|Three tacos from R&R Taqueria|
On my last visit to R&R Taqueria in Elkridge, I overly impressed myself by recognizing the tacos called "cochinita pibil." That's pork, I remembered. And it involves cooking the meat in citrus juice, maybe orange juice. You can't see that from the Spanish, but I remembered it ... from my experience ... because I'm awesome.
And I congratulated myself so heartily that I didn't focus on the word "habanero" written in the description. That word has the same meaning in English and Spanish. It means "really hot pepper that you had better respect."
Imagine the hottest dish you have ever eaten and enjoyed. Because R&R isn't serving stupid hot dishes. The meat is butchered perfectly. Their sauces are fresh and bright. When they use habaneros, they use just enough to hit you hard without overwhelming the pork.
The hit was just an awesome surprise. I'd eaten the other tacos first -- chicken and al pastor, if I remember right. They're each very well done. I was reading at the counter as I picked up the third and bit down on what I expected to be citrus-infused and turned out to be enflamed.
R&R pulled off the habanero perfectly. My tongue squeaked, and my eyes opened. I drank down my melon agua fresca and then sucked the ice. But the peppery zip was just part of the cochinita pibil flavor. I think there were onions. I know there was slow-roasted pork. They were all wrapped in R&R's excellent corn tortilla.
At R&R, the tacos are really unique. They're not just throwing your choice of meat on top of the same shredded lettuce and salsa like a chain. Each salsa tastes different. Each meat comes with a different marinade. The habenero made cochinita pibil stand out, but it welcomed me to eat every last bite. The R&R chefs know how to play with fire.