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Birria My Heart in Bethany

David Cathey Published: June 29, 2011

Happening over to Papa Angelo’s Pizza, just south of NW 39th Expressway on College, last Sunday a new Mexican Cafe caught my eye.

I should be more specific, a proclamation on the window of said restaurant caught my eye: hand-made corn tortillas. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!” cried my inner chowhound.

So, the next night Lori and son Luke decided to try out this potential diamond in the rough on the southwest corner of College and NW 39th Expressway called Birrieria Diaz. The banner proudly states the place serves: Estilo Calvillo, Ags: meaning “in the style of Calvillo, Aguascalientes.” That’s no surprise, considering all the other local eateries with ownership from that region: namely Abel’s.

The name refers to the restaurant’s signature dish, birria. The Diaz family specialty, which is commonly a goat recipe, served as a beef or lamb dish. On Monday, only the beef was available. It was braised low and slow in chiles, onions and a tomato. It’s served with the aforementioned corn tortillas, which you can also order fried into tostadas, and fleet of accoutrements: diced onions, cilantro, dried chiles, red onions mixed with habaneros, radish and lime wedges.

The Diaz family doesn’t know me personally, but they know my heart. This is my kind of eating. And they’ll soon get to know me better. Luke tried some tacos al carbon, which he loved. Lori had the cheese enchiladas with red chile sauce. The enchiladas were as far from Tex-Mex as Calvillo is from San Antonio. The cheese was Mexican cotija and the onions plentiful. We also tried a couple dorados, which are potatoes wrapped in a fried corn tortilla dressed with cheese and choice of lettuce or cabbage and a mild tomato sauce.

The young lady running the counter informed me they’d opened last Friday and were so slammed they had to take their menus off the tables and rely on the taqueria menu for now. She said they need to hire more cooks before returning to a standard menu, which will happen soon.

If you’ve been let me know what you thought. I plan to go back down the road when they’ve added staff and menu items. If you want to join me, let me know.

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