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Best of SA 2012

Best Barbacoa

1. Tellez Tamales & Barbacoa
1737 S General McMullen
(210) 433-1367

Many people can't stomach the idea — not to mention the source and texture — of barbacoa. We're talking to you, our fidgety gringo friend. Mexican contributions to this land are many, and those culinary staples (tortillas anyone? Salsa?) now represent in even the most Latino-lite households. By now, we all know menudo is tripe (or, capitalized, a former boy band). Barbacoa is slow-cooked cow or goat head, the meat derived primarily from the cheeks. It ain't health food, and far from vegan. Yet it's a delicious specialty, and you have to really know what you're doing to prepare it. A steaming barbacoa heap on a warm tortilla — corn or flour, you pick — is heavenly, like butter, and just as fattening. The folks at Tellez Tamales & Barbacoa are masters at creating this time-honored dish. If Mr. Miyagi had been Mexican, he'd feel right at home at this place that values the delayed gratification required for barbacoa enjoyment. He'd probably gulp it down with Big Red, which is also de rigueur.

2. Culebra Meat Market
3017 Blanco (multiple locations), (210) 732-7477

3. Fuentes Barbacoa
2703 W Southcross, (210) 927-7220

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