They’ve never been places I’d purposefully go out to. They’re more places I’d just end up at when I’d go out. And, most often…which was very often…after a drink or two or maybe three.
I’m talking about taco stands. The most basic yet the ultimate Mexican dining experience.
I hear that a lot of San Miguel taco stands are still open during the Covid-19 crisis. But I also hear that not a lot of them are doing any business.
I get it. People aren’t going out. And if people don’t go out, people don’t eat tacos.
So how do you get your taco fix when you’re bunkered up, even when the only series you have left to watch on Netflix all have subtitles? Well, yes, I have a suggestion. And it’s for a taco that I (a guy who can be very shy with superlatives) once called the best taco in San Miguel de Allende.
The place is Taco Lab Tacolicious. The taco is the guajillo-braised brisket. And the place to order is Uber Eats.
Donnie Masterton, chef/owner of Taco Lab once told me, “I really think of tacos as food for the soul” and, with that fall-apart beef at its heart, this taco is as soulful as it gets.
Taco Lab’s choice of chile pepper in the braised-brisket taco’s sauce brings out some intricate flavors. Guajillos have a fruitiness that’s a little like blueberries, a little like cranberries, a little like prunes, and a mild heat that’s just right for almost everyone.
There is something else in my favorite San Miguel taco though that I couldn’t identify. So I asked Donnie Masterton.
“The guajillo braised beef tacos are my go-to taco whenever I myself eat at Taco Lab. I love a good braise. The key is a long low and slow braise to get them tender and soft enough to shred the meat with a couple of forks”, said Donnie, “but the secret to the deep rich flavor of these tacos is a good Mexican dark beer.”
Now even though Taco Lab’s braised brisket taco is about twice the size of a conventional taco stand taco, with an appetite like mine, you will still need a second taco. My second choice (though it should be eaten first when paired with the brisket) is the baja-style fish taco. The crisp but lightly battered filet of mojarra is served with raw cabbage and a tangy cumin cream. And if the fish taco doesn’t work for you as a starter, the charred octopus and cochinita pibil also come highly recommended.
You can order from Taco Lab’s menu from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, seven days a week at ubereats.com. Delivery is currently free for orders over $200. And please tip the driver as though they’re your server.