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Goat (birria) taco

ipsedixit Mar 18, 2010 12:17 PM

Where in Phoenix?

Thanks.

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  1. p
    Phoenix99 RE: ipsedixit Mar 18, 2010 12:53 PM

    Phoenix Ranch Market at 16th and Roosevelt.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phoenix99
      ipsedixit RE: Phoenix99 Mar 18, 2010 02:32 PM

      Not today, unfortunately.

    2. b
      Bax RE: ipsedixit Mar 18, 2010 10:42 PM

      I've heard that the birria at La Barquita (24th St & McDowell) is good, but haven't had it myself (and am only assuming you can get it in taco form).

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      La Barquita Restaurant
      2334 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bax
        j
        jock RE: Bax Mar 31, 2010 05:54 PM

        birra is good there. they have great happy hour prices until 6. can't beat queso fundido con chorizo for $3.50 and a $2 modelo espeical

      2. Dmnkly RE: ipsedixit Mar 19, 2010 10:21 PM

        Just running a quick Google maps search shows four spots with "birrieria" in their name:

        Birrieria Obregon (2 locations)
        Birrieria El Gorvo
        Taqueria y Birrieria Jalisco
        Birrieria & Taqueria Del Yaqui

        But I can't find anything posted here or on the old Southwest board. Has nobody hit any of them?

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        Birrieria El Gorvo
        2650 W Glenrosa Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85017

        Birrieria Obregon
        2500 N 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dmnkly
          Dmnkly RE: Dmnkly Mar 25, 2010 02:40 AM

          Guess I'll be taking care of that, then!

          Give me a couple of weeks and I'll report back on the lot of them.

          1. re: Dmnkly
            Dmnkly RE: Dmnkly Mar 25, 2010 11:24 AM

            Google map link in case anybody else wants to jump in:

            http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&...

            Planning on hitting La Barquita this afternoon as a baseline, since that one's gotten some press, with the rest to follow.

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            La Barquita Restaurant
            2334 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

            1. re: Dmnkly
              ipsedixit RE: Dmnkly Mar 25, 2010 02:54 PM

              Please do report back. Thanks.

          2. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: ipsedixit Mar 26, 2010 12:12 AM

            Possibly El Tlacoyo on University east of the 101?

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            El Tlacoyo
            2535 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

            1 Reply
            1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
              j
              jess harter RE: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Mar 26, 2010 04:53 PM

              Never seen birria at El Tlacoyo, but definitely check out the barbecoa (available only Saturday and Sunday).

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              El Tlacoyo
              2535 E University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

            2. Dmnkly RE: ipsedixit Mar 31, 2010 03:41 PM

              FYI, Birrieria El Gorvo is actually Birrieria El Gordo. The Google listing (now fixed) was incorrect.

              One to go. Full report Friday.

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              Birrieria El Gorvo
              2650 W Glenrosa Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85017

              1. Dmnkly RE: ipsedixit Apr 2, 2010 01:33 AM

                So here's the update... I hit La Barquita, as well as the four mentioned above that came up on a Google Maps search. Though it wasn't precisely what the OP was searching for, I went with the soupy versions, since... well... that's what I wanted to eat five days in a row :-)

                La Barquita:
                I actually can't say that I was a fan of La Barquitas. The meat was nice and, I suspect, might be better in taco form. Tender chunks, good flavor, not total mush, a little texture... obviously not spent stew meat. They don't do a full soup bowl, but it's in a deep dish with a generous amount of broth. The broth, however, really didn't sit well with me. It was terribly balanced, weirdly sour and bordering on unpleasant. This was the only one of the five that I just really didn't enjoy.

                Birrieria & Taqueria Del Yaqui
                I wasn't enthused about Del Yaqui, but it wasn't bad. Opposite end of the spectrum on a lot of counts. This was, indeed, spent stew meat... chunks that were mostly tender, if a little stringy, but completely devoid of fat and mostly bled of their flavor. It was obvious where the flavor went, though. They have a nice deep, mellow broth that really brings the goat. Problem is that it's totally no-frills. It's just very plain with no interest. As with some of the other places, they serve it with a couple of salsas to mix in, but I didn't think either was a very good match. They both fought the broth. No question that La Barquita's meat was better, but I definitely enjoyed this one more due to Barquita's odd broth.

                Birrieria Ocotlan
                There are actually two locations, and I hit the one on Van Buren. This one's all about the spicy. The meat is even less impressive than Del Yaqui. It's stringy and dry and completely shredded -- not a chunk to be found. The broth is kind of the opposite of Del Yaqui... all interest with no substance. They could take a lesson from the Del Yaqui folks in developing some depth. Obregon's broth was quite oily, but I think it worked -- probably intentionally so -- because it carried the chiles' heat, and there was quite a bit of heat. It's a very spicy bowl as served, and a really nice blend of chiles to boot. I just wish the broth weren't otherwise so shallow-tasting. And the meat is a sideshow.

                Birrieria El Gordo
                This ended up being my favorite of the five, if not by the widest of margins. Great flavor on the broth, deep and well-rounded and balanced and delicious. Needed a little zip, but their salsa (super simple, chiles, maybe a little vinegar) was a very nice complement, unlike Del Yaqui's. The meat was great. It didn't have the bite of La Barquita's, but it was moist and tender and full of flavor, due in no small part to the fact that it wasn't completely lean like the others. There was some fat and connective tissue and other silky, slurpy good stuff. Oddly, their cabbage and onion/cilantro mixes are both very, very finely shredded. Obviously a food processor. It had the interesting effect of acting almost like a thickener, making it a little less like a soup and more like a stew, but I prefer the texture of diced onion and sliced cabbage.

                Taqueria Y Birrieria Jalisco
                Another pretty good bowl, though I didn't enjoy it as much as El Gordo. Lean meat that was short on flavor, again. But not as lifeless as Del Yaqui and Obregon. Very nice broth, with a little more tomato, maybe? Still clearly a meat broth, but the vegetables came through a little more prominently. Pure chile puree as an add-in rather than a salsa, and it's a good one. Solid bowl, and one I'd go back for.

                So, to sum up, Gordo was my favorite, Jalisco was a good alternate (especially since Jalisco is outdoors, airy and comfortable while Gordo is kind of a dingy cave), and Obregon is a good change of pace because of the unique angle. All personal preference, of course, and for the record, I'm certainly no expert on birria. I've had it here and there, but I'm not a highly experienced birria eater. So take that for what it's worth.

                Incidentally, directly across the street from Jalisco is another place, El Lorito, that's little more than a roach coach with a vinyl sign, canopy and a few folding tables. But I think it was actually busier than Jalisco, so it probably merits investigation.

                I know it's a little sleazy to link out, but Chowhound isn't the best format for 1700+ word posts with multiple photos, so here's the extended and bepictured edition of the same:

                http://www.skilletdoux.com/2010/04/bi...

                Fun week. Good stuff. I'd love to hear about others.

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                La Barquita Restaurant
                2334 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006

                Taqueria Y Birrieria Jalisco
                615 W Broadway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85041

                4 Replies
                1. re: Dmnkly
                  ipsedixit RE: Dmnkly Apr 2, 2010 07:58 AM

                  Great post. Thanks for the legwork.

                  1. re: Dmnkly
                    Rubee RE: Dmnkly Apr 5, 2010 11:34 AM

                    Thanks for the great research! You've inspired E and I to spend some time likewise seeking out cabrito in the West Valley.

                    1. re: Dmnkly
                      c
                      ciao4chow RE: Dmnkly Apr 18, 2010 07:50 PM

                      Dmnkly .... splendid work! thank you ... was at Jaliso for lunch today ... your rec got us there ... fab meal, I ordered the Birrieria and received a fine goat meat stew/soup with onions and cabbage to toss in ... but the table next to us got two bowls each, one with the meat (and bones sticking out) and one with the soup ... that looked really interesting .. was wondering of this was the difference between the Secco and the other Birrieria on the menu? Spanish speakers definitely will add to the complexity of the experience .... thanks again

                      1. re: ciao4chow
                        Dmnkly RE: ciao4chow Apr 18, 2010 08:40 PM

                        That sounds exactly right. Seco is dry, and then you're getting the meat without the broth, or with the broth on the side. I've never ordered it this way, actually, but I think most of the places -- if not all of them -- offer it.

                    2. c
                      crsin RE: ipsedixit Apr 11, 2010 06:06 PM

                      Did any of the above places state specifically that they were using goat meat for their birria? I've had meals where, after eating it and digging a little, have found that a the restaurant's birria was beef.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: crsin
                        Dmnkly RE: crsin Apr 11, 2010 06:29 PM

                        All of them. In fact, a few -- maybe all? -- offered both.

                        1. re: Dmnkly
                          c
                          crsin RE: Dmnkly Apr 11, 2010 07:11 PM

                          Ah, good to know, thanks. I'll be sure to check them out.

                      2. k
                        KendoPt4 RE: ipsedixit Aug 2, 2010 11:33 AM

                        El Mesquite on central and baseline. Excellent goat tacos, and menudo on a weekday. They have strange hours, however...I believed they are closed on Tuesdays.

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                        El Mesquite Restaurant
                        26 E Baseline Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

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