One Bite: Birria | Food & Drink News | Chicago Reader

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One Bite: Birria


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Several Chicago birrierias—restaurants specializing in goat that's steamed, then sometimes roasted—have avid fans around town (the Reader's Mike Sula is partial to Birrieria Zaragoza). Restaurant Traspasada Inc. No. 2 doesn't appear to be among them, but it should be.

Available only on weekends, the birria at this sliver of a storefront is a small blip on a big menu and served as a meal in a bowl. Owner Alfredo Aldana says the goat is prepared Guadalajara style: seasoned with garlic, onions, marjoram, bay leaf, salt, and guajillo chiles and steamed for six to seven hours on a rack over water in a tightly covered pot. Boneless chunks of silky meat with some skin and fat attached come in a deeply piquant, reddish broth made with chicken stock augmented by tomatoes and garbanzo beans. There are four add-ins—chopped onions, cilantro, chiles de arbol, and a wedge of lime—or you can roll the goat and condiments in the accompanying warm tortillas and drizzle it with broth and salsa. It's reputed to be a hangover cure.

The goat soup is $7 in-house, $8 to go, at 811 N. Ashland (312-850-2069; available Sat-Sun) or at the original Restaurant Traspasada, 3144 N. California (773-539-4533; available Fri-Sun). Goat tacos are also available; they're $1.65. —Anne Spiselman

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