Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Taco Tuesday: La Michoacana

How many times have you passed a Michoacana and wondered exactly what’s inside? You’ve seen the signs -- I know you have -- so here’s a brief explanation for anyone curious.

La Michoacana has quietly dominated Houston’s Hispanic grocery scene since 1986 and now boasts 50+ locations around town. The layout of each location is roughly the same: A small market full of Hispanic produce and brands, a large and insanely well stocked meat counter in the back, and a small in-store taqueria up front.

When you go, browse through shelf upon shelf of salsas, spices, and chilies, then take a minute to gawk at the serious abundance of cow and pig parts hanging in the rear. Welcome to Meatopia -- What’s your dream? When you’ve had enough, make your way back to the front for some grub. You’ll need to pay for your tacos before ordering; do this at the cash register, where they’ll likely have to ask around for a translator if you don’t have a basic knowledge of Spanish.

The steam table has winners and losers for sure. The lengua at every location I’ve been to is packed with flavor -- soft pillows of meaty goodness topped with diced onion and cilantro -- yet the barbacoa is often stringy, tough, and bland. Similarly, the chicharrones are soft and marvelously delicate, yet the chicken lacks any discernable flavor.

La Michoacana is a fun, Houston-centric experience that’s dirt cheap and will [likely] take you out of your comfort zone. And even if your tacos aren’t the bestest ever, a few of the lightly sweet, fantastically awesome pineapple empanadas can make up for anything. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

I have always wondered what it was like in those and have never built up the courage to enter one yet. One of these days hubby and I will be brave enough to step foot inside. The other place we have been eying with intrigue is the H-mart on blalock

Eric H said...

They have the BEST premarinated costillia's (ribs) there. $3.49 a lb. Cooks in two minutes, one min per side, on a grill. Perfection and EVERYONE loves!