Taco Time: Barbacoa @ Cocina Vianey
Barbacoa, the method of cooking wrapped meat over coals in buried in a pit, is a technique that has existed in many places and cultures, including pre-conquest Mexico. Nowadays, barbacoa refers to a specific style of cooking from the center of the country, that is, Puebla, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Guanajuato, the State of Mexico, Michoacán and Morelos. These are the states that happen to produce pulque, therefore, the leaves of the maguey are available to wrap the meat, usually mutton, before it is roasted.
At Vianey, a few doors down from the entrance to the Mercado San Juan, Vianey Torres Vega, for whom the locale was named, has been offering barbacoa on Saturdays and Sundays since 1968. Her sheep come from Tenango del Valle in the state of México and are grass fed so bursting with flavor. Salsas are made in-house and appropriately earthy. This is about as good as it comes for this country dish within city limits.
Ernesto Pugibet 47, Centro See map
Open Saturdays and Sundays only from 8 a.m. until 6 or earlier if the barbacoa runs out.