Hot pork

Illustration by Mark Stivers

The news came when I was notified via tweet last month: Chando’s Tacos is now serving cochinita pibil tacos. Cochinita pibil is a slow-roasted pork dish of Mayan origin that's traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in the ground—sort of like Hawaii's kalua pig. I wasn't sure from tasting Chando's flavorful pork if it was extremely tender because it was suckling pig (often the case with cochinita) or because a highly acidic citrus marinade had broken down a pork shoulder into its tender consistency. Either way, this meat basically melted in my mouth. It also burned it. Yep, Chando's version is incredibly spicy, with habanero thrown either into the marinade or into the mix of pickled veggies that garnished the taco. Chando's is located at 863 Arden Way and 5665 Power Inn Road, Suite 104. By the way, in case you were wondering where you've heard of pibil before, it might have been the film One Upon a Time in Mexico: Johnny Depp's character in the film is a puerco pibil fanatic.