So my master's thesis was due yesterday. It was also my birthday yesterday.
I'd been craving Taqueria Sanchez al pastor for about three weeks, but hadn't had time to go. They are not the finest, porkiest al pastor tacos in the world - but they are strangely, intensely addictive.
Friday, my girlfriend asks me, "What do you want to do when you're done?" First, I say: sleep. Then I say: go to the beach. Then I say: go to Taqueria Sanchez and THEN go to the beach.
I was writing to some friends, trying to describe what my mental state was, and I realized that the idea of finishing my thesis becomes somehow completely merged with the idea of Sanchez's al pastor tacos. That was all that finishing meant for me. Nothing more, nothing less.
Anyway - I got it done, my girlfriend drove me as I kind of lay, jelly-like, in the passenger's seat - to Sanchez, and I had tacos. I think the first al pastor taco hit me with such a force of need that I couldn't really pause to taste it - just sort of wolfed it in three bites.
The al pastor here is not the roasty, crispy, spit-roasted creature of the trucks. It's soft, it's a little chewy, it's incredibly saucy. It succeeds, I think, because it doesn't even try for that. It flexes it's restaurant-ness - it's intensely marinated, wildly overflavored, roundhouse-kick-all-over-the-palate stuff. It is about as subtle as South Park. It is about as complex as Aliens. I am all into it.
Other things I've had there: lomo and carne asada are decent, but not up to the better trucks. Carnitas is pretty nice.
Buche - maw - is chewy, subtle of flavor, and intense. Hunks of cartilage with bits of meat clinging to 'em. I dig it.
Tripas I saw going by. It was definitely bits of small intestine, but, unexpectedly, deep-fried golden brown and crunchy-looking. I had to get it.
It's... shall we say.. retaining of some of its natural stuffing. It's not foul or rank, but it's definitely... funky. Very, very, very, very funky. It's not chip-cruncy, but more... the outer of extreme chewiness, where chewiness and crunchiness bleed into each other, like an overthick tortilla chip just barely underfried. It's intense. It's very organ-y. This is not the clean, supple beef intestine of good Korean or Chinese cuisine. This is *intestine*, mofo, and it don't apologize for itself.
As a guy who eats tripe and intestine and spleen and blood hunks and blood sausage with gusto, this was ever so slightly scary. I may eat it again. We'll see how the internal memory changes with time.
I was slightly scared the first time I had soft intestine Asian-style, but now I'm all down with those bad boys.
As for the tripas - for the extremely hardcore, worth takin' a turn around the town with it. Certainly unique. Certainly intense.
Alright, I sort of want it again.