Pot Luck

The Carnicería Connoisseur: Tierra Caliente Meat Market & Taqueria

Barbacoa tacos and al pastor quesadillas at Tierra Caliente on North Shepherd.
The barbacoa at Tierra Caliente Meat Market & Taqueria was excellent the last time I dropped by for a couple of tacos. They were quite a deal at $1.29 apiece. I also got some tangy marinated pork and mozzarella in a pair of quesadillas al pastor, also a bargain at $1.89 each. For dessert, I picked up a couple of the pecan and caramel candies called Glorias, which ran me 89 cents.

Most of the other folks eating there were Spanish-speaking workers on their lunch break. The millions of Latino laborers who roof our houses, build our highways, and do our landscape work eat a lot of tacos, tortas, hamburgesas and quesadillas every day. And, for a variety of reasons, they don’t like to sit down for lunch in restaurants. The profits to be made feeding this army have inspired every gas station and convenience store in Texas to call itself a taqueria.

Now carnicerias are cashing in on the boom. Places that used to sell nothing but raw meat and groceries are now calling themselves taquerias and selling tacos all day, every day. Many, like Tierra Caliente Meat Market & Taqueria on North Shepherd, have added counters and stools so customers can eat their tacos in the store. – Robb Walsh

Tierra Caliente Meat Market & Taqueria, 4420 N. Shepherd, 713-697 1663

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 32-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press