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9 Great Tacos in the Rio Grande Valley

Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Q


Hector Sanchez

Barbacoa aficionados know that Vera’s is the only restaurant in the state, maybe the country, that still does real “barbacoa de cabeza en pozo con mesquite,” or cow’s head barbecue smoked in an earthen pit over mesquite coals (more on that history here). While the health codes do not allow new restaurants to cook in holes in the ground, sixty-year-old Vera’s has been grandfathered in for decades. (Don’t worry, the heads are wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil before being smoked.) Their menu is hand-written on a piece of poster board and also offers lengua (tongue), but we kept it basic with cachete (cheek), and an order of fresh corn tortillas. The dark shredded meat served in a red-and-white paper boat was actually silky and tender, not the least bit greasy. It might need a bit of salt, though, or salsa. Next time we will try something from the more adventurous side of the menu, perhaps an ojo (eyeball)  . . . 

2405 Southmost Rd, Brownsville, 956-546-4159. Open Sat & Sun for breakfast and lunch.

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