Taste 10.24.19

Birrieria & Restaurant Estilo Coalcomon

It’s possible that birria could be sculpted for social media photos – maybe some gleaming red chilies for a pop of color. But Restaurant Estilo Coalcoman would rather serve solid, fundamental dishes. So the appeal of goat birria with consomé on the side is not through the eyes, but rather the anticipation of something homey and utterly fulfilling.

The broth offers a ruddy tang with a natural, fruity sweetness. Under this strolls a subdued – well, a savor that weaves in rumbles of spice, wafts of smoke, a rich and fatty heft and more into a rustic liquid. Meanwhile, tender strands of goat bring a huskiness. And it welcomes the broth, reveling in all the high and low notes without losing that gamy hint. Hit it with a squirt of lime and a brisk, grassy edge develops. And you realize all of this even before you reach for the handmade tortillas, which are nutty but scorched in places for warming streaks of smokiness.

This is why we crave stew – the comfort as well as the character. The restaurant prepares birria with beef or lamb, as well. And they plate it four different ways: as a stew, with consomé on the side, as a taco or with rice and beans.

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BIRRIERIA & RESTAURANT ESTILO Coalcomon, 10500 Merritt St., Castroville. 453-7060.

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