Monday, February 28, 2011

Birria Victor, Guadalajara: Goat Stew Tail-Gate Party on a Real Food Truck, a Pick-Up Truck That Is

No!Not breakfast in the hotel lobby!!

An early flight back after a late night show is always tricky when it comes to leaving Mexico,in this case, Guadalajara, with a last taste of something memorable. I'm always willing to risk snoring and drooling on the person sitting next to me on the flight over getting a good night's sleep and missing a chance for weekend breakfasts in Mexico.

9:30AM Lobby call? Not enough time to hit the Seafood Market in Zapopan, but maybe if I leave at 7AM....what time is it? 4:30AM? Ughhh.

At 8:35AM I'm sprinting out of the Hotel Intercontinental with comically mussed hair and a shoe half on. Too late for the market, too late for the Mercado de Abastos I had visited the day before. How 'bout that brilliant tacos al vapor stand I found yesterday?..shit....they're not there!!

Only 40 minutes 'til lobby.Airport food or the hotel? Oh, time.

Walking back to the hotel, and only two blocks away from the entrance, I spy a pick-up truck, a blue tarp, and some seating. OK, whatever this is, I'm doing it.

Looks like birria de chivo(goat birria), great. "What do you have?", I said."Goat udder, tripe, and leg!", the young man proudly stated. Wow, let's have it all.

Birria is a cumin and herbed stew that translate to "a mess", it can be made of any protein, but most commonly:goat,lamb,or beef. In the state of Jalisco, goat is king.

Birria Victor has operated a 7-day a week, 26 year ongoing tail-gate party of a sublime plate of birria. His son, Victor Jr., runs the stand frequented by regulars. It's not oven-roasted, the local tradition, nor is it cooked in a pot, the goat meat is first stewed,then scorched on a comal for a "special flavor". The stock is cooked in a pot, and poured on the meat only seconds prior to serving.

Victor is a riot, as is his crew. A kid rides by with the opposition's soccer logo,Atlas, Victor yells out "Chivas", the kid stands on the pedals,hunches forward and speeds off. It seems he knows everyone that comes down the street, they either stop for a bite or get hazed on the way to somewhere;the number of police that frequent this truck could make Birria Victor its own precinct.

As I'm about to dig in, a portly guy sits next to me and gets a whole shank with a hypnotizing flap of tendon giggling about. It overflows onto the table from the man's bowl. Victor looks at me and him and teases this lucky customer," Hey, pick up the bone like this(he mocks a savage bite from a bone)and let him take a picture;he'll put you on the internet,guey!" Everything here is guey,pinche, chinga..,etc.The guy turns bright red,far too embarrassed to eat his luxurious bowl of shank in front of me. When my back is turned he holds it up, then shakes his head and puts it down, laughing and flashing a red-faced smile.

Everything is cooked on site, the lip of the truck's bed has a comal with a burner beneath that fries the goat and keep the stock warm. Blackened udder, machitos(a preparation of intestines wrapped by a cord of small intestine), and leg are what make this soup so amazing, both in flavor and texture.

All his unique cuts sit in a stock pot prior to being finished on the comal.

The shank is the prize though, known as chamorro,or perico.He refers to the tissue hanging off the bone as nerves, but it is tendon.

The machitos were so good, I ordered a taco of pure goat intestine.A pleasurable amount of crisp and burnt goat flavor are found in Victor's machitos.

Would we care for some beans and onions thrown in?You betcha.

Goat udder here at Birria Victor is more delicate than any beef udder I've enjoyed, and the goat meat Mexican stand-off between the flavors of udder, machitos, and scorched leg remains at a standstill an hour after your meal.The victorious?Well, that would be you, such delightful flavors and textures linger. A salsa of chile de arbol is on the table to heat things up, warm tortillas, and quartered limes to squeeze in just the right amount of acid.

If you find yourself in the hotel zone around the Plaza del Sol in nearby Zapopan in Gaudalajara, consider your breakfast prayers answered.

Birria Victor
7 days a week(8AM 'til early afternoon or they sell out)
parked on Tenochtitlan, just west of Lopez Mateos. X-st. Mariano Otero
Cd.del Sol neighborhood in Zapopan


Food GPS said...

Good save, and great color commentary. My favorite line is probably, "the number of police that frequent this truck could make Birria Victor its own precinct."

Eddie Lin said...

Yo, I just had some tasty birria de chivo today, but this stuff sounds fantastico stylo de Jalisco, guey-duck!

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Anonymous said...

No hay birria mejor en guadalajara. Una vez cuando llegamos Víctor Padre, con su siempre buen sentido del humor que nos dijo "vengan acérquense a mi, dice el señor." Haciendo referencia en que nada puede saciar mejor tu hambre espiritual y física mañanera, que la birria que ahí preparan. Como mi padre dice: "Vic, no sabe fallar".