Tacos de Cabeza on the Plaza in Bucerias, Mexico

It was lunchtime and we were in Bucerias. The street vendor on the plaza, the one who sells tacos filled with cabeza –beef head parts of tongue, lip, cheek, eye and brain — had caught my eye before, but we had never stopped to try his delicacies. We knew from past experience how good tongue tacos can be, so it was time to pull up a couple of plastic chairs on the curb and tuck in.

Before you get all squishy about this, remember that our food choices are cultural. Where we were born, what our moms dished up, which foods we associate with good times, what we can afford — all these factors collaborate to form our ideas of acceptable food. If Mom didn’t serve tongue tacos for lunch, Mexico will provide the opportunity to rectify this cultural gap.

Eating all parts of the animal is customary in Mexico. We have tried all of the following, though I will admit Russ sometimes did the tasting for both of us: cow tails, chicken feet, goat heads, intestines (menudo), brains, sopa de medula (spinal cord soup). The latter was served to us in a rather fancy restaurant in the interior of Mexico. I passed. This might have been during one of my vegetarian periods, so I had a good excuse. Russ said it was tasty. Somewhere along the trail, we (meaning Russ, but I include myself by association) also had brains with peas, which he recalls tasting funky. “It didn’t blow my hair back”. Very little goes to waste, an economy you have to appreciate in  a country where so many live on so little.

Only tongue, lips, brains and surtido (assorted), were available today. We each ordered tongue tacos. Today’s limited menu saved me from having to try eyeball tacos for journalistic purposes, but Russ reports from a past experience that such a taco contains one cooked, chopped cow eyeball, adding, “It’s OK.” Today, he also ordered a lip taco, which I tasted, but didn’t like as much as the tongue.

The tacos were served with chopped onion and cilantro, which we were assured had been washed with Microdyn, and a flavorful picante tomatillo salsa. There was also salsa without chile, but the picante version was not overly hot and was very good.

I recommend the tacos con lengua (tongue) with hot salsa. At nine pesos apiece, two or three tacos make a reasonably priced lunch, with a beautiful view of Banderas Bay thrown in for free.  This is street eating at its finest.

If you have room for dessert, ice cream is a one minute walk away at La Michoacana.

Scenes from Bucerias to enjoy, as you walk around eating your ice cream…

12 thoughts on “Tacos de Cabeza on the Plaza in Bucerias, Mexico

  1. Pingback: Taco Cuervo in Bucerias « Cooking in Mexico

  2. Vicki in Georgia

    I had to laugh at your warning to the gringos.
    Have you had Pozole where a goat’s head is cooked with all the other ingredients?
    It is customary for the dinner guest to get the eyes from the head.
    Given enough Tequilla, I did it!!!

    1. You are braver than I am! I watched my husband eat birria made with goat’s head (birria de chivo). He tried the eye but said he couldn’t chew the lens. Lucky for me that he samples everything for both of us.

  3. Isabel

    Im like crying right now, Im bearly new here un in the USA, I was raised in Mexico, so all these food and dishes are very familiar to me. I am a “Taco Addicted” almost all flavors, except brain, eyes or palate. Also on the corner of my moms block we had a “La Michoacana” ice cream shop, and also my fav was the milk coconut popsicle, but you should also try the great “aguas frescas” the sale.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hola Isabel,

      I hope you can visit your birth country soon and eat your fill of your favorite dishes. Our town has two La Michoacana ice cream shops and I will try an agua fresca paleta.

  4. darlene

    Kathleen,
    Your post on using Microdyn was a week too late. I purchased some cilantro at the International Market and made your green chili salsa (which is terrific). Then did some ground turkey and made some tacos for dinner. I had washed the cilantro earlier, just in water. I sniped some cilantro into my tacos, Alan passed on his. Guess who got sick as a dog! It was a lesson learned. the hard way.
    Your photos of the area are so beautiful, looks like you are on a permanent vacation.
    Darlene

    1. Darlene,
      We have all done this and learned the hard way. Plants that grow close to the ground are more susceptible to contamination. It is beautiful here and we count our blessings every day.

  5. La Michoacana in Bucerias looks like a great place to get one of those coconut “popsicles” which I put it in quotes because the only thing it has in common with a popsicle is that it is frozen and on a stick. The one I had was made from coconut milk with bits of coconut in them, not like the artificially flavored popsicles. In fact, the photo of the ice cream shop looks so familiar, I MIGHT have had one from there……and then maybe a lime one made with real lime juice and chunks………yum.

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