Thursday, November 5, 2009

Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan

Apparently, Rick Bayless loves Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan. I, on the other hand, do not. The fact that it specializes in birria tacos (ones derived from meat stew) intrigued me, but after visiting, I just don't get it.

Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan offers interesting meat-derived taco options, but little else. From the central counter in the small shop, you can choose from birria de res (beef), chivo (goat), lengua (tongue), cabeza (head), and higado (liver), I ordered the birria de res and the birria de chivo, though in retrospect, I wish I had been more adventurous.

After the first bite I took of the birria de chivo, a molar of mine struck a piece of bone chip. That was definitely not awesome and I fear that it killed my appetite and sunk my rating of BRO (ha - another funny taqueria acronym). Once I got past that though, I found the taco to be just okay. The cilantro, onions, and lime were fine, but the meat was dry, bland, chewy, and rough. The bit of sauce on top helped add some spice and moisture, but it didn't do enough.

The birria de res was better with fattier and more succulent meat. I have no idea why this taco didn't come with any of the red sauce, but to be honest, it didn't need the sauce as much. The concept of birria - with its pepper broth base - leads me to believe that the tacos should be automatically flavorful, but the ones at BRO simply weren't.

The second taco stop of my Pilsen adventure left me unimpressed. I will go forth.

Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan - Pilsen - (312)733-2613 - 1322 W. 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608 - Public transportation: bus X9/9, 18 or the 18th stop of the Pink Line.

birria de res - $1.75
birria de chivo - $1.75

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