Tacos de Birria have officially taken over Texas. You may have seen them on your social media feeds: folded tacos stuffed with stewed meat, gooey melting cheese, slapped on the flat top grill and served with a side of rich consommé for dipping. So what exactly is birria and what makes it so good that people are lining up to get their hands on some?
Birria comes from the Mexican state of Jalisco in west Mexico. As with any dish or culinary preparation, if you ask a hundred people what makes birria birria you’ll get a hundred different answers. While it is most commonly prepared with goat meat (borrego or chivo) or beef (res) any meat can be used. Here in Texas, beef is king. What can be universally said about birria is that it is a meat cooked in spices, chiles and it’s own juices, usually served either as a stew with tortillas on the side, or as a taco with the consommé (the broth the meat was cooked in) on the side.
Birria tacos have been around for as long as jaliscienses have been stewing meats, but the buzz and new found “Instagramability” appears to have come to us by way of Tijuana, Mexico, and California. Eater San Francisco attributes the trend to El Garaje, a Bay Area taquería who built a huge local following around ‘quesabirria’ or birria with cheese tacos. However it got here, Fort Worthians love it. Here in Texas you might see these tacos called quesatacos, tacos de birria or simply birria tacos, and given their popularity it looks like they will stick around for a while. Here are a few places around town to get your fix.
Birrieria Y Taqueria Cortez
2220 E Rosedale
Birrieria Y Taqueria Cortez serves from a food truck off east Rosedale. So you know what to expect, bring cash and be prepared for a line. Go into it knowing that and you are golden. They are very organized and have an efficient system for taking orders and keeping the line moving, but there are a lot of people who want to get their hands on these tacos. These are the tacos you see on Instagram that make your mouth water. Tortillas bright orange with consommé, stuffed with juicy stewed meat, and dripping with melting cheese. Yes, the green salsa is spicy, and yes, you can handle it.
Mariachi’s Dine In
5724 Locke Avenue
Mariachi’s Dine-In has a strong birria taco and in line with their brand they offer a just-as-tasty vegan option made from jackfruit and with a vegan cheese. Jackfruit has long been eaten as a meat substitute given it’s tender texture and ability to take on savory flavors and it works perfectly in these tacos. Whichever version you choose, you are in for a treat. Grab one of their house made agua frescas while you’re there: vegan (dairy free) horchata, jamaica, or the incredibly refreshing blackberry mint.
The photos below are from the original location which is now called Guapo Taco.
318 E Long Avenue
Antojeria Jalisco has two locations in Fort Worth, one at 318 E Long Ave and another inside La Gran Plaza de Fort Worth. Whichever you visit, prepare yourself for some delicious tacos de birria. I called in an order to-go at their Grand Plaza location (located on the second floor next to the Verizon store), and it was probably some of the most tender and juicy birria meat I've tried. Their quesatacos did not disappoint, either. Top it with the red salsa (super garlicky), and you are good to go.
Other Places to Try: