Aqui Es Texcoco, known for their lamb barbecue (barbacoa), has drawn the attention of many food media outlets and was even featured on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods a few years ago.
Texcoco is a region in Mexico where lamb barbacoa originated. Traditionally, the meat is slow roasted for hours in an underground fire pit covered with maguey leaves. Because of US restaurant regulations, this process is not done here, but according to many, Aqui Es Texcoco’s is the best you’ll taste in the US and closely resembles the traditional version.
I’ve personally never tasted the Texcoco version, but I do enjoy the lamb barbacoa here.
We recently visited this weekend and there was actually a crew from the Cooking Channel filming a taco segment. Luckily, we were still able to grab a table.
Aqui Es Texcoco specializes in lamb barbacoa and it’s basically what you should order when you are here. A good choice is the barbacoa plate which comes with a variety of lamb parts along with soft tortillas and taco fixings so you can make your own lamb tacos.
However on this visit, we decided to get the lamb tacos, served with grilled tortillas. You can choose from lean meat, rib, tripe, brain or head. We chose to get one of each.
The folded tortillas came out hot, golden and crispy. Each one was stuffed with lamb and accompanied with fresh papalo, an herb similar to cilantro that is common in Mexico. We also were provided with other garnishes and sauces to add to our tacos.
I tend to favor the rib meat, tender and moist with slightly crispy edges. For those unafraid of a little fat, the head is probably the most flavorful of all the parts.
While the barbacoa plate comes with lamb broth, the tacos do not, so we ordered a small cup. The thin clear broth is rich and hearty. At the bottom you’ll find garbanzo beans and bits of rice.
Enchilada, Rolled Taco, Sope Combination
We usually stick to just the lamb barbacoa and tacos but decided to try some of their other offerings. We ordered the lamb version of this combination plate. While everything tasted fine, I didn’t quite enjoy this as much. Covered in so many ingredients, the lamb meat didn’t get a chance to shine. Next time we’ll stick to the bbq plate or lamb tacos.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit here. The staff is extremely friendly and will take the time to explain things to first time visitors. The restaurant is a little small, but you can always order your food to-go and you can even place orders online. You can check out the full menu here.
Aqui Es Texcoco
(also locations in LA and Tijuana)
Chula Vista, CA 91911