Friday, March 22, 2013

Mexican Seder

This blog post seems to be the most popular this time of year. If you’re a judio celebrating your first or second night of Passover in a few days, then listen up, I have your brisket taco recipe right here.   It’s not really kosher but who’s really keeping tabs? Here’s a spinach salad and hibiscus flower vinaigrette recipe that goes nicely with the brisket tacos.

Oh, and next year in Jerusalem. 


• Electric Slow Cooker
• Cast iron skillet (for tortillas)
• Regular skillet


• 1 (3-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Vegetable or Olive oil
• ¼ cup water
• 2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1 large)
• 1 1/2 cups chopped parsnip (about 2)
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 (12-ounce) bottle light beer (Sol, Pacifico, Corona)
• Corn tortillas


Rub brisket with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, with a napkin coat pan with oil. Add brisket to pan; cook 10 minutes, browning on all sides.

Remove brisket from the pan. Add 1/4 cup water to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits (yummy). Add onion and parsnip; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

Place onion mixture, vinegar, bay leaf, and beer in a large electric slow cooker. Place brisket on top of onion mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (trust me it’s worth the wait).

Cut brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

Now, heat iron skillet. Lightly brush tortillas with oil on both sides. Heat and turn over a few times until warm. Add brisket to the tortillas and add tomatillo salsa. I’d give you my own recipe but I’ll leave that for another day.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pinche Taqueria 333 LaFayette Street, NYC, NY 212-343-9977 (Between Houston & Bleecker)

I wanted to hate this place, I really did. Why? Because it’s in a fashionable part of town and I heard some gringo owns it that’s why. No rational explanation, just good old fashion hatin.’ To me good taquerias exist in the barrio, off a cart powered by a propane gas tank, and not on the corner of LaFayette and Bleeker Street.  But, I was proven wrong.  Damn I hate being wrong.

This place definitely has an authentic taste. I ordered four tacos and had them in this order:

Pollo Asado
Al Pastor
Carne Asada

Love the single tortilla serving, if you’re not serving tiny tacos then there is no need for the second tortilla. This place automatically serves your tacos with guacamole, and of course cebolla y cilantro (If you read this blog regularly you should know what this is, if not google it).

Their chicken taco tastes like it’s suppose to… charbroiled meat (a good thing). The carnitas  (braised pork) has flavor!!!   The Al Pastor, this for some reason seems to be a tricky taco for taqueros to master, Pinche Taqueria does an excellent job at executing.  Finally the carne asada taco, the classic.  If I would have just ordered carne asada, this would have been enough.

If you find yourself in this part of town, definitely stop by.  Tacos start at $2.95. They have a 2nd taqueria on Mott Street as well. 

* If you're from the West Coast and reading this blog post and are shocked by the taco prices, I blame NYC real estate for the expensive pricing. 

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Austin/SXSW Edition: Taqueria Chapala

Taqueria Chapala

2101 E. Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702

You want to escape the madness that is SXSW for a minute? From the convention center head East on Cesar Chavez for about a mile or so and you’ll find yourself at Taqueria Chapala.   The restaurant is adorned with faded posters of the church and city of Chapala, Jalisco. 

Lets get down to it, I sampled a wide variety of tacos, sometimes only taking a bite or two of a taco. My sample:  
  • Seasoned barbacoa Jalisco style
  • Beef tongue
  • Al pastor
  • Carne guisada
  • Pollo
  • Nopales (cactus)
The only tacos one should order are the seasoned barbacoa Jalisco style taco and the carne guisada.   Two completely different styles but both evenly balanced with the right amount of spices, a nice bouquet of tastiness.  The al pastor taco was underwhelming and generic; and after inhaling the carne guisada taco I had high hopes for the beef tongue taco, but the meat was a bit dry and the salsa and lime juice only helped a little.   The cactus taco deserves a mention because  it doesn’t get a lot of attention and it's an acquired taste.

Taqueria Chapala is opened from 9am till 11pm. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tacos For The Homeless

I have never heard of Taco Time, don't know who they are but this Friday, at noon at Steve Cox park in Seattle; Taco Time will be giving free tacos for the homeless.   It's nice to see people doing their part to make their community a better place. Read the story here.

Austin/SXSW Edition: La Condesa

La Condesa

400A West 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701

My First Stop

I arrived yesterday afternoon and went to the first place that was closest for dinner.  Wednesday night was a busy night for this modern Mexican restaurant called La Condesaand I have a feeling it's only going to get busier as the festival gets underway. 

We are here for tacos so lets get down to it.  Don't oder tacos here. The reason: this isn't a taqueria. The menu boasts platos fuertes like: pan-seared duck breast and a citrus rub chicken mole... doesn't that sound awesome?!  So, I ask you to not make the mistake I made and order tacos. Their tacos in general are good, but the carnitas tacos were a bit too greasy for my taste and I paid $20 for 4 tacos! Back in the day $20 bucks worth of tacos fed my family including our dog, 'El Mickey.'  

Wrap up

Don't get tacos, get a plato fuerte. Definitely call ahead and make reservations.  Here's a different POV from Austinite blogueros Taco Journalism.

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