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Wednesday May 24, 2017
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Taco Trio

 

continued

Taco King's carnitas tacos also proffer deep pork savor, and occasional crispy bits. Carnitas rank as one of my favorites among taco fillings, but of the trio of restaurants, only Taco King offers it, perhaps due to the difficulty of its preparation. Much as with a French confit, chunks of highly seasoned pork are submerged in a cauldron of lard and gently simmered until tender. The cooking process continues, frying the chunks to produce crusty exteriors and meltingly tender interiors. For reasons of economy and customer preference, many places in this country don't use this prolonged method, instead braising and shredding the pork, and sometimes finishing it with a quick fry to give the meat its characteristic crispy edges. Taco King uses its own hybrid method, simmering the meat in oil rather than lard, but the result is still tasty.

Taco King also offers some fillings not listed on the other menus. Tongue is tender and intensely beefy. Lamb, though a bit dry, also rewards with equally concentrated flavor, and the tripa--intestines--brings hammy, livery, salty pleasure. Next to these options, the chopped grilled steak and fish tacos seem mundane, though they're completely serviceable. (I know intestines are scary, but, really, if you like beef, you owe it to yourself to try tongue.)

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