Fat and All That

Tex-Mex Tuesday: Why You Should Be Obsessed With the Tacos at the Pit Room

The homemade tortillas are the secret to the best barbecue tacos in town.

By Alice Levitt April 25, 2017

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The chicken taco gets the most attention, but you should try them all.

"What is smoked brisket fat?" That's your Jeopardy! style interrogative to the answer, "The secret ingredient that makes the tacos at the Pit Room so awesome." Specifically, chef Bramwell Tripp uses brisket trimmings to craft tortillas that, while heartier in character than is usually desirable, have a rough-hewn je ne sais quoi that makes it nearly impossible to eat just one. It's almost as if someone folded drugs into the dough, until you remember that brisket fat is essentially a narcotic.

But the dazzling effect doesn't end with the tortillas. The best way to see what I mean is to order the Tex Mex Dinner. $14 gets you two tacos, but when the concise menu includes only three, it's folly not to order all of them (plus two sides, and yes, chicharrones with house hot sauce count as a side) for $17.

I've written about the chicken tacos before, in fact, they were among my top ten best new dishes of 2016. But as much as I love the griddled cheese enveloping pulled chicken and charred garlic cloves, my heart is fickle. When I ordered the Tex Mex Dinner last week, I was unexpectedly swayed by the pulled pork. Perhaps not so unexpectedly. What's a girl to do when that smoked fat tortilla is packed tightly with pig meat tangy with salsa verde, speckled with cilantro and powdery cotija, and crunching with pickled onions? 

The chopped brisket is worthy of note for the flawlessly cooked meat, but I found myself wiping away the sour cream and unmelted yellow cheddar so I could better taste the salsa roja that makes the beef sing. Together, they're a heaping portion, especially when combined with mac 'n' cheese and mellowly tart coleslaw. It's probably best to bring a friend to help. If, that is, you're willing to share.

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