Kirbie's Cravings

Aqui Es Texcoco

photo of the outside of Aqui Es Texcoco

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.
photo of grilled tortillas filled with meat

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.
photo of garnishes and sauces
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.

Lamb Broth
overhead photo of Lamb Broth
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.
photo of a spoonful of garbanzo beans in the soup

Enchilada, Rolled Taco, Sope Combination
overhead photo of Enchilada, Rolled Taco, Sope Combinationclose-up photo of 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.
close-up photo of the toppingsphoto of the beans and meat
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)
1043 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91911
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8 comments on “Aqui Es Texcoco”

  1. Those tacos sure look good!  Gotta find a time to visit when there isn’t a huge line…

    • there wasnt any line when i went! and when I left, it was around 12pm and the place was still relatively empty.

  2. I remember we all tried going here a few years ago during on of our food crawls. The line was too long so we went to Asi es Jalisco which was one plaza over (we had the beef and goat birria there).  I am not a fan of lamb but I did try the brain and huitlacoche tacos (didn’t like either). I also tried the flor de calabaza tacos here (squash flowers) and potato; both of which I liked.

  3. I just saw the re run of their Bizarre Food’s episode the other week. I noticed they have non-lamb items on menu – have you tried any of those items?

    • i have not. since they are known for their lamb, i wanted to stick to that. i am thinking of trying the quail next time though

  4. What a coincidence! I just had their lamb barbacoa tacos first time this weekend at a wedding! They were sooo delicious. The next time you go, you have to get their chicharron de queso, which we were so addicted to!