If you haven’t caught on yet, there’s a birria taco movement that’s sweeping the nation.
It’s become one of the hottest food trends, gaining popularity online through TikTok and Instagram.
But for some restaurants in South Jersey, the dish is a classic that has been part of Mexican culture for many years.
The dish, originally made with goat meat, can be made with beef, veal, pork, lamb, chicken or even seafood.
In Mexico, birria tacos often are served at weddings, baptisms or for other holidays, and they also are known as a hangover cure, according to vallartaeats.com, a company which offers food tours, and mylatinatable.com/authentic-mexican-birria-recipe/, a blog that offers three types if you want to learn to make your own.
The dish is usually served in the morning or as an early lunch meal.
Juicy, flavorful, tasty, cheesy? Yes, all of that.
So, what exactly is a birria taco? A tortilla, made slightly thicker than normal, is fried in fat and a meat (or even fish) filling is normally added. Beef is usually the protein commonly used these days and it’s braised in bone marrow broth flavored with chilies, tomatoes, and many spices before it meets with the tortilla. The meat is extremely tender and flavorful after a slow-cooking process.
Some chefs use Oaxaca cheese, others provolone, and usually cilantro and onions are added. Birria tacos are served with side of broth called consomè. It’s for dunking the savory tacos.
Here are a few places to find this sought-after treat in South Jersey:
Co-owner Cesar Hernandez was on point with his timing to start his business as a food truck operator about four years ago. He opened his brick-and-mortar two years ago and has kept things going, even with the pandemic.
The Delaware native has been making birria tacos at his authentic Mexican restaurant since October, and they are his most popular sellers these days.
“It has become my No. 1 item,” he said. “I’m a little different than most places. I offer it daily.”
“We do the birria; we do our own special blend of seasoning. You can either do chicken birria tacos or beef birria tacos. I do birria empañadas,” he said.
“I do a ramen version, too,” Hernandez said. “You can get ramen noodles with the egg and two tacos on the side. I do a birria pizza, as well. We do a birria torta. The last one we’re adding is a birria quesadilla.”
Hernandez said the normal order is three tacos and that includes tortillas, cheese, cilantro, onions and a choice of protein filling.
“If you do beef, you get brisket,” he said. “If you do chicken, it’s pulled chicken breast. It comes with five ounces of the consomè or au jus.
“All the things I mentioned to you, you can order any day, any time of the day.”