In this week’s Reader, David Hammond looks at the wonderful Mexican-Middle Eastern hybrid of tacos al pastor. They’re assembled from meat carved off a spit, just like schwarma - it’s been said that they were invented by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico - but in an utterly haram twist, tacos al pastor are almost exclusively made from pork! Hammond rounds up a handful of viable options around the outskirts of the city (no luck for you, 312), and shares a few things you should look out for when selecting your TAP that we have paraphrased in verse:
1) If the meat’s from a griddle, the value is little: what makes al pastor al pastor is the spit. Otherwise, it won’t be crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside.
2) If the restaurant isn’t busy, your stomach will be in a tizzy: that spit meat can go bad pretty quickly, and if there’s not a lot of turnover at the taqueria, you may turn over (this has happened to us before and it’s not pretty).
3) The fresher the ingredients, the more slavish your obedience: this goes without saying. Hammond loves the places with homemade salsa, and pines for homemade tortillas. One day!
Perfection on a Spit [Reader]
[Photo: if your taco al pastor guy is smiling this wide, feel free to step inside (Erielle/flickr)]