Saving the Best for Last
Thrilled with the caldo tlalpeno, I tried La Casita's other soups at my next visit. The consomme, a delicious by-product in the preparation of barbacoa (pit-steamed/smoked lamb), floated succulent hunks of meat in an incredibly flavorful lamb broth. Menudo, a dark red soup from dried chilis and well stocked with slippery bits of tripe, delivered the expected organ-meat punch. Only a lackluster posole, a red version here, disappointed, light on the signature hominy and compromised by tough, dry pieces of pork.
Unlike the taquerias I visited in September, La Casita also features gorditas and sopes--variations, really, in shape and size and thickness, of the quesadillas--corn masa patted out by hand, fried, and filled or topped with meat and garnishes. Drizzled with salsa, all meld the seductive flavors of crispy corn, piquant chilis, and meat juices. Delicious options include tinga de pollo (spicy braised chicken) and chicharron prensado (pork skin, with bits of meat still clinging to it, slow cooked, pressed into a cake, sliced, and cooked again).