being such a cloudy cold day and having the day off, meant it was a perfect day to pursue a particular current culinary obsession: mexican birria de chivo (goat meat)
Man! why did i have to go to the mecca of Birria LA's El Parian!? its what started this craze
i know it sounds weird but it is simply the most luscious thing these taste buds have touched.
coming from temecula and reasoning that there is a sizable mexican population in this town...i went on the hunt.
a union-tribune article revealed that a taco shop called "Pacific Taco # 1" on centre city had the elusive birria. i had shopped next door at major market several times not giving this place a chance, merely noting it.
i do regret that.
the birria taco i had here was steaming, tender, filled with that gamey juice tinged with chile, with chopped red onion and cilantro. big portion as well. there are abunch of other treats to be tried here..notably mariscos.
next up after a peak into a tortilleria downtown, was Mariachi's which sounds like a gringo style "mexican grill" to be avoided...hardly. what tipped me off was a sign only in spanish asking for a billingual, experienced cashier. there is a extremely large seaing area. another good sign was the tortilla maker in the center. minus points for a pushy cashier guy. i ordered 3 TJ style tacos de birria for 2.99. as i waited i noticed a pretty decent salsa bar which for some reason i always look for although i am a purist..with tacos (taste the meat) only a drop of roja. but rabanos and zanhorias in between bites, a must counterpoint in my humble opinion.
turns out this is the sister property of El Galeon a reputable mariscos joint.
so on to the tacos...the birria meat just as moist, flavorful and tasty (A for taste), but you know what made these better than Pacific....fresh, tender corn tortillas, and that they were mini - tj style which i prefer.
after checking out el tigre market and a latino cd store i made it back to the car stopping in several places i want to try (A delight of france bakery, asia vous, chin's szchwan [cool place], and a ton of marisco joints). then at the last minute a latino market and carneceria with a 99 cent taco sign caught my eye, made a u-y and entered the place. i first went to the cool carne dept guy to ask if they sold chivo which they do (awesome...next birria at home!) then i went to the comida area where the sonora was making tamales.
i ordered a taco de birria con todos. this was the best of them all (although all good)...because the meat was perfect, i ordered a second (nice piece of tender bone with marrow was nestled in...i actually like to eat that b-i-o-not). they even brought out little salsacup sample of the other guisados, equally sabroso for me, when they saw how much i enjoyed it.
and there is much more to be discovered in scondido (even a pizza and -get this- papusa place)