Friday, September 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Truck Stop: South Philly Barbacoa

Cristina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa. (Natalie Chicco photo via Facebook)
Cristina Martinez of South Philly Barbacoa. (Natalie Chicco photo via Facebook)

What to eat: Benjamin Miller and Cristina Martinez, the husband-wife duo that runs this Sunday-only food cart, won't give away all their secrets, but you won't care once you try their lamb barbacoa tacos. The meat is cooked to perfection, low and slow. Help yourself to some onions, cilantro and red or green sauce. Eat it right there. That way, you can plunk down another $3 for seconds. The recipe comes from Martinez's hometown of Toluca, Mexico, where "every other house is making barbacoa," according to Miller. This is some of our favorite Mexican food in Philly. No wonder Mexican restaurant staffs order here for delivery.

Don't miss: Pancita tacos, made from lamb stomach, with chilies and ground pork. If you're an unadventurous food eater, now is the time to take the leap and live a little. You won't be disappointed. Get a cup of consomme - broth made from the steamed meat - to go with it. "All the drippings come down and that forms the consomme," Miller said. We love drippings. They add garbanzo beans, rice and chile de arbol.

Game plan: They start serving at 6 a.m. Sunday - dinnertime for their third-shift customers. They usually sell out by about 1 p.m. So make it an early lunch. Or breakfast. Why not?

Price: Barbacoa and pancita tacos are $3 each. Vegan tacos are $2. Consomme is $3.

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  • Hard-core: For $60, you can throw a serious house party. That'll get you a kilo of meat served over a maguey leaf, tortillas, diced white onions, chopped cilantro, limes (or lemons), nopales, salsa roja and salsa verde - and 2 quarts of consomme. Serves about five people and temporarily makes you the most popular person in South Philly.

    Where: 8th and Watkins. Look for a nondescript silver truck. Check Facebook for other serving locations: South Philly Barbacoa-Street Food.


    Daily News reporter William Bender just discovered barbacoa. What else is he missing? Tweet food truck tips to @wbender99.

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