It’s a shame really. That some people don’t eat tongue. That they become tongue-tied when someone asks if they’d like some. In countries like the United States, in fact, it’s better to lead a dog’s life. Because a lot of beef tongue ends up being ground up and put in pet food cans.
But not in Mexico. Mexicans have a deep passion for tongue. Possibly more than any other country in the world. And, most of the time, Mexicans eat it in a very simple dish called tacos de lengua. I will even go out on a limb and say that lengua is one of my three favorite things to grace a tortilla. Along with barbacoa and carnitas.
Beef tongue is so easy to prepare as well. Just simmer it for a few hours with onions, garlic, salt and a couple of bay leaves and you have one of the juiciest, tenderest, most fall apart pieces of meat ever. The best thing I can compare it to is a pot roast. Only it’s better because it has so much more fat content.
So where to eat tacos de lengua in San Miguel in Allende?
My favorite place is Andy’s, the pop-up taco stand on the north side of Insurgentes just east of Hidalgo. And my favorite days of the week…no, better make that nights as Andy’s doesn’t go up until the sun goes down…to enjoy them are Thursday, Friday or Saturday. On those nights, Dino Martini’s is also open so I order my tacos de lengua para llevar (to go), walk up Hidalgo a few steps, sit at the bar, and wash them down with a very cold draft.
I could find Andy’s in the dark. I’d just listen for the constant chop, chop, chopping of something being prepped for a taco.
Andy’s predecorates my tongue tacos with chopped onions, cilantro and salsa roja. And the meat that goes on there is a carnivore’s delight. Just about the best tasting meat you’ll have anytime, anywhere. A taste so good it might have you spouting glossolalia (yes, I’m showing off that I know the fancy word for speaking in tongues…and yes, I did have to go the dictionary to see if I was spelling it right).
My second place for tacos de lengua in San Miguel is La Posadita. And, interestingly, when I recently asked Josefina Quintera, the woman who owns La Posadita, what dish on the menu she’s most proud of, the first thing she mentioned was her tacos de lengua.
Here I order them a little differently. In the tomatillo rich salsa verde. The dish is a lot like the person you date for their personality not their looks because it sure isn’t pretty but it sure is fun to be with. The tongue and tortillas come to your table separately for you to make your own and the tacos are best consumed leaning over the table so you don’t end up with a tomatillo rich lap.
So trust me. It’s not true what Tonto said. This paleface not speak with forked tongue. Tacos de lengua is one of the very best Mexican dishes you’ll ever have.
I mean who should know more about tasting good than a tongue.
Andy’s is located at Insurgentes and Hidalgo in San Miguel de Allende. They’re open nightly from 7:00 pm to a time long after I’ve gone to bed.
La Posadita is located at Cuna de Allende #13 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They’re open from 12:00 Noon to 10:00 pm, closed Wednesdays.