Xoco may be the best casual Mexican restaurant in the country. It’s a fast food tortaria featuring organic farm meats, locally sourced vegetables, and handmade chocolate. The torta ahogada, from Guadalajara, is the signature sandwich with deeply flavorful golden pork carnitas slow cooked in their own juices. The carnitas are finished in Xoco’s heart, the wood-burning oven, until the porky edges are crispy. They are spread on artisanal sourdough baguette called bolillo, with black beans and pickled white onions. The sandwich is served dipped in a bowl of bright roasted tomato sauce spiked with spicy chile arbol.
Xoco is one of the only restaurants in the country to make their own chocolate. Acidic cocoa beans are brought in from Tabasco, Mx, and roasted in the restaurant. The aroma fills the neighborhood. Cocoa mass is winnowed from the cocoa pods. Granite wheels grind the mass to paste that is combined with equal parts raw sugar. The chocolate is mixed with water and chile, 2% milk, almond milk and whole milk. The result is a savory, floral and wholly authentic cup of chocolate for drinking.