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Old 06-30-2006   #1 (permalink)
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Review: Great barbacoa at "LA BORREGA"

First and foremost - thanks to Ginger for tipping me off about this place.

On my last visit to Playa, I ate at a wonderful restaurant that served some of the best borrega barbacoa I've ever had. The place is called "La Borrega" located on Hwy 307 directly across the street from the McDonalds in the parking lot of Chedraui.

After enjoying my lunch there, I chatted with the owner for a while. The restaurant's motto is "Barbacoa con Tradicion" and these guys really take pride in their food! From what I understand they cook their barbacoa (lamb - hence the name, "La Borrega") in a traditional mud oven underground. All I know is that it came out of the kitchen tender, juicy and swimming in flavor.

I ordered several tacos including their lechon (pork), borrego and the panza. The pork was okay, but just okay. A bit dry actually (I suspect they may not sell nearly as much of this as of the lamb). Like I said the borrego was AWESOME. The panza was also FANTASTIC, but I would suggest ordering it ONLY if you enjoy organ meats, sweetbreads, etc. The way the panza is prepared, they take the internal organs of the lamb (heart, lungs, etc) and stuff it in the lamb's stomach with some YUMMIE spices and then cook it. Once cooked, its chopped and served. It was VERY good, very juicy and tender with a heavy earthy taste that you ONLY get when eating tasty "innards."

As Ginger had mentioned to me earlier, La Borrega is known for serving "family style" where they bring out orders by the kilo in big clay pots with a stack of tortillas. Unfortunately I was there solo that day so did not get to enjoy that experience. The owner also mentioned to me that it was very common and traditional to order their consommé with chunks of lamb, and after eating some soup, to take the chunks of meat and eat them in a tortilla like a taco.

Bottom line - a really great meal. If you are a fan of barbacoa its worth a quick taxi ride across 307!
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Old 06-30-2006   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StewartG
After enjoying my lunch there, I chatted with the owner for a while. The restaurant's motto is "Barbacoa con Tradicion" and these guys really take pride in their food! From what I understand they cook their barbacoa (lamb - hence the name, "La Borrega") in a traditional mud oven underground. All I know is that it came out of the kitchen tender, juicy and swimming in flavor.
This sound all the way like real barbacoa, which has very little to do with a BBQ/barbeque/howeveryoucallit in the USA context.
Yep, the consome is drank with a spoon and then you have the meat in your tortilla with some cilantro, onion, salsa and limón. It´s flavor is very particular and in central México they only do bussines on weekends, it´s difficult to find a good barbacoa on a Wednesday for example, except in little towns or specialized restaurants that only serve that. On Sat & Sun, you find the barbacoa stands near churches or markets,´and only from morning into midafternoon or sooner if they run out of meat (which is not very unfrequent).
As mentioned, organs and tripes are considered a delicacy but only for conoiseurs, asphalt flowers (like me) stand clear of those borders, they may smell wonderful, though.
Another complain, where are the pics? On vacation you never leave the camera at the hotel or in hands of Kelli.
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Old 06-30-2006   #3 (permalink)
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This sound all the way like real barbacoa, which has very little to do with a BBQ/barbeque/howeveryoucallit in the USA context.
Yep, the consome is drank with a spoon and then you have the meat in your tortilla with some cilantro, onion, salsa and limón. It´s flavor is very particular and in central México they only do bussines on weekends, it´s difficult to find a good barbacoa on a Wednesday for example, except in little towns or specialized restaurants that only serve that. On Sat & Sun, you find the barbacoa stands near churches or markets,´and only from morning into midafternoon or sooner if they run out of meat (which is not very unfrequent).
As mentioned, organs and tripes are considered a delicacy but only for conoseurs, asphalt flores (like me) stand clear of those borders, they may smell wonderful, though.
Another complain, where are the pics? On vacation you never leave the camera at the hotel or in hands of Kelli.
Once again - I have failed you... I am going to try to grab lunch at this place again with Iain when I return next month. I will bring my camera and snap some photos, unless someone beats me to it!

Jesus - we have several places in Houston that make good barbacoa. In Texas, however (at least around Houston), most barbacoa seems to be made from the cabeza de vaca. I understand in central Mexico most barbacoa is from lamb, and from the entire animal, not just the head.
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Old 06-30-2006   #4 (permalink)
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Once again - I have failed you... I am going to try to grab lunch at this place again with Iain when I return next month. I will bring my camera and snap some photos, unless someone beats me to it!
Jesus - we have several places in Houston that make good barbacoa. In Texas, however (at least around Houston), most barbacoa seems to be made from the cabeza de vaca. I understand in central Mexico most barbacoa is from lamb, and from the entire animal, not just the head.
Failiure, failiure.... oh my, oh my. What can we do with you? besides sending you again and again until you are so overweight that you can´t return to Texas.
You are right, the barbacoa is made with the whole animal, you would prefer to eat the voluminous hindlegs of a "borrego" instead a bit of cow's cheek.
But I can´t remember which other delicacy is made with the cow's head.
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Old 07-01-2006   #5 (permalink)
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Stewart:
Thank you for sharing your barbacoa find. I will have to go there next time I am in Playa.
I love barbacoa. Besides lamb and beef is also made with goat. OOPS! sorry Goat.
As Jesus mentioned, in Mexico City and in other places in Mexico you can only find it on weekends. I have eaten barbacoa at the Holiday Inn at the Zocalo and it is very good. It is customary to have barbacoa for breakfast. In the northern states it is usually made from beef or the cabeza (head) hence that is why in Tejas you have barbacoa de rez. My relatives are from the Laredo and San Antonio area, so when we visited them, we had barbacoa for breaky on the weekends. YUM! The cabeza meat is delicious especially the cheeks and tongue. There is one specialty dish that is served at the Opera Bar near the Zocalo in Mexico City. It is beef tongue in salsa verde. It is soooo good.

Last edited by Sol; 07-01-2006 at 01:52 PM..
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Old 07-01-2006   #6 (permalink)
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Ginger, you promised you´d keep the secret!

I totally agree: that is great barbacoa.

Good news: you can order from 250 grams and they´d bring it to you on those clay pots and a stack of tortillas.

Luis
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Old 07-01-2006   #7 (permalink)
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Ginger, you promised you´d keep the secret!

I totally agree: that is great barbacoa.

Good news: you can order from 250 grams and they´d bring it to you on those clay pots and a stack of tortillas.

Luis
Ay Dios! that sounds soooo good.
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Old 07-02-2006   #8 (permalink)
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Can't wait to get back there with Iain in July!

That tongue dish w/ salsa verde sounds good too. (Best tongue I've ever had was served sliced and marinated w/ sliced scallions and some other funky stuff at a Taiwanese restaurant here in Houston - on the menu under the section "Drinkers Appetizers.")
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Old 07-02-2006   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by StewartG
Can't wait to get back there with Iain in July!

That tongue dish w/ salsa verde sounds good too. (Best tongue I've ever had was served sliced and marinated w/ sliced scallions and some other funky stuff at a Taiwanese restaurant here in Houston - on the menu under the section "Drinkers Appetizers.")
Yeah that dish wasn't bad but the pig intestines stugged with scallions and fried was even better.
I wish Taiwanese cousine was still open, I would take the FN there if I end up hosting/guiding the Houston show.
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Old 07-02-2006   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah that dish wasn't bad but the pig intestines stugged with scallions and fried was even better.
I wish Taiwanese cousine was still open, I would take the FN there if I end up hosting/guiding the Houston show.
Absolutely - no doubt. The fried intestine was great. Light and flavorful. Great dish!!!

I love your idea bout the Food Network guys. (John may be appearing on the food network for a Houston based show and he's asked me to "co host" with him. ) Line those Food Network guys up and see which are brave enough to try the fermented bean curd or the pig intestine with jellied pork blood in chili sauce! (I loved the way they served that dish on top of a burner - good presentation!)
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Old 07-02-2006   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by StewartG
Can't wait to get back there with Iain in July!

That tongue dish w/ salsa verde sounds good too. (Best tongue I've ever had was served sliced and marinated w/ sliced scallions and some other funky stuff at a Taiwanese restaurant here in Houston - on the menu under the section "Drinkers Appetizers.")
During summer, I hardly cook, but this fall, I will try to see if I can put together a recipe for the lengua en salsa verde. If it comes out O.K., I'll send you the recipe if you would like. I don't think it will be to hard, but just time consuming.
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Old 07-04-2006   #12 (permalink)
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During summer, I hardly cook, but this fall, I will try to see if I can put together a recipe for the lengua en salsa verde. If it comes out O.K., I'll send you the recipe if you would like. I don't think it will be to hard, but just time consuming.
That would be wonderful! Thanks so much! I'm always up for learning new dishes!!!
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Old 12-09-2006   #13 (permalink)
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Once again - I have failed you... I am going to try to grab lunch at this place again with Iain when I return next month. I will bring my camera and snap some photos, unless someone beats me to it!
Ahem, ahem, is going to be the end of the year and you already went to Playa and I haven´t seen the photos nor a trip report back to this place,
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Old 12-09-2006   #14 (permalink)
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Ahem, ahem, is going to be the end of the year and you already went to Playa and I haven´t seen the photos nor a trip report back to this place,
Meet me there for peepfest OR peepstock! I'll buy you lunch!
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Old 12-09-2006   #15 (permalink)
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Meet me there for peepfest OR peepstock! I'll buy you lunch!
I'm cheap, but not that cheap!

I don´t know if I'm gonna be able to attend any of those two fests,

Anyway, buen provecho.
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