Dine and Dish: El Premio Mayor is Fresno's go-to spot for birria tacos

Friday, September 2, 2022
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Every Thursday, El Premio Mayor serves up slow-roasted beef tacos dipped in melted cheese... hand-made by a Mexican grandmother.

FRESNO, Calif. -- Birria is slow-cooked, shredded, spread and served hot at El Premio Mayor in central Fresno.

The restaurant offers birria tacos and tortas, but only on Thursdays.

In Jalisco, Mexico, traditional birria calls for goat but Bianca Loza says El Premio's version is different.

"From our region of Mexico, barbacoa is mainly used," Bianca says.

The beef taco is served with a dipping sauce called consommé.

"Birria, you got that slow-roasted meat. It's just beautiful and the consommé. You get the consommé and it's good from other places. But this one, it feels like grandma's in the back," says customer Daniel Aguirre.

She actually is.

Bianca's mom Belen Ramirez gets up at 4 am on Thursdays to prepare for all the orders that come in.

The melted cheese holds the rich barbacoa flavor together.

You take your quesataco and dip it into the consommé.

"The consommé is definitely the perfect addition to the tacos. You dip them, you can spread it. I've seen people drink it. Honestly, I like drinking it by itself," says Bianca.

It combines beef broth, chile peppers and spices.

"I can't tell you everything that goes in it because that's kind of our little secret," says Bianca.

And you don't just enjoy it with tacos. Think of the torta as a Zacatecas-style french dip.

The spice of the consommé sneaks up on you.

That's where the horchata comes in. It really refreshes your palate.

Daniel Aguirre says El Premio Mayor is his go-to spot.

"You want to come back. You're always going - 'Oh I should've got myself two more tacos, man I messed up'," he says

But there's always next week.

If you've never had a birria taco, you're missing out.

Again, El Premio Mayor only has the barbacoa on Thursdays.