Colder weather is en route to the high south - when I set out this morning it was 58 degrees, now at noon the temperature has dropped to 40 degrees, and falling fast - I'm waiting in line at Don Guero's Taqueria in downtown Springdale with a slew of people pogoing and shivering in place in an attempt to stay warm. The wind blows hard, but the deep, rich smell of charred beef and lard laden refried beans waft over the cold, hungry masses - our stomachs constrict and growl as the line moves forward - two middle aged women from a local factory, smoking and complaining, a tall guy in a windshield repair wind breaker, a Latino woman holding a pretty, curly haired baby, and now me - I'm starving, pressing my head into the warm window, breathing in the come hither fragrances of corn tortillas, pineapple, cilantro, and more charred beef - I want it, need it - I order a cabeza burrito and a tall Mexican Coke, take my number and wait - impatiently.
I love cabeza, the bits and pieces of beef head that culminate into sweet, soft, crunchy flavors and texture, unlike any other - this tiny taqueria stratifies it with refried beans, red rice, and a whisper of shredded lettuce - a side of spicy salsa verde that burns and numbs the lips slightly.
My God, she calls my number - I thank the hard working woman in the window - then hover over my foil wrapped plate - crouch around the corner on a small bench - fumbling to undress my cabeza - breaking the scored burrito in half, then bringing one teeming half to my mouth - inhale - chew - inhale - swallow - now repeat. Now I'm trembling harder than ever - but not because cold weather is en route to the high south - but because of the cabeza - thump thump.