The chef’s chief recollections of Canada have been about the problems outside the restaurant, not inside of it. “I just acquired fatigued of the chilly,” he claims. “It’s insane cold.”
Gomez was not all set for a different winter north of the border. Moreover, he experienced a sweet gig at El Balcon, a properly-regarded rooftop cafe with sweeping views of the Plaza de la Constitución, the primary general public sq. in Mexico Metropolis. He was leading a group that recognized couple of boundaries, combining European and pre-Columbian components and strategies for this kind of playful dishes as huitlacoche risotto, octopus carpaccio and an avocado tlayuda with escamoles.
But then Voskuil made his pitch: He invited Gomez to stop by D.C., if only to establish to the chef that you don’t have to have an instruction manual on how to gown for winter in Washington. It turned out to be a wise go: For the duration of his excursion, Gomez realized he could in fact be of assistance. He could inject a minimal CDMX road foods veracity into our taco scene, which he located missing.
This is how, in the stop, Voskuil certain Gomez — a chef formally educated at El Colegio Top-quality de Gastronomia and a man with out any qualified practical experience making tacos — to operate his taqueria in an Alexandria strip centre. The operator gave Gomez the keys to the kitchen at Taqueria Picoso and let him run it like a street seller with fine-eating sensibilities.
The natural beauty of Gomez’s efforts — and those people of his team, like sous chef Isaac Ramirez, also from Mexico City — is that the crew does not need you prevent and ooh and aah over their creations, like some four-star chef hovering around your table, aching for a compliment. You can savor their tacos in finish ignorance of the amount of money of function that goes into them. I’m not arguing that content, mindless snarfing is habit truly worth celebrating, but it is far more in line with the street-food items ethos that co-proprietors Voskuil and spouse Lynn Umemoto have embraced.
Take, for illustration, the al pastor tacos at Picoso. A lot of taquerias use a vertical spit to cook dinner their marinated pork — Las Gemelas in the Union Sector District La Placita in Hyattsville and La Jarochita No. 2 in Arlington spring to intellect — but none intention for the cross-cultural traditionalism of Gomez’s version. He wished an al pastor that paid homage to the taco’s Lebanese roots, so his marinade includes sweeter features, like cinnamon, which coats two distinctive cuts of pork prior to they are layered onto a spit and roasted. His al pastor taco might be gone in 3 bites, but they are a few glorious bites.
As with Las Gemelas, the kitchen at Picoso can make its personal masas, primarily based on yellow, blue and white corn versions developed in the central valleys of Oaxaca. Gomez and his crew do not push the masa by hand, a process much too laborious for a chaotic restaurant. As an alternative, they depend on a equipment, which stamps out golden, beautifully round tortillas with the scent of sweet corn. Now, I have an understanding of tortilla thickness is personal. Some like them as sheer as silk, like people tortillas at El Sol. Others favor a sturdier foundation, like those people at Picoso, where the tortillas have heft, which explains why each individual taco is wrapped in only a one layer.
As substantially as I like the tall-grass fragrance of Picoso’s tortillas, I locate that their thickness can, on celebration, serve as a wet blanket, smothering fillings that the kitchen has so meticulously organized. This is in particular real with the if not outstanding vegan chorizo taco packed with roasted potatoes, beans, avocado and chihuahua cheese. Other preparations, like the lamb barbacoa and cochinita pibil, stand up much better to tortillas, although I will have to confess that the bulky wrappers usually gum up the works, earning for large, chewy bites. These fillings are worthy of a shipping method with a little much more delicacy.
You will experience no these challenges with the Baja shrimp and fish tacos, both of which are swaddled in flour tortillas. Equally are also amongst my favourite orders at Picoso. The fish taco is especially impressed, pairing a duration of fried cod with avocado, jalapeños, cilantro and a kale-and-tomato salad. The bite is then completed with a velvet hammer: a jalapeno-cucumber dressing. This taco is just locked down.
Tacos might be the most important attraction below, but other dishes have grabbed my consideration, far too. Regular or not, Gomez’s Sonoran hot pet dog will eternally be the standard by which I choose all other individuals. His bacon-wrapped pet dog is smothered in housemade frijols charros, this black-gap condiment of pinto beans, chorizo, bacon and additional. It will suck you in. His crab tostadas, on fried blue-corn tortillas, are the counterpoint to the puppy: clean, clean, crackly. And if I have experienced a improved elote than Gomez’s model, a grilled cob dusted with two shades of roasted pink pepper, I just can’t recall it.
Tucked into the Shops at Mark Middle, on the similar strip as a Subway and McDonald’s, Taqueria Picoso has a additional Diy aesthetic than its company neighbors, many thanks to Umemoto who stitched with each other the interior with jeweled mirrors, corrugated steel and loteria wallpaper. She also helped style and design the emblem, a hungry riff on an Aztec god, which offers the taqueria a unique vibe completely: A person that feels ready to replicate by itself.
Do not be amazed if Umemoto and Voskuil open much more Taqueria Picosos. It appears to be a component of their company strategy. So does anything else: As the proprietors arrive at the “twilight of our professions,” as the 62-12 months-aged Voskuil describes it, they’re seeking to the working day when they’ll promote the enterprise. They by now have individuals in thoughts as the future-generation proprietors. Just one of them takes place to be the good-dining chef from Mexico City who assisted make Taqueria Picoso.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday by Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Charges: $2 to $80 for all things on the menu, such as spouse and children-fashion foods.