Monday, January 09, 2012

Street Taco

On Saturday, despite my delicate health (I've had a head cold for the better part of a week) I let some guy take me to a taco stand located in Sandy. It's about a block or two south of Hooter's, and behind a saloon. Since my companion for the evening was Mexican, and he was the one who discovered the place -- and had been raving about it for almost a month -- I told him that I wanted him to order for me. He seemed nervous, afraid that I wouldn't like what he ordered or that I had a weak stomach and couldn't handle some of the more interesting choices.

He ordered everything in Spanish, so I only caught the few familiar words and made sure I didn't hear things like lengua or cabeza. He ordered one beef taco and one buche. I happily ate both, after loading up the meat and tortilla with an onion and cilantro mix, a few vinegar soaked carrots and experimenting with the different salsas/sauces. And then I wanted to know what I was eating. He didn't want to tell me what the buche was, afraid that I would be too disgusted to continue.

Buche is the stomach. He says, of a cow. The internet says of a pig. Either way, it's stomach.

It tasted delicious.

He asked if I was ready for Round 2, which, I was surprised that we were going on to Round 2 and he seemed disgusted that I should hint at the fact that I would be satisfied with only two of these delicious tacos. He was smart and ordered me the spicy pork and a barbacoa. Again, I played with the sauces and topped them with the onions and cilantro, and yup, they were also delicious.

For the grand finale, he tried to talk me out of one of his favorites. "Most people can't get over the texture," he told me. I promised him that it probably wouldn't bother me. "It's spicy," he said. I told him I liked spicy. I asked him what it was, but he refused to tell me. I reminded him how I didn't turn up my nose at the buche and that he should realize that I just like tasty things. He ordered me one chicharrĂ³n taco.

I didn't add any sauces, because he told me that there was plenty of flavor and I didn't need to add any more spice. So I put some cabbage and a little more onions and cilantro and tried it.

I can see why most people would not enjoy the texture. Chewing on slugs does not sound appealing, but if you can get over that aspect then it's delicious. The flavor is really, really good.

Still, he wouldn't tell me what I was eating, so I tried to guess. Eyeballs? No. Brains? No. Other innards? No. He hinted that it might be on the outside and I thought we were talking cows... Udders? No!

Hmmm..... cajones?

No. Those are called something else and are not tasty at all.

Finally, as I finished the taco, he told me: boiled pig skin.

I wanted to be grossed out. I really did. But it was a good taco and I couldn't really bring myself to be too disgusted by it. He explained that at least what I was eating was clean. In order to be able to eat the skin, it had to be boiled for a really, really long time. Then it was cooked again.

He told me that he was impressed that I was so willing to try things, and actually liked it. I summed it up: I like good food.

I recommend this shady little taco stand, where tacos are only $1, and the girl that sells them is really friendly. She told me that I needed to come back when I was actually hungry so that I could try the whole menu. Apparently, five tacos is nothing.

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