Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 126

Pig's Head Taco: I'm a huge fan of anything in taco form, and when the GF told me that Hector Santiago (owner/chef of Pura Vida and Super Pan Latin Sandwich Shop) was now serving tacos/burritos from a stand across the street from his restaurants, I was excited. The stand, called "El Burro Pollo," is only open for lunch on Sat/Sun, and I managed to eat there twice this weekend. Yesterday's lunch (a delicious, ginormous chicken burrito) offered nothing new for me, but today's special was something else. I noticed on their Twitter account (@ElBurroPollo) that they were serving pig's head tacos, which are obviously right up my alley. I grabbed some cash, then headed down to check them out.
When I pulled up, Chef Santiago and his crew had a grill going to heat the fresh corn tortillas on, but the real surprise was directly behind that. Positioned on a work table was an whole pig's head, from which the chef was carving chunks of meat for the tacos. Seeing the whole head of any animal (raw or cooked) is pretty intimidating, but I knew that what came off of there was going to be tasty. I've eaten several cuts from cow's head (cheek, tongue, etc.), but never anything from a pig's head. I'm not sure what sections of the head they used for my taco, but at this point I didn't care - it smelled amazing.

After my taco was topped with some additional ingredients (carrot, radish, cilantro and some hot/mild chile sauces), I was ready to go. My first bite really surprised me - the texture was a lot like very finely minced pulled pork, but much more fatty and savory. I also noticed a few bits of crunchy skin, which may have been my favorite thing about it. Who doesn't love pork skin, right? The other ingredients definitely added some nice flavors, and the chile sauce (which tasted like maybe chipotle/adobo) brought a little heat. I actually spoke to Chef Santiago for a second about how much I was enjoying the pig's head, and he said that the last few people to show up get some of the brain. Lucky!

I should also add that the tacos/burritos are absolutely huge, so come hungry. My single taco was more like 2 tacos worth of food, which was an awesome deal. I know the stand is closed for the next couple weekends during the holidays, but I highly recommend checking it out after that. You won't be sorry.

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