birria

When it comes to food, I like it quick, easy, and with plenty of flavor. Take the ingredients, mix them up, and watch while it stews in its own goodness. Pulling up to the Cortez Birria truck on 2220 E Rosedale St Fort Worth, TX 76105 in the Poly neighborhood, I couldn’t help but think of the birria making process a friend once described.

You take the baby goat, chop it up, and wrap the body in large banana leaves. Dig a hole in the ground and let it cook for about 2 hours, once cooked you take the carcass from the leaves and place it inside a bag. You take the bag and smash it repeatedly over a rock…the meat is so tender it falls of the bone. Perfection!

You take the bag and smash it repeatedly over a rock…the meat is so tender it falls of the bone. Perfection!

Now I don’t know how much of this was accurate but it sounded legit, having witnessed the gutting process of a goat in my younger years I could see how this could be true. Somehow someway, a baby goat in the world magically turns itself into delicious tacos.

– birria making process

the dish

My first and only encounter with birria prior was in the Fall of 2019 in Chicago, in the Pilsen neigborhood just south of downtown at the best birrieria in the world called Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan.

– Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan – Nov. 2019

It was a Sunday and the place was filled with families having their morning breakfast and for others, a cure for la cruda. For those unfamiliar with the dish, birria is one of those go-to dishes after a long night of drinking and partying. The dish has it’s roots in the Mexican state of Jalisco and is traditionally made of goat meat that is typically served on celebratory occasions. It is cooked in a stew like fashion and served with corn tortillas and a side of consomé (soup broth) that contains more of the meat inside.

You hardly hear of goat meat cusine in the US despite being consumed by a large amount per capita in other countries, the largest being Sudan and China. Hopefully this latest dish craze could help bring awareness to the possibilities in goat meat, perhaps goat burger paties might be a thing in the future?

a waiting game

For anyone looking to get their mouths on some birria in Fort Worth, my only advice is get there early! It’s not like your traditional food truck where you take your order and within ten minutes you’re out the door. Instead it’s more of a 30-45 minute wait depending on the location, my first try was at the spot on Belknap called Caliscience. It was around noon on a Saturday and the line extended down to the intersection of Belknap and Riverside. It took me five minutes to realize it was going to be a long wait and I wasn’t moving at all, luckily the Cortez truck has developed a more efficient drive thru system that wraps around the truck -cutting wait time to about 45 minutes.

the verdict

Overall, I give my experience a solid 4 out of 5. Much of this has to do with my lack of experience eating the dish which is next to none and based more on the service. The tacos were packed with meat and the consomé was on point, I was told 4 tacos was a good amount for one person – I would say 2-3 is better depending on how much you eat. The tacos came out to $3.068 ea (cheese and tax included) and small consomé at $2.34 ea (tax included). I would definitely call ahead and place an order by phone instead of waiting in line. The staff was friendly and my family was overall happy with the food. I ended up having some leftovers which I later ate but be warned, the tortillas becomes soggy after reheating. Topping are provided with each order and each taco comes with two corn tortillas.

final thoughts

Birria is one of those “hype foods” of the moment where it’s such a novelty, people wait long lines just to get their hands on it. While it tastes really good, I wouldn’t wait more than an hour trying to get it. I have plans on someday tasting all the birria spots in the city to get a better understanding of the taste and see which ones come out on top!

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