Best Barbecue - 2012
El Borrego Sagrado
Okay, so this Santa Ana dive doesn't make American-style 'cue, but any lovers of that tradition need to make a pilgrimage here to try one of the oldest traditions still in existence: mixiote, which finds meat rubbed with a fabulous mix of guajillo, achiote, thyme and garlic, then wrapped in a paper derived from the agave plant and cooked slowly so the meat collapses off the bone with the ease of pulling off a line of string cheese. And the titular barbecue sold here is estilo Hidalgo—lamb prepared almost the same, except with its drippings offered as a consommé on the side. The name of the restaurant translates as "The Sacred Lamb," no doubt because eating its barbacoa is an experience as holy as the Nazarene—and far tastier.