In San Antonio, Texas, there's more to Mexican fideo soup than vermicelli pasta and broth. Loaded with ground beef, potatoes, and pinto beans, San Antonians pride themselves on their version of the Texan soup, calling it fideo loco. Visiting the Alamo is great, but no visit to San Antonio is complete without a bowl of this Tex-Mex noodle soup (or stew depending on you speak to).
What is Fideo Loco?
Like sopa de fideo, fideo loco is a comfort food soup made with vermicelli pasta and broth. I like to think of fideo loco as an elevated sopa de fideo, a soup that originated in Spain. But who thought to add additional ingredients such as picadillo to the soup?
San Antonio Fideo Loco Festival founder Roxanne Quintero shared with Austin 360 that she's been enjoying the soup since she was a child and that the soup has been in her family since her Great-Grandmother. "We were a family of six, and it was a cheap meal," she shares. "We had it whenever we had a box of fideo in the pantry and ground beef."
In 2017, Roxanne Quintero decided to host a Fideo Loco Festival after her nephew was bullied at school. She figured the best way to raise community awareness was by the way of food. This year she celebrated the 3rd Annual Cook-Off and plans are in the works for The Fideo Loco Festival & Cook-Off 2020. Visit as a spectator and sample all the yummy carne picada and frijoles you can handle or join as a team (or individual)and battle it out to win the $500 prize.
How to Make Fideo Loco
Want to try to make your own Fideo Loco at home? Thankfully Roxanne Quintero has shared her easy recipe. Roxanne recommends using box Q&Q Fideo noodles, but any brand works just as fine. All you need is the noodles, a teaspoon vegetable oil, ground beef, tomato sauce, tablespoon onion powder, teaspoon garlic powder, chicken broth (or bouillon), and pinto beans to make this soup.
Is it a Soup or Stew?
More broth equals a soup whereas more goodies like noodles, potatoes, and beef bring it into stew territory. The great thing with fideo loco is that you can always make it your own! Add in diced bell peppers, cumin, chili powder, even barbacoa! The sky is the limit when it comes to this dish, just remember to serve it with a warm tortilla.
The Best Places in San Antonio to Get Fideo Loco
The Original Blanco Cafe
A notable favorite, the Original Blanco Cafe serves their Fideo Loco with fideo, picadillo and ranchero beans cooked in a tomato gravy for $7.99
Carmelita's Mexican Restaurant
Noodles, picadillo, and charro beans are the star of this $6.99 bowl.
Georgia's Mexican Restaurant
If spice and beans are what you are looking for, Georgia's is the place for you. Visit on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday for the Fideo Loco lunch special for $7.
This article was originally published on December 16, 2019.