La Verdad taco battle royal: pavo v. pato
So far, we've seen the tense face-off between carnitas and tripa and the early-round knockout brawls of steak v. lengua and fish v. chorizo.
Now, with most of the options eliminated, only two remain: duck and turkey. (I should note that I'm skipping the shrimp, which I don't do, and the chile, which may be off the menu.)
Now boys, I want a good clean fight. No biting, slurping or drooling. Not possible? Then here are some napkins.
First up, turkey taco. I'd vaguely assumed this would be made with thin, pale slices of bland deli meat — it's the American way — so was delighted to discover the generous chunks of roast bird.
And the sauce was fantastic: hints of cinnamon and citrus in a rich mole, and enough fire to call out the presence of chiles without overwhelmingly masking the other flavors. The whole was finished with sesame seeds for a nutty crunch and the usual bright zing of cilantro and lime.
Okay duck, you're gonna need to do some fancy footwork here.
Off to a good start.
But the duck taco just couldn't land the winning punch. Though allegedly confit, the meat was dry and a little chewy. The sauce (another mole, this one without heat) was tasty but didn't have the personality of the turkey version.
Winner: Taco de pavo.
Okay, actually, that's not completely true.
This round had a surprise competitor in the shape of Lovely Co-worker Sarah's chorizo torta.
And when La Verdad says "torta," it really means "bun full of goodness."
And when I say "goodness," I mean "delicious things made with meat and fat."
The chorizo was the kind that came straight out of a can and left neon orange achiote stains on everything, which is exactly as it should be. Also crammed into the bun: refried beans, guacamole and asadero cheese.
This unforeseen and delicious entrant now leaves me in a quandary. See, originally I'd intended to pit the first-round winners (carne asada, chorizo, carnitas and pavo) against each other to find the best of the best.
And recently I'd thought of checking out the new kids on the block, Olecito and Dorado Tacos & Cemitas, to see whether they could bring it.
But now I'm wondering whether I should just work through the entire La Verdad menu. What do you think?