Some are here fresh out of church, fashion cowboy boots reflecting the overhead lights. Some just rolled in for lunch. They’re wearing pressed embellished western shirts, what could pass as First Holy Communion gowns, work clothes, mechanics coveralls, whatever was clean and didn’t require ironing. I’m one of the latter. All of them, including myself, are crowded near a clear patch of counter between the cash register where customers place orders and the steam trays, separated from the full luncheonette counter by glass.
The trays hold guisos, carnitas and barbacoa (both only on weekend), menudo, and several grilled meats in their own juices. These are squeezed into gorditas, get piled on bread for tortas, bought by the pound, poured into small cauldrons and made into tacos.
All of these dishes pack the every table—especially the vermillion menudo—in the dining space of La Guadalupana, a meat market and grocery store in Oak Cliff.
Carnitas are soft from sitting in their own juices but not zapped of flavor or moisture. There are signs of once crispy edges. The same couldn’t be said of my taco de deshebrada, a taut bramble of dry meat. The lengua in a light tomato sauce is cubed and slurp-able. It went the fastest. The rajas con queso, however, is a careless serving of slimy chile poblano and a disc of fried cheese with brittle, crimson-dyed edges. In other words, stick with the meat at La Guadalupana. It is, after all, the specialty.
Chief among the meat is the barbacoa, here beef cheek, a mouth-puckering, shredded net of delight. The preparation is also available by the pound for enjoyment at home atop tortillas from La Nueva Puntada, a chain of tortillerias owned by siblings of Gloria Vazquez Martinez of La Nueva Fresh & Hot. Paper-wrapped packs of the corn tortillas are available in the warming case by the store’s cash register. (Word of warning: the cooks at La Guadalupana do not use La Nueva Puntada’s tortillas.) Prepare the tacos as soon as you get home and sniffle a little not only because of the sinus-burning salsa but because you’ll have to wait until the following weekend to get more.La Guadalupana Meat Market 902 S. Hampton Road Dallas, TX 75208 214-946-6283
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