Drove out to 176th and Division to see if Antojitos Hondurenos was still open. It wasn't. It's now called La Palmera and advertises as a Cubano-Centroamericano restaurant. They weren't open when I drove by, though. I don't know if they're in the process of changing over or if this new incarnation has already closed or if it was just a day off. Sad, however. Hondurenos made some great eats. I wish it hadn't been so far out there. And I never got a maduros lover like Jill out there, either, for possibly the best slow cooked plantains in town. I liked them even better than Pambiche's.
Anyway, on the way back, I saw a sign for Rica Barbacoa Estilo DF. (ie, Tasty barbacoa in the style of Mexico City, essentially.) I quickly made an illegal U-turn and stopped drove up next to the painted trailer.
Barbacoa can be a few things, as can birria. They're similar and change a bit from region to region. In DF, barbacoa is usually the steamed head of a cow. It's steamed overnight and then stripped in the morning for breakfast tacos. Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon makes it this way. It can also be pit-roasted or oven roasted. There's a place in Texas that is the only location I've heard of that makes cow head mesquite roasted in a pit. My friend at Dallas Food did a report on it.
Here, they're steaming the meat, but it's barbacoa de borrego (ie, lamb). Like with birria, they also have the consome that's created in the process. They advertise birria de chivo, but they don't actually make it anymore.
The menu has mostly Tex-Mex sorts of items: nachos, fajitas, and so on. But besides the barbacoa, you can see that there are some gems, like sopes that are handmade.
I ordered a taco de barbacoa, a taco de carne asada, a taco de carnitas, and some consome. Everything was a $1.50 each, I believe.
Tortillas are commercial quality and fall apart easily. But the meats inside are tasty. The carnitas were crispy, well-seasoned, and tender. Not truly succulent and in little bits rather than the nice larger hunks. The carne asada was quite similar, but beef. The barbacoa was pretty good. Tender and juicy hunks of shredded lamb that wasn't overly muttony. The consome was very rich and needed a bit of salt and lime. It made my lips a bit greasy, but it had a good flavor. Really warmed me up. The best part were the little grains of rice sitting in the bottom soaking up all the flavor. The starchiness balanced the richness.
I also snapped a picture of the son's quesadilla. It looked really good and reminded me of ones from DF, longer than a normal tortilla and folded lengthwise.
It's on the north side of Division at about 158th. There's a little market that they own right next to it and you can eat in there if you wish. Their salsa aren't very good, though.