Go Eat This Now: Lengua Taco at El Buen Sabor

This offal offering on Valencia Street may have you speaking in tongues.

Photo by Ryan Basso

It’s late spring and the weather is beautiful. What a time to walk around the sunny Mission district and eat delicious tacos! Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these delectable snacks will forever tempt me no matter the time of day. But there exists one widely coveted taco that must not be overlooked, and it may surprise you.

Beef tongue, or lengua, is a delicacy served in many parts of the world, adored for its fatty, tender texture and rich flavor. In Mexican cuisine, it is often grilled and diced for use in burritos and tacos. And at Taqueria El Buen Sabor, on the corner of Valencia and 18th streets, you can find some of the most delicious lengua tacos in the whole city. The regular $2.80 taco comes with meat and beans, but you can pare down your order to include just the meat — well, meat plus raw onion, cilantro, and salsa, that is. The especial brings the addition of cheese and guacamole, for about $3.50. The tongue meat is soft, with a nice char flavor from the plancha. While I completely understand why such a meat option may not be for everyone, it’s perfect for when you want something a little different. Rustic lengua has a particular flavor that is just not found in any other cut of beef, and it makes for a wonderful taco.

So next time you get that oh so familiar itch, the one that craves fresh tortilla and chili spice, go check out Taqueria el Buen Sabor. And if you’re feeling a little adventurous, go for the tongue. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Taqueria El Buen Sabor, 699 Valencia St., 415-552-8816, no website.

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