Near the point where The Alameda becomes El Camino Real, the slow cooking method of Southern barbecue has found a home in the tortilla-wrapped concoctions of Mexican cuisine. Asadero, a type of cheese that can also be loosely translated from Spanish to “hot spot,” offers a smoky twist to our taqueria favorites.

One look inside the brand new interior and it’s clear that I’ve walked into a barbecue joint. The two-month-old restaurant’s color scheme is a fiery red, orange and black. Wood plank walls, counters and tables reinforce a rustic feel while rock & roll jams and bright menu boards give the place a casual vibe.

But this is no place for barbecue purists. At Asadero, it’s about consuming the best of both worlds with a handful of simple options. The words taco, burrito and bowl don the menu in bold white text above three smoked meat choices and a list of extras like guacamole, fresh-cut chips and queso asadero. There are also vegetarian options and 10 craft beers on tap for suds lovers looking to round off their meal with a hoppy kick.

I got a tri-tip burrito “gordo” style—a step up from the “flaco” option—which came with pico de gallo, pinto beans, avocado, queso asadero, sour cream and olives. The tri-tip and gordo options were an extra charge of $2 each, bumping up the price of my burrito to $12. I also ordered a half rack of pork ribs ($15) brushed with el dopé sauce, a barbecue mole sauce, and a glass of prickly pear beer ($8).

First, I ate with my eyes. The burrito came with charcoal grill marks and the ribs were sprinkled with the distinct sesame seed garnish of traditional mole plates. Upon biting into the burrito I instantly tasted the smoky sirloin chunks, which, unsurprisingly, went well with the other ingredients. The drink was pleasantly sour with a mild floral aftertaste.

But if there is one item that demands a return visit, it’s the pork ribs. While mine wasn’t the most tender rack on the planet, Asadero’s specialty sauce offers a robust balance of sweet and tangy barbecue, matched with a spicy, bitter mole. The mouthwatering flavor had me reaching for another bone despite a full stomach.

In some ways, Asadero is for the indecisive—those who can’t pick between two delicious staples of American dining. On the other hand, it’s a lively fusion cuisine for those who want it all.

2323 The Alameda, Santa Clara.