While running through the Mercado Olympic this past weekend, I caught up with Mercedes—the proprietor of Los Originales Tacos Arabes de Puebla—and she mentioned that I should come by for a mixiote. I was in a hurry but told her I’d be there, barely digesting that she had a brand new item on the menu.
I knew I was going for some tasty food, but it wasn’t until I saw the sign for mixiotes de chivo that I knew I was in for a special treat. Mixiotes can be made with a variety of meats (Mercedes opts for goat) that are marinated in chili sauce and avocado leaves before being steamed inside a packet of natural maguey paper made from a large species of agave called the Century plant. On Saturday nights, Mercedes has some extra hands on deck to help prep this traditional dish from her hometown. Good mixiotes are hard to come by, and Los Originales has the crowds to prove it.
You get a sack of goat in a blend of chile puya, herbs, and spices, along with some rice, avocado, and tortillas. Mercedes’ daughter Arely added, “get the green salsa; it goes with it.” Once you’ve untied the mixiote; it’s time to make tacos as you pick through your goodie bag, sifting through bones, large avocado leaves, and pieces of Century plant. Once you’ve performed an exhaustive search of every last bit of goat, take that rice and dump it in the pouch to soak up the delicious sauce, and then spoon the mixture onto a small tear of tortilla.
The dish has just been up for a few weeks, but the word is getting out in Boyle Heights that the Saturday night special is a steaming, softball-sized mixiote.
Los Originales Tacos Arabes de Puebla, E. Olympic Blvd., just west of Esperanza St., Boyle Heights