In Search of Barbacoa

City Paper’s Brion Shreffler rounds up some solid spots for Mexican barbacoa all over South Philadelphia.

Barbacoa in its truest sense — prepared in a covered pit — puts the focus on meat’s natural juices via a long, slow cook. In Hidalgo, Mexico, barbacoa masters take a pot equipped with a steam tray loaded with meat and cover it with maguey (agave) leaves, seal it with burlap and drop it onto a lit grill situated in a hole in the ground. That hole’s covered with earth ahead of a fire being set over top. Garlic, onions and spices sit in the water beneath the steam tray, while drippings from the meat inform the steam and the resulting consommé, or broth, that’s served on the side.

Among the spots mentioned:

  • Acapulco
  • Bella Pizza
  • Los Gallos
  • Los Taquitos de Puebla
  • Plaza Garibaldi

Hole Foods [City Paper]

Finding Mexican Deeper in South Philly

los_gallos_shortrib_tacos

Adam Erace gets turned onto Los Gallos, a newer taqueria deeper in South Philadelphia.

The best of the latter [tortas and tacos] is the costilla (short rib) smothered in nopales and onions and garnished with a long, glistening strap of beef on the bone. Jimenez does crumbled chorizo spicy as dragon’s breath and a very respectable al pastor. The moist scraps of spit-roasted pig and spears of pineapple made a valiant run at the title held by Los Taquitos de Puebla, whose owners are also from San Mateo.

Los Gallos [Philadelphia Weekly]