. Agua fresca de pepino is a drink made from cucumber, lime and sugar and is perfect on a hot summer day.
They have a lot of the conventional Mexican food. If you go to the right end of the menu hanging over the counter, there are lists for less conventional Mexican food.
They usually have four kinds of salsa in their salsa bar, including pico de gallo. I love the basic red salsa. It has a nice smokiness.
Los Cuatro Vientos also serves breakfast and has deals on breakfast and lunch specials.
Asada: Grilled beef
Barbacoa: Slow-cooked meats. Supposedly the source for the word barbecue.
Buche: Pig esophagus
Cabeza: Meat from all parts of the head
Carnitas: Braised or roasted pork
Chicarron: Pig skin
Chorizo: Mexican sausage
Flor de calabaza: Squash flowers
Huitlacoche: Corn fungus
Picadillo: Ground beef, tomatoes and other vegetables like onions.
Rajas: Shredded chili peppers
Saudero: From the rear part of flank steak. Often fried.
Surtido: Assorted meats
Their location isn't inducive to lines out the door. Ya gotta know it's there or stumble across like we did the first time.
The house made corn tortillas aren't served with everything. The tacos for instance.
As I've said on other posts, we think it's the best Mexican food in Reno/Tahoe.
I'm pretty sure barbacoa is only made from various beef products.
And just for search purposes it IS just los4vientos
And 4 in Spanish is quatro.