Best-Kept Secret

Tacos La Jeffa

Staff Pick

For those who know about this unassuming spot in a small Dutchtown food hall, Tacos La Jeffa (3301 Meramec Street) is the place to be on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. That’s when the family of the late Heriberta Amescua honors her legacy by serving up her famous birria, keeping alive the dream she had of opening a restaurant — a dream that was cut short when she passed away this April. Over her many years in the kitchen — first as a home cook and eventually as a caterer and vendor at local Hispanic festivals — Amescua perfected her recipe for the traditional Mexican slow-cooked beef, toiling over the large pots of the simmering meat that would become her signature dish. Last September, she finally set up a shop of her own inside Urban Eats; after her sudden death, Amescua’s family decided that they would keep it going despite having full-time jobs of their own. Once you taste this succulent meat, either on its own or stuffed into a grilled, cheese-filled quesabirria taco, you will see why they had to continue on. There is no better version of this dish in town, if anywhere — a fitting legacy for a master of her craft. —Cheryl Baehr
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