Birria is a spicy meat stew from Jalisco. It’s usually made with goat, but sometimes with lamb or mutton.
I’d always roped it into my “I’ll pass” category, along with pozole and menudo, which have never lit my fire for some reason. But then two days ago friends invited us to La Polar, a cantina near our house. It’s probably among the best-known places to get birria in the city, and it’s always recommended in guidebooks and local magazines.
So we went, and ordered tacos and avocado, and a few orders of birria. The menu had no description, so I was expecting meat wrapped in wax paper, like when you order carnitas in Quiroga. Instead it was a gigantic bowl of stew.
When I tasted it: LORD. The meat fell apart in my mouth, and the broth was spicy and chipotle-tinged. I wanted to slurp gulps of it. Instead I held back and picked at my tacos, since I wasn’t technically hungry, as I’d already had dinner like an hour before. (Did I forget to mention that? But sometimes you have to just eat when the opportunity presents itself, and worry about everything later. This is why my pants are getting tighter.)
La Polar also had live mariachis, and a table full of Mexicans singing at the top of their lungs. I loved it. Wish I would have brought my tape recorder, but alas, it was in my other purse. This gives you a good idea of what it was like, though:
On the way out, we saw mariachis playing foosball in the parking garage.