A Culinary “Classic” In Our Backyard
My fondest memories of my children growing up were getting in the Jeep to search for
barbacoa and pan dulce (or sweet bread). For generations, a typical Sunday tradition in
Brownsville has many families (or whoever wakes the earliest) headed to Vera’s Backyard
Bar-B-Que on Southmost Road.
Vera’s was named one of six Texas recipients of America’s Classics Award by the prestigious
James Beard Foundation . It is the last place in the state, maybe the country, that still does
traditional “ barbacoa en pozo con leña de mesquite ,” or cow’s head smoked over mesquite
pit coals. Their Brisket and Carnitas are hot sellers, too.
The anticipation builds as you make the drive to Vera’s, hoping the line that extends out
into a central city thoroughfare is not too long. Once there, you ask the award-winning
question…” todavia tienes cachete? ” (“ do you still have cheek meat ?”). With a quick nod, a sense
of relief falls over you, knowing that you’ll soon be eating a taco made of perfection.
The aroma fills your car on the way home, and it takes every ounce of self-discipline not to
sneak a bite before you leave the drive-thru. Once back, the fresh corn tortillas, a bit of
cilantro, onion, and salsa covering the moist, tender, smoky flavored meat is the perfect
meal to start a great day. Enjoy!!!