by Cheryl Baehr
It's difficult to decide between beef and pork for the ideal taco filling. A well-prepared carne asada gives such a meaty richness, but the sweet pork flavor of something like carnitas is hard to beat. When I go to Mission Taco Joint (6235 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-5430), I don't have to choose. I simply order the beef brisket birria and drift off into taco bliss.
Mission's beef brisket birria taco starts with a thick, freshly made corn tortilla, served fresh-off-the-griddle warm. It's then stuffed with succulent beef brisket that has been braised in a sauce of mild, smoky chiles until it is fall-apart tender. It's decadent enough on its own, but the folks at Mission add to the party by topping it with pork-belly carnitas that are so soft and buttery, it nearly dissolves into the beef. The beef brisket birria is rich, but it's topped with a spicy arbol chile sauce that brightens the dish with cayenne-like heat. A simple slice of avocado is the humble, final touch. Perfecto.
Previously: #81: Cappuccino from Sump Coffee #82: The Salted Caramel Croissant at Pint Size Bakery #83: Gnocchi at the Good Pie #84: Truffled Tater Tots at Blood & Sand #85: Marinated Feta Cheese at Evangeline's Bistro and Music House #86: Chorizo and Egg Sope at Spare No Rib #87: Duck Burger at Planter's House #88: WildSmoke's Smoked Chicken Wings #89: The Duck Prosciutto Flatbread at Bella Vino #90: The "Dam Burger" at the Dam #91: The "Hog Mess" at Blind Tiger #92: Khao Soi at Fork & Stix #93: The "Smokehouse Club" Sandwich at Bud's Smokehouse #94: Cafe Natasha's Yogurt Dip #95: Macarons at La Patisserie Chouquette #96: The Libertine's Fried Chicken #97: Pork Belly at Element #98: M'Lwee at Baida #99: Breadbasket at Juniper #100: Bucatini All'Amatriciana at Pastaria