Things Are Stewing at Birrieria Aguinaga.
2457 Gus Thomasson Road
Dallas, TX 75228
Ambiance: 2 out of 4 lambs.
Food: 3 out of 4 lambs.
Service: 3 out of 4 lambs.
A birrieria, for the uninitiated, is a restaurant that serves birria. But what's birria?
We didn't know until a few weeks ago ourselves. Basically, birria is traditional stew from the Jalisco region of Mexico that's made with lamb/goat/mutton. General practice involves serving it as a soup. Eaters then scoop the meat out at their leisure, put it in a tortilla and eat it with condiments, sipping along at the soup as they go.
It's not a super common dish around town, far as we can tell. Birrieria Aguinaga is just about the only place we've seen it served. So we figured it needed a taste run.
At Birrieria Aguinaga, you can order birria in a few forms — as a plate, as a stew or as pre-made tacos (if you're feeling especially lazy). Having had it as both a soup and a platter, I'd definitely recommend the soup option. With the broth on hand to consume along with your tortillas and your chosen, fully soaked meat, you get the full experience this way. Also, the broth is totally legit.
On a recent trip, our server also suggested we order a round of tepache to go with our food. That was an experience, too.
A fermented fruit drink made with pineapple, brown sugar and cinnamon, tepache is served with a salt-and chili powder-sprinked glass rim. It has this slightly alcoholic bite to it, too. But tepache only ferments for three days — so there isn't really any alcohol in there. In Mexico, it's sometimes mixed with beer, which sounds about right; that'd cut the sweetness and make it pretty awesome, actually. As is, this tepache was a little sweet.
But adventure's can be sweet, too, and, as adventures go, Birrieria Aguinaga's well worth the undertaking. For around five bucks, you get a ton of food, and it's all made with care, and most of it tastes pretty fantastic.
Try beating that deal.
OK, if you're really looking to save, the tacos are a buck a piece.
You definitely need to check this place out.