It’s been several years since I first heard about birria tacos, but I wanted to make sure that I tried it somewhere nice, so it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally got to try birria tacos for the first time, when my Mexican friend Alejandra (@lemontwist_nyc) suggested that we go to Chofi Taco in Union City. According to Ale, Chofi Taco has some of the best birria tacos she has tried, and after our visit, I can only agree. Those tacos are amazing!
Birria is a kind of Mexican stew, which is traditionally made with goat meat, but which is also available with beef, chicken or lamb, and birria tacos are, as the name suggests, tacos with the meat from the stew. The broth (consomé) from the stew is served in a bowl on the side, so that you can dip your tacos. Ale told me that in many places in Mexico you are served the birria stew with the meat still in it, so you take out the mat yourself and build your own taco with meat, cilantro and lime. At many places you are only served a small amount of consommé, so Ale said, she really liked the rather generous serving you get at Chofi, with enough consomé to dip the tacos in, and to drink as a soup afterwards.
Along with our food, we had a glass of horchata, which is a Mexican rice drink with cinnamon and sugar, and the sweet, smooth taste was a really nice contrast to the flavor-packed Mexican food.
We also ordered esquites, which are Mexican corn off the cob as opposed to elotes (see Ale’s recipe here), which are corn still on the cob. You eat esquites mixed with crema (Mexican sour cream), lime and queso fresco (a kind of Mexican cheese), and it tastes delicious.
Sopes are thick, Mexican tortillas with a border around the edge, so you can really fill it with all sorts of delicious things, and when we saw the sopes on the menu (at Chofi Taco they are dark blue), we also had to try them. The sopes were served with cheese, onion and red and green salsa, and tasted really good too. So practical with that raised edge, which keeps the topping in place.
Here is a video from our birria taco lunch at Chofi: