Taqueria El Chino-Hermosillo, Sonora:The Head of the Class
Every part of Mexico has their weekend breakfast foods and hangover cures. Menudo,barbacoa, birria,estofado de camaron,ceviche,siete mares. etc. In Baja it's tacos de birria de res, and nearby Sonora, tacos de cabeza.
My good friend Gerardo from Hermosillo took me to a place many years ago for tacos de cabeza. He told me that it's what they do in Hermosillo on the weekends, "para la cruda", he bellowed. Well, the concerts I play at the palenques don't usually get out until 3AM or even 4AM sometimes by the time we get back to the hotel. Palomas and beers before and during the gig, more booze entertaining the local prey back at the hotel after a day of sounchecking, traveling, and performing, then the 8AM lobby call.Makes it hard to get one last food experience in before heading back to the states, but I will try if the hit is doable.
Gerardo told me that he would pick me up at 6:45AM to go have tacos and I agreed, already contemplating how screwed I was going to be by the time I got back to LA. But, no time for a nap either.After the show and a couple hours of whispering strategic blandishments on a Sonoran girl, only second in beauty to the girls of Sinaloa, it was off to the lobby for some tacos.
I have to say that the tacos were amazing.But, sleep deprived, still drunk, and stung by the charms of a Sonorense, the experience wasn't fully digested.
Last month, gigging at the Feria de Hermosillo, I had it on my list to get up and have some tacos de cabeza before I came back home.We had a later call, so time was on my side this time. I was referred to Taqueria El Chino by local consensus, and when I arrived I realized that this was the place I had been with Gerardo a few years back.Hangover free and armed with 3.5 hours of sleep, I was ready.Two tacos de cabeza were ordered and served rapid fire. The cabeza is steamed dark and juicy to the eye. I dressed one red and the other green and then, a rhapsodic smack hit my senses. The saucy cabeza is so balanced in its flavors and texture, the red salsa worked fantastically.Everything fresh, the salsas, the toppings, the meats.
The sesos tacos were levels above anything I've had before. And the taco de frijol made with frijoles maneados, Sonoran refritos, were laughingly good. "A bean taco? Really? "Oh damn, give me another one of those &%$!ing things"
These are better than my favorite tacos de birria de res in Tijuana, and remind me of what a taco should be. A homemade tortilla with subtle flavoring as a launching pad for a baddass filling topped with fresh and completing vegetables and salsas.The taco should be an event in your mouth. They should be the subject of virulent debate alongside your favorite soccer team. The tacos at El Chino provide a standard that everything else you eat or drink that day has to match.
Taqueria El Chino is stand with covered seating area in a parking lot. It is right around the corner from Hermosillo's best tacos de carne asada, Tacos Jass.They have a few other branches, but the location here is close to downtown, the hotel district. It's walking distance from the Holiday Inn, where the band always stays when in Hermosillo.
You will see tacos de cabeza all throughout the state of Sonora, but you haven't had them until you've been here.When I was leaving they waved me back curiously questioning why I was taking pictures. After a brief and friendly chat the manager showed their award, as 2008's best taco in Hermosillo. The 2009 awards are coming up ,so, you'd better get over to Taqueria El Chino fast and cast your vote.These are some of the best tacos I've had in Mexico, and are a must when visiting Hermosillo.
Taqueria El Chino
Blvd Morelos no. 16
right around the corner from Tacos Jass