How it tastes

With such a huge selection of tacos to choose from, it was actually a little difficult to have the inner conversation: "Hmm, should I get the pork lips or the ear tacos? Head meat or stomach?" I went with one each of tongue, ear and skin. Beef tongue meat is pretty straightforward. It's tender but firm, and if prepared well, has a crispy outside. It tastes like most any other piece of beef -- no big deal. With a squirt of lime and some of those house made salsas, delicious even. Once I rounded second base to the ear taco, however, things started to get a bit dicey. Fun fact: A pig's ear consists of mostly cartilage and thick skin, and while there is some meat to be had (which is pretty flavorful), within a bite or two you'll begin to notice that you're pulling out sizable chunks of ear cartilage with small amounts of meat attached. Cartilage isn't the easiest thing to chew. This was no fun taco, but still better than the grand finale: the skin taco. Yes, medium-sized chunks of pork skin, sticky, gelatinous and fatty with a tough-to-chew connective tissue center, wrapped in a soft tortilla. Sounds delicious, right? It's the only dish I've had in 10 years or more that actually made me retch. The chunks of skin fat actually stuck to my lips and the inside of my mouth. I had to wash that down with some Mexican Coke as quickly as possible and vacate the premises. No offense to those of you out there who like your tacos full of fatty skin, but this is one taco I'll be avoiding like las plagas in the future.
J.M. Giordano, Photo for The Baltimore Sun
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