Barbacoa Tacos at El Jefe Luchador in Deerfield Beach

Categories: Eat This
eljefe.jpg
Even if it's a quiet hour between lunch and dinner, inside Deerfield's El Jefe Luchador, it's as animated as a Mexican streetfest. Tables and chairs wear primary colors like a box of fat crayons. Against one wall, flamboyant masks stare from empty eyes: a reference to its "chief fighter" name. A gaudy crystal chandelier hangs from tin ceilings. ZZ Top blares toward the entrance.

The menu is
as noisy, with 15 colors repped among menu listings of street-style antojitos, plates, sidekicks, add-ons, and desserts. 

When my food arrives, the harmony begins. Inside a barbacoa number, braised beef brisket packs heat with guajillo chilis. A ripe tomato and onion medley lend sweet and sharp crunch. Tart lime, a handful of cilantro, and a liberal sprinkle of queso blanco round it out. Homemade white-corn tortillas trekked in every day gives these tacos cred. "We can't say who makes them," said a line cook.The innards slip out as I pick up my taco. Barbacoa juice drizzles the plate. 

As delicious as it is -- this balance of savory, sweet, green, tart, and fat -- a few things I'd wish: a fresh tomato salsa swap, onions caramelized or pickled rather than unseasoned raw, and more complexity from the compilation.

And yet, El Jefe Luchador's barbacoa tacos are worth the nine-mile after-work trek. I order seconds. Having sampled tacos from half a dozen places, I haven't yet found anything better. 

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter. Follow me @melissamccart.

Location Info

El Jefe Luchador

27 S. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant


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5 comments
ChazDelray
ChazDelray

If you go elsewhere and "find something better"... then it'll be time to go back to El Jefe.

You apparently missed their pork belly tacos (chicharones) which are just... off the chain.

Jonboy12
Jonboy12

Try Hott Leggz for some damn good tacos

melissamccart
melissamccart

I've eaten more chicharone here than I have in my whole life but I'm still apprehensive about it. One time my friend who is also a food critic and I ordered a chicharone taco back in dc and I kid you not: it was like a soggy human ear in that thing. Really disturbing.

melissamccart
melissamccart

Really?! I just went there for the bears game. Fun place.

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