I've gotten into the habit of going straight to the Tonayense trucks and having tripe tacos on a fairly consistent basis. Today, I decided to mix it up by trying out Taqueria San Francisco which is only a hop, jump and skip away at 24th and York. TSF is in a clean, well lit corner spot with plenty of seating and Telemundo playing on one tv screen.
Good, I can practice my Spanish while I munch on the some chips. Unfortunately the chips were the generic type found at the majority of taq's around town. They were saved by two varieties of salsa, one an innocent looking pico de gallo that revealed its inner spiciness after I ate a huge spoonful. It was fresh and piquant while the other liquidy red pepper tomato looking number, tasted bright and vinegary. Both were good counterpoints to the heaviness of cheese and pork that was to come.
I ordered a Super Quesadilla Al Pastor, despite the fact that Burrito Eater gave it a lower mustache rating than the Carne Asada. You might wonder, what kind of Mexican food afficionado orders a quesadilla? Well, it's just a burrito minus the beans and rice. Cutting these corners are critical part of my strategy to avoid the need for a post lunch siesta and therefore a sign of prowess (think of everything I accomplish while you burrito eaters are sleeping). The al pastor was juicy and tender with the right amount of smokiness and char without any of the dried out burnt bits that you sometimes get at other places. It wasn't coming right off of a Mexico City style rotisserie, but it was on par with the al pastor at the trucks. The cooks took a lot of care in making the quesadilla and I appreciated that the tortilla was fresh and nicely toasted. I'll come back to try some of the other things on the menu.
An aside, I am learning Spanish and I asked a Spanish speaker whether it would be correct to refer to a shepherd as El Pastor. She laughed and started to tell me it was rotisserie pork from Mexico City. Yes, I know that, but I want to know what to call the guy herding sheep! Having eaten quite a few al pastor tacos in Mexico, for some odd reason, I never questioned why something made with pork was "shepherd style". According to the internet (the best source for completely unsubstantiated rumor and anecdotal evidence), al pastor in Mexico city is derived from lamb shawarma cooking brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico city. Shepherd style is a reference to the lamb used in the original dish.