The Mexican restaurant from Christina Martinez and Ben Miller is now being called one of the country’s best new restaurants from Bon Appétit magazine. South Philly Barbacoa made the list of 50, along with Fishtown-based Wm. Mulherin’s Sons.
Since it’s your first time here, the slicer will take a break from his hunk of steaming-hot lamb and spoon a taste of pancita onto a tortilla (the corn for which is nixtamalized on-site, in a wet-stone mill from Mexico). The bite is intensely flavorful, like a funkier hot pork sausage, but it’s not pork at all: It’s a fine grind of all the odds and ends of the lamb (kidneys, heart, etc.) not destined for barbacoa, mixed with tons of herbs and chiles. You order two barbacoa tacos—the lamb so tender from overnight steaming it practically melts—and a bowl of the consommé that formed from the meat’s juices as it cooked, a soup that could restore the most beleaguered of souls. Before long you have a taco in your left hand and spoon in your right, and you can’t think of a single place you’d rather be.