>> Aqui es Texcoco | Eat the World Los Angeles

Saturday 26 September 2020

Aqui es Texcoco

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mร‰XICO (Estado de Mรฉxico)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This location has permanently closed. An updated version of this article (02 February 2024) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
Despite its legendary status in town, and being on almost every essential essentials list, the story of Aqui es Texcoco did not even start here in Commerce. In the United States, its big brother came first in Chula Vista, a bit closer to the grand original location in Tijuana, which became famous for feeding the pit-roasted lamb that many residents of the northern city missed from back home in central Mรฉxico.

If you have ever traveled to Mexico City and made friends or happen to have family there, chances are you have also made it to Texcoco. This small town is a little more than 25 kilometers from the center of Distrito Federal, and a weekend destination for many families who pack everyone in their car before sunrise and try to make it to the most popular stands before they are sold out.

A plate of fixins for your eventual tacos.

Because it takes at least overnight in an underground pit to be cooked right, barbacoa is not something that many people cook at home. Certainly you will find competing origin stories, but many people agree that Texcoco is the birthplace of barbacoa in Mรฉxico, making weekend trips to the town essential for any food-centric travels.

Los Angeles has an embarrassment of available regional styles of Mexican food, so it is only natural that this tradition has also come here. Better yet, Aqui es Texcoco is cooking barbacoa every day of the week in its custom ovens built to replicate the process of underground cooking.
Consomรฉ de borrego.

The process of barbacoa always starts the day before it is served. A lamb (or goat) must be killed and cleaned, butchered into manageable pieces and wrapped in the leaves of an agave plant. A circular oven is built deep into the ground with stone walls, where a wood fire burns for hours before any meat arrives. When the wood burns down to ash and an intense heat is radiating, the meat is lowered into the oven and sealed before cooking slow and steady overnight.

If you are coming to Aqui es Texcoco for the first time, let your eyes fall on the top of the menu where the barbacoa de borrego lives. Whether dining alone with a half order ($12.25, below, 1/3 pound) or with family and friends with many pounds laid before you on the table, the lamb is accompanied by a full array of plates to help you make a full meal.

A container full of hot tortillas is the place to start, adding various cuts of lamb (you can choose your favorites or a combination), onions and cilantro, and of course salsa on top. The bowl of consomรฉ is fun to take sips from between bites. Squeeze some lime both into this bowl and on top of your tacos.

It is hard to describe it any other way than bliss.


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