May 1, 2010

Bichelmeyer Doesn't Sound Mexican... But It Surely Is

Restaurant: Bichelmeyer Meats (Carniceria Bichelmeyer)
Location: 704 Cheyenne Avenue, KCK 66105

Food: Full service butcher shop, but I came for the tacos (they also serve hot tamales)
Service: Tell 'em what kind of tacos you want, they hand you the tacos. Nice folks.
Atmosphere: Meaty
Price: $1.50 tacos
Rating: One napkin

Been doing some taco research online recently and to my surprise I've learned that a butcher shop in KCK with a name that sounds anything but Mexican serves some highly regarded, authentic Mexican tacos. Fresh off my recent trip to Cancun Fiesta Fresh where I found the street tacos satisfying and totally delicious, I decided to take a quick trip to Bichelmeyer for a comparison.

Bichelmeyer is located just north of the river on Cheyenne Ave in KCK (if you know where Quick's BBQ is, it's directly across the street). Tacos are not their main business. Bichelmeyer is a butcher shop, not a restaurant. The incidental table and chairs on hand for taco eaters don't change that fact.

A Saturday-only affair, the taco counter is hardly noticeable upon entry and may not even be manned at all times. Rest assured, though, fresh corn tortillas, warm pork and shredded beef and diced onion, cilantro, salsa and guacamole sauce are standing by at-the-ready.

Both Elizabeth and I went for one of each. The pork, I believe, was adobada, reddish in color, clearly marinated in chiles. Mine was tender and crazy-flavorful. The diced onion and cilantro on top added just a little contrast and the thin avocado sauce cooled it off nicely. In seconds it was gone, inhaled by the vortex that was my digestive system.

The shredded beef (barbacoa) was exceedingly tender. In fact, we both found it to be a little too wet, perhaps having sat in its own juices too long. It had broken down into somewhat of a soft, beefy mush, too uniform in texture. Drained only slightly or perhaps not shredded quite so fine, it would have been outstanding with the red salsa I drizzled over top, again accompanied by diced onion and cilantro.

Once consumed, the takeaway was that we had definitely just eaten flavorful, cheap, authentic street food. Healthy it was not. Manicured by a chef, neither. No, these were straight-up street tacos - a little raunchy but filled with good flavor. Executed with a little more attention to detail, they'd have been great.

Forced to choose, I'd give the edge to Cancun Fiesta Fresh, but they were nearly identical in preparation and flavor. CCF gets an edge in that their taco preparation is the focus of their business, and that comes through in what you eat.

Rating: one napkin

[Pictured above is a boy who spent the entire 30 minutes we were there shouting, "Hot tamales! Get some hot tamales!" The staff jokingly griped at him to stop which only encouraged him to keep it up for continued effect. He was entertaining himself during a boring afternoon with the act of annoyance, something we've all done at that age. It was a funny little slice of life.]

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