Cachete Taco (Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que, Brownsville)

Where It's From: Vera's Backyard Bar-B-Que, 2404 Southmost Rd., Brownsville

Why It's a Standout: Not far from the Mexican border, Mando Vera, like his father before him, wraps whole cow heads in aluminum foil and cooks them for eight hours over mesquite in a brick-lined underground pit. This is traditional South Texas barbacoa, the way few do it anymore (primarily due to Health Department standards; Vera's has been grandfathered in). Smart patrons arrive before 9 AM and order the cachete, tender and deep-flavored beef cheeks enfolded in a warm corn tortilla from a nearby factory. A dash of homemade salsa verde, a pinch of salt, and they're tasting history.