Food News

Huapango Serves Up Mexican Food To Dance To

Huapangoa offers a plethora of from-scratch Mexican treats and eats such as sopes, tacos, gorditas, and quesadillas that are inexpensive to boot. This entire spread came in under $20
Huapangoa offers a plethora of from-scratch Mexican treats and eats such as sopes, tacos, gorditas, and quesadillas that are inexpensive to boot. This entire spread came in under $20 Hank Vaughn
Google tells us that the huapango is a fast, rhythmic dance of that originated in Veracruz and is performed by couples, often on a wooden platform. It’s also the namesake of a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves Mexican (as opposed to Tex-Mex) food to the masses in a small space with large flavors. Our research discovered that their barbacoa is of the lamb variety (barbacoa de borrego), and in keeping with what seems to be a lamb theme lately with our culinary outings, we decided to give this a try.

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The colorful mural that adorns one of Huapangoa's walls
Hank Vaughn

Huapangoa is an unassuming place that greets visitors with a colorful mural painted on the exterior wall, as well as a handsome 6-foot-tall metal rooster that overlooks the entrance like some sort of good luck totem, beckoning diners to enter the small dining area. Menu options include gorditas, sopes, tortas, burritos and tacos, with some quesadillas and combo plates served for good measure. Protein choices are numerous and varied, including but not limited to barbacoa de borrego, alambre, lengua, tripa, al pastor, jamón, pollo, nopales, suadero, campechano and chicharrón prensado. Basically, if it baas or oinks or moos or swims, it’s available.
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The Huapangoa rooster sees all
Hank Vaughn

In lieu of chips and salsa, diners are given a small bowl of soup that had a flavorful chicken broth with macaroni and carrots, which helped tide us over while we scanned the menu and made our decisions. We wanted one of everything but settled upon a sope, a quesadilla, a gordita, a couple of tacos and a side order of rice and beans. Everything we ordered was under $5 each, with most being closer to $3, so it was hard to limit ourselves to just a few offerings.
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A nice sopita to start the meal
Hank Vaughn

The barbacoa sope was piled high with succulently braised lamb and topped with fresh lettuce, cheese and crema. It was extremely good and messy in the best possible way, the masa providing both function and flavor as well as perfect mouthfeel contrast to the tender lamb, crunchy lettuce and rich crema.
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Barbacoa de Borrego sopes
Hank Vaughn
The alambre gordita was a lovely little thing, masa stuffed with well-seasoned shredded beef and served with lettuce, tomato, and crema on the side. Wikipedia tells me that gordita means “chubby” in Spanish, probably referring to the look of the stuffed masa, but it also could describe the eater of this tasty treat after downing six or seven at about $3 each.
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Alambre gordita
Hank Vaughn

Taco selections included chicharrón prensado (pork) and chicken. Both proteins were beautifully cooked, the chicken moist and the pork perfectly spiced and dense in complex flavor. The corn tortillas were not just a conveyance but also appeared to be created with thought and care.
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Chicharrón prensado and pollo tacos
Hank Vaughn

As a respite from the meatfest, we tried some nopales quesadillas. This came in a huge tortilla, maybe 10 inches in diameter, folded in half and stuffed with wonderfully sautéed nopales and cheese and a side of lettuce and tomato. This had a succulent flavor in both senses of that word. Again, the tortilla was wonderful, delicious and perfectly charred on the grill.
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Nopales quesadilla
Hank Vaughn

A very successful outing, and we wish we had more time and larger appetites to have sampled their tortas, aguas frescas and various caldos, but first let us dance a lively dance and then perhaps take a nice long nap, after which time we will plan our return visit.

2971 Walnut Hill Lane, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday - Thursday & Sunday; 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday & Saturday
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Hank Vaughn is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing and overthinking his food and drink experiences, both good and bad, from his culinary journeys with his wife across North Texas and beyond.
Contact: Hank Vaughn