December 23, 2012

Taco Bamba

Its hard for either of us to pass up delicious tacos, especially when they're filled with non-traditional meats. So when we first heard about the Taco Bamba pop-up at Black Jack, we kept it on our radar.  We finally made it over there this past Monday for their last night, and boy did we pick a great night to go.  The menu changed week to week, but for the final pop-up, they offered Taco Bamba's Greatest Hits...all the favorites from the past weeks.

We managed to snag some seats on a couch where we settled in for our taco feast.  After choosing drinks (him a Tecate Michelada, me a mix of tequila, rum, lime and mint), we thought long and hard about which tacos to try first.  We settled on the Taco Bamba (because it had chicharones), the Duck Tinga (because it was filled with duck confit), the Masa Crusted Foie Gras (does this need any explanation?), and the Grilled Smoky Belly (again, no explanation needed).

It was hard to pick a favorite, but I think we both agreed that the Foie Gras took the cake.  The masa crust gave the savory foie gras a much needed crunch.  The duck was another one of my favorites because of the sauce that covered it.  It kind of reminded me of Indian food.  And of course, the belly.  You can't go wrong with smoky strips of crispy pork belly.

We wasted no time scarfing down these tacos, and decided we needed a few more to fill our bellies.  For round 2, we went with the Crispy Kiss (because it had both pork and beef tongue), El Cheek-o (who can resist pork cheek?), and the dessert taco (banana, dulce de leche, and almonds).  In this round of tacos, the duo of tongues came out on top.  They were cooked perfectly, seasoned excellently, and the addition of a chili aioli gave it a very subdued heat with a nice, creamy, textural component. The desert taco came in second because the dulce de leche was fantastic, but it was almost a shame it was encased by a plain ol' tortilla

Taco Bamba is a worthy entrant into the recent surge of taco eateries in DC.  It sets itself apart from traditional variants, like the delicious Tacos El Chilango, which features more traditional fillings. Overall, the tacos were great, though a little pricey at $5-$9 a pop.  Another favorite, TaKorean, offers three times as much taco at the same price point (Do yourself a favor and hunt down their truck, or visit them at Union Market.  You won't be disappointed!).  The brick and mortar Taco Bamba will be opening in Falls Church, so I don't know how frequently we'll drive out there just for tacos.  But it was a great introduction to Chef Albisu's food, especially since he'll be opening another restaurant downtown in the near future.

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