When I grabbed my newspaper this morning, I was pissed, because once again, the carrier failed to double bag it, and as it slid across my driveway, lots of tears in the bag resulted in the rain turning the N&O into a soggy mess. But still, knowing it was Wednesday, I pulled the wet sections apart, went to the Life section, and started reading. As y’all know, I now look forward to Wednesday’s food section. After reading a wonderful article about a traditional French method of cooking mussels, I went to Greg Cox’s section on new restaurant openings. Greg gets all the best tips, and he certainly had one for me today.
Muy Pronto Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco opened just last Friday in the Paddington Square complex off of Wake Forest Road near the Sam’s Club. They’re so new that they apologized for not having their English menu ready. Frankly, I didn’t know what a birrieria was, but I do now — they serve birria, silly. Oh, what’s birria? It’s heaven on a rainy day, that’s what. It’s an aromatic stew made with chunks of goat (yes, tender, flavorful cabrito), with a rich broth of dried peppers and tomatoes. This, folks, is the bomb. Served with a plate of onions, cilantro, lime and radishes, you put some of the tender meat in a freshly made corn tortilla, add the sides, wrap it up, and dip it in the stew. Then follow up with a spoonful or two more of that deep red broth. Repeat. Several times more. Birria is a bit pricey for lunch, with a bowl running you nearly 10 bucks, but on a day like today, it was more than worth it.
Muy Pronto Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco is owned by the same folks who own the Los Tres Magueyes establishments across the area, but they wanted to do something “different.” They’ve certainly accomplished that, featuring fresh made tortillas for the birria and tacos. They also make everything else from scratch, including their chorizo and excellent horchata. Their carnitas are amazingly unctuous, with just an edge of crispy exterior. Tacos are sizeable and tasty.
Fortunately, this place is only a couple of blocks away from Los Cuates, my favorite Raleigh taqueria, so I’ll be able to hit both places now. And maybe they’ll have the gringo menu ready so I can order even more new things.
Muy Pronto Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco
1600 Ronald Drive
*Apologies to Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim for the awful West Side Story-influenced headline