Those who have tasted a good bowl of birria, the Mexican soup from Jalisco made from toasted chiles and roasted goat, know it’s a soup that inspires a rapture more consuming than what tweens feel for Justin Bieber.
In Los Angeles there are entire restaurants dedicated to birria — the soft simmering of the broth, the cleavers to hack the goat into bowl-size portions on ancient wooden cutting boards, and handmade tortillas to form makeshift tacos to dunk into the ruddy, amplified broth.
Both Jalisciense and their soup are rare in New York City. Birria de chivo occasionally pops up on Mexican menus, like a quick blip on a radar before it vanishes again until it’s spotted on a handwritten special taped to the window in another borough taqueria three weeks later. But at Tacos El Bronco, an evening taco truck that haunts the northwest edge of Sunset Park, birria is a regular weekend treasure.
The same company has a brick-and-mortar shop on 4th Avenue, but it is only the truck that serves the soup, a distilled version ladled into blue-and-white Greek coffee cups for $4. Diced white onion and blitzed cilantro float on top of the steaming broth, aromatic with clove and bay, with roasted shreds of goat meat waiting at the bottom. It’s an infusion of warmth and spice meant for freezing weeks like these.