David Hammond

Goat is the world’s fourth most consumed protein , and their signature goat taco is the fourth most popular taco at Tacabron in Forest Park. Their first and second most popular tacos are beef and chicken – the yin/yang of meats – followed by taco al pastor (seasoned and spit-roasted pork), and finally goat.

Fourth place is sad in the Olympics, but for goat to be the fourth most popular meat – after beef, chicken and pork – at a Forest Park taqueria is not bad at all, considering many gringos have probably never eaten goat.

Goat tacos are what drew me to Tacabron, which opened late last year in Forest Park, on the site where there was once Amelia’s.

People always ask me “What’s your favorite restaurant,” a very difficult question to answer because it depends on mood, day of the week, phases of the moon, etc. By default, I usually say my favorite place is Birrieria Zaragoza, on south Pulaski, serving just one thing: goat. At this small storefront place, you can have a plate or a taco birria, goat that’s steamed, hand-slapped with mole, and roasted. It’s fantastic.

The goat taco at Tacabron is not made in the same style as at Zaragoza’s, but it’s very good, and enhanced by a line-up of house-made salsas. For the goat, I drizzled on their very hot cascabel salsa, modified with a splash of cooling guacamole, making for a very balanced and flavorful fistful.

Tacabron is a saucy name, combining “taco” and “cabron,” the latter a word you might have heard if you’ve ever worked around Hispanic guys. It can mean a he-goat in Spanish, but it also refers to a cuckhold or cuck, which has become a distinctly alt-right put-down.  Cuckhold or cuck is a guy whose wife or girlfriend is cheating on him. The epithet “cuckhold” was a big-time insult in Shakespeare’s day:

Laertes in “Hamlet”: That drop of blood that’s calm proclaims me bastard, / Cries cuckold to my father

Emilia in “Othello”: who would not make her husband a cuckold, to make him a monarch?

Leontes in “A Winter’s Tale”: your eye-glass / Is thicker than a cuckold’s horn

The word “cuckhold” comes up over 30 times in Shakespeare’s plays, and that last line above is a reference to a trope, common since the medieval period), that cuckholds, usually older men, grew horns (like goats) when their significant others were unfaithful. A reference to old men with horns was sure to gain guffaws from Elizabethan groundlings.

Though there are even less savory translations of the word “cabron,” you’re going to like Tacabron’s supremely savory goat. We were very impressed with the salsas (non-spicy version, a little spicy, and the incendiary cascabel). You can also help yourself to a small container of curados, cured (pickled) vegetables, including carrot, onion and so on, diced so that they fit very neatly onto a taco. Dicing is a simple though major advance over the big chunks of pickled vegetables served at taquerias in Pilsen and La Villita, fished out of a gallon container.

Tacabron serves margaritas and other drinks, like Mexican Coke, and I could see an afternoon snack of some beverages and chips splashed with salsa. Try the goat taco!

Tacabron

7330 Harrison St.

Forest Park

708.435.4343

Eattacabron.com

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...