Celebrating Goat in Jalisco BY LESLEY TÉLLEZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY DYLAN HO & JENI AFUSO
t 11 a.m. one morning in Jocotepec, a small town about an hour outside Guadalajara, Margarito “El Tartamudo” Loza Parra takes a break from eating a plate of water-
melon to call out to customers.
“Pasen señores! Aquí hay lugar, pasen! Aquí siéntanse!” This way, gentlemen! There is a space here, come! Sit here!
His spot — Birriería El Tartamudo — is already busy. Customers slurp a deep-red, oregano-spiked broth under the plaza’s porticos. Liquor bottles filled with homemade hot sauce lie in wait. In the kitchen, a worker opens the oven and we catch a glimpse of the goods: reddish, spice-rubbed goat meat, spread in pieces on a tray. The meat has already steamed on the stove for four hours. It will crisp in the oven, turning slightly golden-brown.
“I’m the most famous birriero in Jocotepec,” says Loza, who started making birria 41 years ago, after quitting his job as a bullfighter. “People have made me that way. Not me, them. I’m the one who sells the most, who has the most customers for some reason. Maybe it’s the service that I give. I’m going to have a tequila, do you want one?”
A morning chill still hangs in the air. Two of his customers politely decline. One had driven from Guadalajara specifically for El Tartamudo’s birria.