Tag Archive | "Mexican food"

Tripe Tacos: From one stomach to yours


By CHASEN MARSHALL

It’s hard to turn down an authentic looking and smelling taco. Beef and chicken – just keep ‘em coming! Nearly anything in a tortilla with a few key toppings is probably digestible. What about goat and pork stomach lining? Hmm, second thoughts.

A delicacy in most cultures, tripe is the edible offal from the stomach of various farm animals. In Italy it’s topped with Parmesan and pan-fried. In some Chinese restaurants it’s served in a soup. At Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s fried and topped with a secret seasoning and served on a flour tortilla with diced onions and cilantro.

Tehuitzingo is a small hole-in-the-wall joint festooned with a Mexican flag on the awning out front, and a green, white and red color palate throughout. Inside, a cooler full of Mexican cerveza, and a window at the rear of the store, manned by a small dark-skinned woman wearing an apron bode well for the ambiance, at least.

Tripa and sangre, as they appear on the menu, are pork tripe and goat tripe – to be clear: the lining of the primary digestive organ of a pig and a goat. The visual difference between the two couldn’t be more different. The goat meat was dark and resembled charred ground beef, whereas the pork was lighter in color and looked like half-cooked calamari. Both had a salty taste (though it may have been the seasoning) and were difficult to stomach at first (mainly because of the idea that it was going from one stomach to another). After the initial shock, it tasted like most any well-dressed Mexican taco that can be found at a small stand south of the border.

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Tongue tacos in Manhattan


By DANIEL WOOLFOLK

Walk down a street in any given Mexican city and you will find many taco stands, the good ones before the bad ones.  The aroma of spicy meat and vegetables will guide your feet to the perfect stand.  Most have meat or pork tacos, but every once in a while you might run into one that serves lengua, Spanish for tongue.

While Manhattan doesn’t have the stands on every corner, you can find tongue in Harlem at the brick and mortar hotel, Cinco De Mayo  Restaurant at 1028 Amsterdam Ave. has them.  No such aroma on the sidewalk, but you’ll know to go in by it’s big Red, Green and white canopy on the west side of the street.

They charge $2.95 a taco, which isn’t too bad.  In Northern Mexico they go for about a dollar each.  The tongue isn’t made directly from the meat.  It’s boiled, peeled then sautéed, normally with tomatoes and onions.  Then it’s topped off with cilantro in true Mexican fashion.  And to make it even more authentic, you have to squeeze a little lime on it, preferably from your cold Corona.

It’s most common to eat them with corn tortillas.  You might need two, because the tongue tends to be somewhat watery.   A normal person will probably be satisfied with about six tacos.  The beauty in that is to vary them.  If you’re not feeling bold, have a couple steak tacos, maybe some head-meat tacos.  Once you have tongue, you can graduate to tacos made from head muscles.  And that’s the gateway drug for entering the adventurously delicious world of brain and tripe tacos.

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