By Sharon Apfelbaum
Uniquely devoted to Michoacán cuisine, this festive restaurant throbs with the heart of Mexico. Atmospheric hand-painted murals, Mayan masks, and tin art ceiling mobiles mimic a courtyard patio in Mexico, while one of the five Lua family members staffing Soul offers heartfelt greetings of hospitality. Desert Magazine’s 2011 Best of the Valley voted Soul No. 1 for Mexican food.
Soul was conceived by mother Teresa Lua using family recipes that date back more than 100 years. No cans here. Everything is made from scratch: Chips, salsa, buñuelos, sauces, and dressings. The menu often notes “our version” of tortilla soup, green cream sauce, homemade BBQ sauce, chile relleno burrito, and more — lavishing traditional dishes with new culinary ideas.
Signature favorites include Chile Relleno en Ahogada, a flame-roasted poblano pepper stuffed with shrimp. Abundant shrimp and seafood offerings evoke the Michoacán Pacific Coast. Popular enchilada plates include spinach and the Trio, featuring three different stuffings and sauces — red, white, and green. House specialties include pork carnitas, a classic chile verde with pork, and sweet corn tamales bathed in Mexican cream sauce.
Late Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant morphs into a swinging nightclub when Spanish rock, salsa, and merengue bands spur lively dancing. Guests can order a jumbo “share margarita” and sit inside or out on the starlit patio. Hefty discounts at daily happy hours and on feature-food days make Soul an affordable family outing.
“You don’t have to travel. We give people a slice of Mexico right here,” says Teresa, mother and mastermind of Soul of Mexico. “This was my dream, and my children have helped that dream come true.”
Soul Of Mexico
44100 Jefferson Street, Suite E502, Indio, CA 92201
• Ceviche — Red Snapper or Shrimp
• Grilled Vegetable Stack
• Calamari with House Chipotle Aioli
SOUP AND SALADS
• Azteca Soup — House version of Tortilla Soup
• Soul of Mexico Salad — House version of Cobb Salad
• Tostada Salad — Chicken or Beef Machaca, Beans, Rice, Lettuce, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and Sour Cream in Crispy Flour Tortilla
• Seafood Trio — Shrimp, Scallops and Tilapia Fillet with Grilled Vegetables and House Salad
• Trash Burrito — Beef, Chicken, Shrimp, Tortilla Chips, Rice, Beans, Pico de Gallo, Lettuce, and Cheese
• Chile Relleno Burrito — Flour Tortilla filled with Chile Relleno, Rice, Beans, Lettuce and Pico de Gallo
• Enchiladas Michoacán — Two Pan-Fried, Potato-Filled Enchiladas with Shaved Lettuce, Cotija Cheese and Michoacán Salsa
• Enchiladas a la Veracruz — Two enchiladas with Shrimp and Peppers, House Green Cream Sauce, Lettuce, and Cheese
• Sweet Corn Tamales bathed in Mexican Cream Sauce
A full range of Tequilas
• Dos Equis
• Bud Lite
and many bottled beers
• Clos du Bois Chardonnay
• Arnold Palmer Chardonnay
• Clos du Bois assorted reds
• Sycamore Lane Cabernet
• Arnold Palmer assorted reds