CHICAGO (WLS) -- You've probably heard of tacos al pastor, and maybe fish tacos. But how about a quesabirria?
The trend started in L.A., winding its way to Chicago, with several places now making these cheesy, beefy Mexican street snacks. Our Hungry Hound says there's a truck on the Southwest Side specializing in quesabirria.
The Taco Boom truck has two locations, one primarily for lunch and the other for dinner. Their kitchens are tiny, so their menus are small. But what they do produce is unlike most taquerias in town.
Jaime Alcantar is a whiz in the kitchen. The native of Morelia, Mexico, in the state of Michoacan, creates the menus at both of his Taco Boom trucks, one at 79th and Lawndale, the other in a parking lot near 47th and Cicero. The bright green truck is a beacon of sorts for fans who flock here with one goal in mind -- the quesabirria taco, essentially birria de res, which is slow-cooked beef tucked into a pair of tortillas.
"We let it marinate for 24 hours. Once it's marinated, we cook it for five hours, and we wait until it's nice and tender. Once it's cooked, then that's when we shred it by hand," said Alcantar's brother, Juan.
Onto a base of mozzarella, the birria is joined by a few other ingredients.
"It's a double tortilla, with onions, cilantro, cheese, red salsa," Juan said.
But wait, there's more. The cup of cooking liquid on the side plays a crucial role.
"It comes with consomme, so you can dip it in. It's the bomb," Juan said.
And there's the Taco Boom Especial. Still beefy, but not in a soft, shredded sort of way.
"It's a fresh skirt steak taco, with frijoles charros, and with frijoles charros, those we put beans, sausage, chorizo and bacon. And it comes with a banana pepper. It's a big, enormous taco, two of those you're gonna be loaded. That's it," Juan said.
Another option, similarly large, is the Taco Chingon, made with a large dollop of fresh guacamole. The brothers say even though the weather is about to get colder, and there is a good chance snow will be on the ground soon, they are staying open all year long.
"We're always gonna be here. We don't stop," Juan said.
It is best to check their Instagram handle for times and locations since they do move between the two trucks frequently. But generally speaking, the 79th and Lawndale truck is there for lunch, while the 47th and Cicero truck handles dinner.
Taco Boom4753 W. 47th St. (in the Los Amantes parking lot)Usually there from 4 - 10 p.m. (except Mondays)79th and LawndaleFrom 2 - 7 p.m.facebook.com/TacoBoom.ChicagoInstagram: @tacoboomchicago
Also worth checking out for quesabirria:
QBirria Factory215 N. Clinton St.
Tacotlan4312 W. Fullerton Ave.