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Mexico City: Tacos al Pastor

IMG_3505, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I expected to eat some great street food in Mexico, but Tacos al Pastor were an epiphany.

These were unlike every other al Pastor I've eaten before in New York, San Francisco or anywhere else. Typically, it's just braised meat, not even necessarily pork. That is a travesty.

In Mexico City, "al Pastor" is defined by a giant hunk of pork roasting on a spit. It turns slowly browning all sides until an order comes in. Then, he of the giant knife turns the spit to expose a perfectly browned side of pork, crispy and juicy.

In one motion, he deftly slices off each piece of pork and tosses it into the tortilla waiting in his other hand. In many places there is a skinned pineapple above the pork on the spit. He reaches up and with the flick of the wrist cuts off a slice that lands right on top of the pile of smoldering pork waiting for you. The Taco is topped with a little salsa and served up fresh:


The very concept is brilliant: a pork gyro. We need this in New York. Seriously. I mean, it's so obvious but it's not there. Why? It's maddening.

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