Friend of the Food Chain Rob Lopata has probably forgotten more bowls of carne en su jugo than I'll ever eat. Fortunately his 2006 citywide survey of 16 of the meaty bowls remains viable, at least in the case of his number-one pick. Carne en su jugo, which literally means "meat in its juices," is a hallowed Mexican soup, mostly associated with Jalisco. Usually it's built on a clear beef consomme, loaded with steak and bacon and beans, and garnished with slices of raw radish, avocado, cilantro, chopped onion, and chiles de arbol. There are bad versions aplenty all over town; some are too salty, others are stretched out with slices of crappy Mexican hotdogs. But a good version of this fortifying bowl should be a natural go-to for anyone considering any ill-advised attempts at low-carb dieting.
You can find this ideal bowl at Taqueria Los Gallos, #2, where it's a big seller (along with the menudo). People regularly file in on weekends and take out huge buckets of the stuff, and with good reason. It has a clean, deeply beefy broth loaded with bits of fresh grilled steak, crispy bacon, and soft beans. Throw in your garnishes, along with a dollop of the dark, toasty house-made chile sauce and the outcome is something truly symphonic. It's $9.50 for a huge bowl, which should leave you plenty of cash on hand to try an unusual specialty of the house: carne apache
, which people often refer to as the Mexican steak tartare. Really it's more like ceviche; raw beef "cooked" in lime juice. Also, please make sure you go to the right Los Gallos. There are two other branches where the bowls are much smaller and the chile sauce is nowhere to be found.
- Mike Sula
- Taqueria Los Gallos #2, Brighton Park
Taqueria Los Gallos #2, 4252 S. Archer, 773-254-2081