Late Night Tacos at La Copacabana

It’s been a while since I gave an update on the great taco challenge.  In a moment of foolishness some time last September, I had suggested a fanciful (and mildly disgusting) goal of eating 1000 tacos during the roughly 8.5 months I’m spending in México.  Well, less than half-way through that time, I’ve hit the half-way taco mark, too.  My own reaction is a simultaneous “ewww,” “cool(!),” and “hmmm, I could use a taco.”

On Friday night, after a few bowls of pulque at Novo’s, a bar within walking distance of the Coyoacan Metro station, we headed over to La Copacabana (not walking distance), a popular, late-night taquería.  There are, apparently, three such named joints, all relatively close to each other, possibly owned by a feuding family; this one is on Division del Norte, near Pacifico.  So, here is #500, a taco de cabeza, which is thin slivers of meat cut from the head of a cow:

Taco (#500) de cabeza at La Copacabana.  (Blame the pulque for any image fuzziness!)

Taco (#500) de cabeza at La Copacabana.

For the record, this was a first both at La Copacabana and eating a taco de cabeza (it’s meaty, with good flavor).  La Copacabana will likely not rank among the best places in town, but for late-night eats, hand-made, fresh tortillas, and a little avocado to top off a steak taco, it’s not bad.  In particular, the tacos al pastor, which are seasoned differently than most I’ve had, might make a return visit necessary.  The count so far: 507.


México, D.F.

Five-Star Street Tacos

If there is such a thing as high-end gourmet street tacos, then I very well might have experienced them last Wednesday.  On a desolate calle near ITAM, where I work, (actually on Torres de Ixtapatongo, I believe, across Periférico from San Angel Tizapán) is a family-run street-side taquería — four posts and a plastic tarp roof.  The street on which this particular taquería is located is unusual because it’s on a small hillside and surrounded by empty lots.  There are few buildings, tons of parking, and no other changarros.  Such isolation is rare in this city!  But the street around this taco stand is packed with cars, all customers for what may described as “deep-fried goodness.”

My order (thankfully recommended) was for two tacos, one with a chicken cutlet and the other with stacked slices of ham and cheese.  Each filling is breaded and then deep fried in a huge cauldron; the resulting piece of heaven is then sliced into strips and heaped onto two warm tortillas.  Yeah, there are salsas and limes, too.  But it’s really about what goes in, and not on a taco.  The chicken is warm and moist and flavorful and the ham and cheese, which I must admit I was a bit skeptical of when ordering, was stellar: the melted cheese, warm ham, and crunchy breading are an outstanding combination, especially when they are fresh from the hot oil.

I need to go back.

I need to go back.

It was a good day for a diet.


México, D.F.