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Hot Plate: Lengua tacos

Lengua means “tongue” in case you’re wondering.
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    I couldn't resist taking a photo of my Lengua taco.

    |Brittany Salerno

A few weeks ago, Mission Taqueria opened above Oyster House on Sansom Street and is already creating quite the buzz with their modern Mexican fare. It’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of Center City. Inspired by Mexico City and San Francisco’s Mission District, the open-space design is full of light and greenery.

Upon perusing the menu, I couldn’t help but notice the Lengua tacos. Made from veal tongue, it’s a meat you don’t see everyday in Philly so I decided to give it a try.

The dish came out with three soft-shell corn tacos. Each came with a hefty portion of veal tongue, topped with braised cabbage, onion and a dollop of mustard seed mayo.

The veal itself was juicy, lean and melted in your mouth — tasting like an earthier liverwurst. The braised cabbage and onion added a nice tangy element that helped balance out the veal’s bold flavor. The crunch of these two ingredients also helped offset the veal’s softness.

What really took this dish over the top however was the fluffy, buttery goodness of the mustard seed mayo. I licked my fingers in public to enjoy every last bit. No shame.

The Lengua tacos wouldn’t be enough to fill you if you’re super hungry, so I’d recommend getting an appetizer. The Romaine and Ayacote Bean Salad is an excellent, meat-free option to accompany your tacos.

While Mission Taqueria offers a long list of cocktails, even nondrinkers can enjoy the delicious juices available at the bar — fresh squeezed on the spot. My favorite was the “yellow” option, made of pineapple, jicama and mango. Que bueno!

Mission Taqueria is located at 1516 Sansom St.

 

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