Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo

Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

Every bit of the journey to Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo heightens the anticipation for your pending meal. First you have to wait for the weekend -- the small restaurant is only open Saturdays and Sundays -- and you have to make a trek down C.F. Hawn Freeway till you get to Lake June Road, and then drive down a dusty unpaved road. And you have to go early, because sometimes the kitchen runs out of barbacoa y consome -- another good reason for coming here.

In other words, you don't just come to this restaurant for a quick and cheap meal. A trip to Raymundo Sanchez' for tacos is an event.

It's completely worth the effort. After bringing them overnight, Sanchez sears huge hunks of lamb over smoldering wood. Then meat is roasted for nine hours, over a bed of chickpeas that collects the dripping juices. When he's done, the lamb is fall-apart tender, and the chickpeas have evolved into a hearty stew. Together they make for one of the most soulful meals you'll find in Dallas. And one of the cheapest.

The tortillas here are massive. Don't even think about ordering more than two tacos per person. But the best way to order the barbacoa is by the pound for as many of your friends as you can pack into your car. It will arrive in your own serving tray with salsas, onions, cilantro and tortillas almost the size of a Frisbee. Assemble your tacos however see fit, and revel in the fact that food this good is served near a salvage yard in the middle of nowhere.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co. No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint No. 47: Taj Chaat House No. 46: Mot Hai Ba No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill No. 42: Mughlai No. 41: Russian Banya No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria No. 38: Carbone's No. 37: Babe's

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