I enthusiastically third Hammond’s nomination of Birriería Reyes de Ocotlán, home of fabulous birria (and amusing décor!).
When the moderators review the current round of GNR nominations, I imagine someone may say in dissent, “Not too many LTHers have posted on this place.” That’s true, and it’s a shame: places on the south or southwest sides often don’t get the LTH traffic that a spot in, say, Albany Park might. But note that everyone who has tried Reyes de Ocotlán following Antonius’s initial, very positive, write-up has been wildly enthusiastic. (Hammond: “stupendous” and “my favorite place to eat”; laikom: “my new favorite food. … I am constantly thinking about going again”; terrasini: “excellent… try this place”.) I hope the unanimity of elevated praise for this wonderful little spot will be taken into account, rather than just going by mere numbers.
I have a couple other reasons for hoping that Reyes de Ocotlán gets recognized with a GNR. Oftentimes when we LTHers are posting about (or nominating) a hole-in-the-wall spot we plead with our fellow posters to go, support the place because it badly needs more customers. Reyes de Ocotlán is not really in this precarious position – it’s already doing a fine business in its neighborhood.
Rather, the folks who need help in this instance are the posters/lurkers/newcomers who don’t yet know about this spot. Giving a GNR award to Reyes de Ocotlán may encourage some northsiders to come down to Pilsen, may embolden the timid to sample their first goat, may give newcomers to regional Mexican specialties a starting point for their explorations. Let’s put it on the list of GNRs, put it on our map, as it were, to help guide outsiders to this spot.
And, let’s put a sign with our web address on it in a window in the heart of Pilsen, and thereby, perhaps, get more new posters with intimate knowledge of the great variety of la cocina mexicana
contributing to our conversations. Let’s put ourselves on the map for some folks who may not yet have stumbled across this site on the web.
With a GNR award to its credit or not, I urge you to check out Reyes de Ocotlán, fellow posters. What could be better on a snow-bound day than moist roasted goat served with goat consommé, garnished with chiles de arbol, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime?