Mexican soul food, part two


This photo was taken the other night at about three in the morning at a hole-in-the-wall taco stand on calle Bolivar, a street known for its myriad cantinas. Various different meats had been swirling in that deep fat since approximately one in the afternoon. For the uninitiated, they include slabs of suadero (a cut of beef from the lower part of the rib), extensive tubes of longaniza sausage, festively curling tripes and chunks of pork marinated in chile – all sizzling in the same deep grease. After you place your order, the murderous-looking taquero daintily dips the tortillas in the fat before heating them in the center of the grill, chops the corresponding meats with which to fill them, and voila. Before serving, he’ll ask if you want the tacos garnished with “vegetables.” (He’s referring to chopped onion and cilantro.) The traditional accompaniment is a water-based soft drink known as Boing, which comes in various fruit flavors. The one in the photo is mango.

5 thoughts on “Mexican soul food, part two

  1. Michael Parker Stainback - April 22, 2008

    Kudos on the Boing! plug–and thank God it was in the glass bottle. Boing! needs to betalked about more –celebrated more! I think of it as Mexican Orangina–but like many things in Mexico, sweeter, more sentimental and delightfully antiquated. I have terrible, deep anxiety that Boing! will just go away one day.–MP

  2. julio - April 24, 2008

    Blues del inmigrante: mi reino por un boing de mango!

  3. Strika - April 25, 2008

    When I was a kid, Boing came in a sort of triangular tetra-pack. I don’t think they still sell it like that… Anyway I hope Boing will not go away, not only because of the nostalgia factor but because the company is a worker-owned cooperative.

  4. Judy - April 28, 2008

    Am I the only detractor of Boing? It always gave me raspiness in the throat for some reason, so I didn’t like it, even when purchased at the cafeteria at school in those fabulous pyramidal tetrapaks that had a hole for the popote built in. But I have to admit the Boing de guayaba is pretty good
    I’ve yet to try suadero. It frightens me a little.

  5. Jodorowski - March 15, 2013

    Dear David: Boing, is not “the” traditional beverage, is just one of the many options available at every “taquería”. Mexico is one of the greatest soft drinks consumers. Many other popular choices are “Lulú”, “Jarritos”, “Peñafiel”, “Sidral Mundet”, which are local soda brands (some carbonated, other not); even Beer (in selected places) are popular. Other best world-known brands used are Coke, Fanta, Sprite, etc… as you can look in the photo itself…
    The immersion liquid is not only fat but a mix of water, meat-juices and meat’s fat. The “verdura” is not a garnish but a complement to the taco itself (it goes inside it, not besides). A better translation of “verdura” would be “greens”. Although “verdura” means literally “vegetable” in this context the sense of this word (in spanish) is a variety of green leafs and herbs – kind of a salad. In this case is finely chopped coriander and white onion. There is also some containers with thin-sliced radish, chile habanero, cucumber and brassed nopal which are used as a true garnish to your tacos (they go besides)… 🙂 Good review anyway! P.S.: I’m a fan of this taquería… a visit per month is mandatory to me. Regards!

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