Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 28

Tripa Taco: After a long, grueling weekend on the road, me and some of my bandmates decided to hit El Rey Del Taco on Buford Highway in Atlanta. El Rey is one of my favorite places in town - I've been several times, and they have the best authentic Mexican food around, no question. I've had many things on the menu, but the hecho a mano tacos are the best thing there. They start with a handmade tortilla, then put various meats of your choice on top, followed by cilantro and onion. I've laughed before at their offering of tripa tacos, which I know is tripe, but they describe it as "Chitlins Bowels." Not so appetizing, right? Well, tonight was the night to find out.

The taco was presented just like all the others I've had there, but I was curious to find out if "chitlins bowels" was the same as the other tripe I've tasted. It appeared to have been grilled with a little oil, then chopped pretty finely afterward. I took a bite, and it definitely tasted different - salty, chewy, a bit of a gamy aftertaste, but definitely savory and tender. It seemed like they added some spices as well, so maybe that's what brought the saltiness.With tripe (or most other offal), I feel like it's all about perception. If you didn't know what you were getting ready to eat, you'd gladly try it and maybe enjoy it. That being said, I offered a bite to my guitar player, and he agreed to sample it. He actually didn't mind it, and said that it "tasted like a Slim Jim." That's pretty close, but this was much better, and not a weird processed meat product like a Slim Jim.

Even if you don't want to try "tripa," get down to El Rey Del Taco ASAP. Awesome stuff.


  1. Well said. Definitely more tender than a Slim Jim, but I was pretty surprised by the salty taste...glad I tried it!

  2. Just a note -- tripe and tripas are not necessarily the same thing. Tripe usually means stomach whereas tripas usually refers to the small intestine.

    Like your blog concept BTW.

  3. OK, thanks! Didn't know that. I'm learning all sorts of new stuff from the readers, so I appreciate the comment.

  4. love that place, my favorite is the cabezza (sp)- beef cheek, my husband's fav is the lingua or tongue
    next time you see a dragonfruit snag one - the inside is a surprise