Chicken 'n' Ribs | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Chicken 'n' Ribs

Out on the Calzada de la Estación—the Train Station Road—there hangs a sign advertising the best roast chicken in San Miguel de Allende.

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This is an example of those modest businesses that give Mexico much of its character; the kind of humble place I love. Housed in a sturdy wooden shack, it squats next to a weed filled vacant lot. In a nod to modernity, a quasi-professionally designed banner has been strung across the front. It’s ugly, but these things are cheap—important in a low-volume business.

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A boy sits in front of the building, awaiting infrequent customers.

The yellow cinderblock structure is a fire pit. Inside, mesquite coals line a trench, giving off intense heat. Ribs and flattened chickens impaled on wooden stakes cook slowly, taking on beautiful color and smokey flavor. The aroma is enticing.

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This truly is slow food, expertly prepared. The method is ancient. The first ever cooked food probably was roasted on sticks over an open fire much like this. Ovens, cast-iron pots, and Teflon sauté pans came much later.

The place has no name, called only by what it serves: Pollo al Pastor—Shepherd’s Chicken.

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