A few miles inland off a recently-paved road lies a concrete white utilitarian building stamped with the logos of Pepsi and Pacifico. The sturdy building is adorned with exposed electric and telephone lines. Despite being wrapped in ten layers of paint, the true age of the restaurant is revealed through hints of peels and flakes. The hot sun of San José -- a place where the sun shines 364 days of the year -- beats down incessantly on the fading pained script logo: "Restaurant Vicky." While the surrounding buildings have been occupied and abandoned over the last thirty years through Baja California Sur's development, like a church, Barbacoa Vicky has held strong. It offers a unique delicacy: the best slow-roasted lamb tacos in town. Barbacoa at Vicky's comes from sheep, slow-roasted underground in hot embers for eight hours. The resulting meat, ordered here by the kilogram, develops a soft and stringy texture intertwined in pockets of juicy fat. The meat is typically rife with moisture and arriving early in the day ensures the juiciest cuts. The fresh corn tortillas -- speckled with coarse grains of yellow corn -- absorb the excess fat, much like spreading butter on cornbread. Wrapped with a splash of lime, a dash of cilantro, and a small dollop of guacamole and the barbacoa taco is ready to go.
Interview with Chef/Owner Doña Vicky
Accompaniments for the borrego - Green salsa, red salsa, diced onions, cilantro, salsa with chipotle, and habanero pepper and onions. These vibrant raw sauces and vegetables cut through the fatty mouthfeel of the meat while adding vegetal freshness and spice.
Consome de borrego - Chunks of barbacoa and chickpeas in a broth made from roasted lamb bones, spiced with fresh cilantro and raw onion. The soup -- with a slight barnyard smell -- whets the palate while the barbacoa is cut and quartered for the tacos. A squirt of lime brightens the meaty broth adding a contrast between meat and citrus.
Barbacoa - The meat is served in aluminum foil to keep it warm throughout the meal.
Barbacoa de borrego - A corn tortilla layered with barbacoa and garnished with red salsa, cilantro, and a generous splash of lime.
Barbacoa de borrego con habanero - Corn tortilla with barbacoa garnished with salsa de chipotle, cilantro, and habanero-infused onions. The habanero is rarely eaten by itself due to its extreme spiciness, rather, its water is used to infuse other vegetables.
Barbacoa Vicky is a must-visit for travellers to San José del Cabo. It's some of the best barbacoa de borrego I have ever tasted. Be sure to arrive early to get the barbacoa while it's still fresh and moist.