First look: Chef from San Antonio's Cherrity Bar opens birria trailer serving savory East Side eats

click to enlarge La Tienda de Birria's spread of birria, albóndigas and “quesatacos" - NINA RANGEL
Nina Rangel
La Tienda de Birria's spread of birria, albóndigas and “quesatacos"
There’s something comforting about a hearty, complex stew — especially when it's still chilly outside.

Enter La Tienda de Birria, a new mobile kitchen from the culinary minds behind Kuriya at Cherrity Bar. Chef Ernest Bradley has been researching the Jalisco-born stew called birria for years now, and the knowledge gained is evident in the final product.

At a low-key, weeknight soft opening, Bradley treated diners to a full birria experience, replete with crispy grilled corn tortillas stuffed with braised goat meat with cheeses, lovingly dubbed “quesatacos.” Also on offer were bowls of La Tienda's namesake: goat-based birria, as well as savory albóndigas, or meatballs, sprinkled with queso fresco.

click to enlarge La Tienda de Birria's “quesatacos" - NINA RANGEL
Nina Rangel
La Tienda de Birria's “quesatacos"
The traditional stew, which is having a moment here in SA, is made with goat, beef, lamb or mutton with a warming abundance of adobo, garlic, cumin and bay leaves. It’s served with hand-pressed tortillas, housemade salsas and raw white onion, lime and cilantro for added acidity.

La Tienda de Birria's menu, though small in offerings, was big on flavor.

The rich, melty cheese in the quesataco was amped up tenfold by the complex dipping broth. When Chef Bradley said he “had a problem” with the albóndigas, it was quickly made clear what he meant: it was hard to stop eating the damned things.

Eventually, the menu will grow, Bradley pledged. But for now, his crew aims to perfect its offerings on Friday and Saturday nights 5-9 p.m. — or until sellout.

The unassuming, black trailer is posted up at 929 N. New Braunfels Ave., on the East Side.

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