Friday, December 4, 2009

Taqueria El Gallo Azteca (718) 273-6404 - 75 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10301

After you’ve taken in the World Cup draw and noticed that México has a strong chance of winning their group (beating France and South Africa); you might want to take advantage of the wonderful New York autumn days that are slipping away and hop on the Staten Island Ferry and make your way over to Shaolin, aka Staten Island.

At "Taqueria El Gallo Azteca," the portions are healthy. I ordered four tacos but two would have been enough. They have a different approach to their lengua tacos, the meat is sliced as opposed to shredded. I had a co-pilot that day, who enjoyed the salsa and the carne asada tacos, he gave it a thumbs up. As for pricing, $2 dollars a taco, good deal considering the portions are very healthy.

As for ambiance, it’s a no frills kind of place, they keep it real.


From St. George’s Terminal, walk down Bay Street and make a right on Victory. Or, take the train from the ferry terminal one stop to Tompkinsville and Tacos El Gallo Azteca is four blocks away.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Feliz Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those selfless holidays and really the best holiday. I agree with Seth Godin's remark that this is really the only holiday that matters. Think about it, there's no exchanging of gifts and it's a time of reflection, a time for family and friends. So, when you're chowing down on those turkey tamales and turkey tacos, please give back in any way you can, or some turkey might goose you. It's the little things that can make a big difference.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ARRIBA JALISCO!!!Santa Cecilia - Mariachi Jam!

St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music, every year on the day before T-day at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sunset Park (Brooklyn) all the Marichi crews gather to pay homage with mass and a mariachi jam session!!!!! Although not all the homies are from Jalisco it will still be going off!

This event is FREE! The address is the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 60th Street at Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The Mass that begins the Festival of Saint Cecilia will be around 6:00 PM.
Take the N or the R train to 59th street station.

For more info click here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Man gets robbed of his tacos con machete!

Thanks to LA's Daily Taco for turning me on to this story. On Sunday in Chicago a man gets robbed of tacos twice!!!! First, he paid $41 dollars for 16 tacos!!!!!!! I thought tacos in Chicago would be cheaper! Secondly, after he paid according to Elgin Deputy Chief Jeff Swoboda "He was walking back (to his vehicle) with his tacos. A guy came out with a machete and took his tacos." Fortunately the victim was not hurt.

This sucks and just plain wrong! What has the world come to? Blame it on the recession.

Full story on NBC Chicago.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

La Superior 295 Berry St. Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 388-5988 (Between S.2nd and S. 3rd Streets)

Ah Williamsburg, I love you and I hate you, but at the suggestion of some of you readers to try this place, I finally did. I walked in just in time for lunch, getting there before the predominately hipster crowd arrived, and grabbed a seat at the counter.

What can I tell you that NY Mag and Yelp haven’t already done so… It’s a good date place, the ambiance is good, and they spin records. It’s a good taco spot in a hip setting. They serve tiny tacos for $2.50, and I easily wolfed down FIVE! What can I say I was hungies. The carne asado tacos… good, the carnitas… good, and the lengua tacos were also good (although I am impartial to my homemade ones). Their salsa is excellent and they are not cheap about giving you extra. I wonder if they need an intern, you know like as a tester before the food goes out?

This place is cash only and there’s an ATM machine conveniently located right outside. Take the L train to Bedford Ave. or J,M,Z to Marcy Ave.

I would like to know what ya'll think?

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Friday, October 23, 2009

La Fiesta Restaurant 3797 Broadway New York, NY 10032 (between 157th and 158th) 212.281.2886

Any place that offers a lunch special that includes a torta, a taco, and a soda for $5.95, is a place worth visiting. Before I talk tacos ($2.00), La Fiesta serves a full menu which includes: breakfast dishes (chilaquiles, huevos rancheros), tortas, tacos dorados, soups (caldo de res, pozole, goat soup, beef tripe soup), quesadillas, sopes, mole, tostadas, seafood dishes, and traditional platters.

The staff at this joint is very friendly and warm, we sat there and reminisced about back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again…

Okay a los pinche tacos then, chicken taco was juicy, tender, and all around good. Lengua (beef tongue) was good, very tender and worth a mention, kinda made me want to call my rabi and say “yo check this lengua out.” Bistec taco was good, flavorful, salsa was good... nuff said.

If you find yourself lost on your back from Westchester, might be worth your while to stop by. This isn’t a fancy place, it’s some good home-style cooking. Take the 1 train to 157th street in Harlem.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jalisco Tacos 214 St. Ann’s Ave. Bronx, NY 10454 (718) 585.4148 (between 138th and 137th)

Someone call Willie Colon and KRS One and tell them I was in da Bronx twice in one week! Jalisco Tacos is REALLY a whole-in-the-wall joint, with five small tables, and banda blaring, I felt right at home. I wasted no time and ordered four tacos which I forgot were going to be big tacos, so three would have been enough.

Aside from tacos they serve tostadas, quesadillas, menudo, pozole, and enchiladas; you know, good old home style cooking. I went with carne asada (bistec) and lengua (beef tongue) tacos.

I pride myself on making some good beef tongue tacos, well these guys met my standard, at one point I thought, “is my comadre back there cooking?” As for the steak tacos, they were good but I think I was in beef tongue taco bliss to even notice the steak tacos (sorry).

From Manhattan take the 6 train into the Bronx to Brooks Ave, walk a block to St. Ann’s Ave and make a right.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Taco Mix 359 E. 138th Street Bronx, NY. Between Willis Ave. and Alexander Ave.

I was in the Boogie Down Bronx earlier in the week pop locking my way down 138th Street when I stumbled into this taqueria. It’s a cash only place with counter seating, it really is a hole-in-the-wall. I only had enough for two tacos (ATM card was busted… hard times these days) and I kept it simple.

Steak (carne asada aka bistec) was good, not out-of-this-world but good, I was surprised with the Boogie Down. Their Al Pastor (marinated pork) taco merits a mentioning as well.

Now for the record I am basing this review on two tacos I ate there, would I go back again to sample others… sure. So if you happen to find yourself in da Boogie Down, stop by, tell me what you think, oh and there’s a picture of the Virgin Lupita across the street so you can tell her what you think as well.

Directions: Take the 6 train and get off at 138th St. (1st stop in the Bronx) and walk towards the church. It’s a block and half from the train station, look at the map below.

This basically says do not give the taco makers any booze.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

El Paisa Taqueria & Restaurant 324 Suydam Street Brooklyn, NY 11237 (Bushwick) 718.417.4328 On the corner of Irving Ave. and Suydam St.

Once in Colima my cousin Alejandro and I went to a taco stand and before I ordered he said to me, “order the al pastor.” I looked at him confused and he continued, “that’s what’s good here,” so I ordered four tacos without hesitation. What this taught me was that sometimes taquerias can serve 15 different tacos, but only one will be a perfect ten. Does this make the taqueria bad? Not really, I suggest you try a variety of things and see what works for you. Maybe you might find out that the tacos are not good but they serve an awesome bowl of menudo (aka pancita in some parts of Mexico) or their mole is out of this world.

This is what happened at El Paisa, I ordered three different types of tacos, and the tacos Al Pastor (marinated pork) was a perfect ten. The steak and the beef tongue taco were… uneventful. Would I go back to El Paisa, of course I will, I feel that El Paisa’s strength lies in its other dishes. Next time I’m there I’m ordering chilaquiles.

What to get: Tacos Al Pastor

Price of tacos: $2.50

Directions: L Train to Dekalb Ave. Walk south on Dekalb Ave. to Irving Ave. make a right, walk two streets and it’s on the left hand side across the street from Bushwick Park.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Red Hook Ballfield vendors nab top prize at the 5th annual Vendy Awards

Husband and wife duo Fernando and Yolanda Martinez win top prize at the Vendy Awards!!! Congrats to them both. Read the NY Daily News article here. To read my previous post on Red Hook vendors click here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nude guy at Endless Summer Taco Truck in Willamsburg

I know this is unusual for this blog but someone spotted this guy at Endless Summer Taco Truck in da burg. I hope this doesn't become a trend and I start seeing this dude at all my taco truck stops. If you see this guy at the taquerias do not approach.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

El Carrito Rojo taco truck – on 19th Street and 6th Ave.

Up from Uncle Moe’s, across the street from Bed Bath and Beyond on 19th street you will find a red catering truck called “El Carrito Rojo.” How I never knew about this is a mystery.

I went with the steak taco, it was just like back home, I had to order another one. Plain and simply put it was a delicious taco, I won’t go into texture and all that bull, but if you're in the area definitely stop by and try it. Beware their green salsa has a kick to it.

Hours of operation: Truck is parked there Monday through Saturday from 7am to 7pm.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Uncle Moe's Burrito & Taco Shop 14 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011 near Fifth Ave. 212-727-9400 (Flat Iron District)

I came here on a recommendation from a friend who knows I love beef tongue tacos and he said, “Go to Uncle Moe’s!” I immediately got excited and I went and uhhhhhh no beef tongue tacos, apparently not very popular with this Flat Iron crowd that they had to take off the menu. Okay so I kept cool and order two carne asada tacos and a small fountain drink ($9.45 kind of pricey).

Well… let us just say that Uncle Moe’s is really known for their burritos and not their tacos. Again, I’m not hating I just don’t like a dry tortilla, and it’s hard for these places because sometimes in order to go for healthy they compromise on taste. So if I gave thumbs down to Tortilleria Mexicana Los Tres Hermanos for their tacos, Uncle Moe’s has to get it too. Their burritos are good but this isn’t a burrito blog.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Tres Hermanos 271 Starr Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (Bushwick) 718.456.3422

A hipster kid with skinny jeans and a bad haircut told me about this tortilleria that serves tacos some time ago, Anthony Bourdain likes this place and “Underground Dining in NY” does not. Again, I judge every taqueria by the steak taco… why you might ask; because in NYC you judge every pizza by ordering a plain slice, if the slice is good then you know their other pies will be great.

So what’s the verdict? I have to agree with Underground Dining, I wasn’t into the steak taco, in fact the meat was a bit low grade. Having freshly made tortillas is good, but what fills the tortilla should be great. However, I have to give them mad props for their chicken quesadilla, it was amazing, and for the price of 3 bucks!

What to get: Quesadillas, fresh tortillas, chorizo taco

What not to get: Unfortunately the steak taco was weak.

Directions: Take the L train to Jefferson stop.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

La Barra Cevicheria 250 Broome St. New York, NY 10002 between Ludlow & Orchard (Lower Eastside) 212.260.1607

Although this place is known for ceviche, just my luck I walk in on the night they had as a special a steak taco, and it was a damn good taco de bistec. The chef a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, made this creamy sauce that added an alta cocina touch to the taco.

If you go and the steak taco is not a special then I suggest trying a shrimp or fish taco.

Please note I am not a star f*cker for culinary school chefs, I grew up eating my aunt Maria-Elena’s home cooking which has been handed down to her since the days when worshipping Huitzilopochtli was en vogue. But, the chef at La Barra Cevicheria makes it all look very easy and simple (insert applause).

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Utah Edition: Red Iguana, 736 West North Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84116

I usually don’t do this but the Red Iguana was highly recommended by two New Yorkers and all I heard was “you have to go there if you’re in Salt Lake City.” I walked into a packed restaurant with strapping thickset red-blooded American men seated at each table. I thought to myself okay I have stumble on to something.

I won’t get into the overall menu because I didn’t have time to taste everything on it. I kept it simple and ordered a few dishes and I made sure I ordered tacos. Based on the waiter’s recommendation I sampled a Taco Don Ramon (named after the owner Ramon Cardenas), the corn tortilla was crispy as if it had been briefly dipped in flour and thrown on a pan then filled with grilled steak, pork chorizo, shredded lettuce and queso. This was too much for me, my thing is to keep it simple or make it seem simple. I honestly have to say I didn’t like it, the crisp tortilla and the chorizo was too much.

Next came the carne asada taco, not as complicated as the Taco Don Ramon, but the bad experience with the Don Ramon taco made it difficult for me to enjoy the carne asada taco.

I know this place has received rave reviews, but I have to say my taco experience here was mediocre at best (I'm not hatin' yo).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

REVISED Los Hamptons Edition: LA FONDITA (open May-October), 74 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, (631) 267-8800

I mentioned La Fondita last summer, and I strolled by a few weeks ago and felt the need to make an amendment to my previous posting which you can read here. I think they got new cooks this summer because the food in general tastes better this year than the previous, do you think they read my review?

Anyway, definitely carne asada taco is king at this joint and in a tie for second place I have to say the pozole and torta de jamon.

LA FONDITA (open May-October), 74 Montauk Highway, Amagansett, (631) 267-8800

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Follow TacoNYC on Twitter yo!

Now you can follow me on twitter yo!

Also hosting a Manhattan taco crawl in September, check back for more details.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tulcingo Restaurant & Bakery 5520 5th Ave. (Between 55th and 56th Street in Sunset Park) Brooklyn, NY 11220 718.439.2896

There is something to be said about a place that serves cactus tacos… you know you’re in for a treat. The thing about cosmopolitan places like NYC is you can transport yourself to another country in a matter of minutes, and Tulcingo Restaurant & Bakery in Sunset Park is just that, another country and accepts all major credit cards. They even do catering for special events and can make you a wedding cake.

This place serves breakfast, seafood, entrees, and of course tacos. Tacos cost $2.25 with beef tongue and barbacoa tacos priced at $2.50. I ordered Tacos de asada and washed it down with an Eh-squirt (Squirt), my taco came with guacamole (always a plus) and was gone in less than 60 seconds.

What’s the scene like? Don’t expect a table cloth, it’s no frills.

Train: Take the N or the R into Brooklyn and get off at 59th street and 4th ave. Walk one Avenue over to 5th Ave and walk down 3 and 1/2 blocks.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oaxaca, 251 Smith Street Brooklyn between Douglass St. and Degraw St. (Carroll Gardens) 714.643.9630

I so didn’t want to like this place, why… just because it is located in Carroll Gardens! But, I have to admit Oaxaca served a good carne asada taco so I might be cruising CG more often.

Of all the taco places I’ve been to in NYC they cut their steak into thick cubes, giving it the feeling that you’re eating grilled steak that happens to be wrapped in a tortilla.

Tacos range from $2.95 to $3.95 for fish tacos. The best way to get there is the F or G Train to Bergen St., walk south for about 5 blocks.

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The View

I will upload my reviews from the taco crawl soon. On another note I just watched "The View" and the Exec Producer came out and gave Elizabeth a carne asada plate from "Frontera" restaurant in Chicago and according to him the best Mexican food is not found in L.A. or Texas but at this Shy Town place. Hmmmmmmm, not sure about that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TACO TOUR - Brooklyn Edition

QUEEEEEEEEEE! Yes you read correctly! I will be doing a walking/public transportation taco tour this Saturday, July 18th.

WHO: You the democratic readers!
WHAT: I will be hitting 3 to 4 taco spots in Brooklyn in 3 hours! So bring your own cash to buy your OWN tacos.
WHEN: Saturday, July 18th meet at noon.
WHERE: For this tour, it’s only the boro of Brooklyn.
RSVP: please email for more details, if you make the cut we’ll email to confirm.
DEADLINE: 4pm Friday, July 17th.

Weekends at the Red Hook Ball Fields. Court Street at Bay Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Looking for something to do this weekend? Head to Red Hook in Brooklyn, the ball fields remind me of a typical park in the L.A. neighborhoods of Lynwood or Pico Union... if you know what I am talking about then you know what the scene is like. But at this field not only can you get Mexican food but Guatemalan, Salvadorean, Colombian, Dominican, and it goes on. This year there seems to be two or three vendors that sell tacos.

Hours of operation: 11am to 8ish, Saturday and Sunday, April/May through October.

Expect to pay 3 bucks a taco… I know this upsets me too.

What to get:
Carne Asada tacos. Good spot for a steak taco, definitely worth the schlep to Red Hook.

Getting there: Court Street at Bay Street. By subway from Manhattan take the F train to Brooklyn and get off at Smith St. /9th Street and walk on 9th towards the BQE and hang a left on Court to Bay. You can also try getting the IKEA water taxi and walk to the ball field.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Paty’s Taco Truck 86th Street at Lexington Avenue.

When I think Upper Eastside, I think Guggenheim, Gossip Girl, and Park Ave. Well, let me throw in a taco truck into the mix. Paty’s Taco Truck is located on the corner of 86th Street and Lex (usually parked on the northwest corner) and it’s the real deal. I know Paty has been at this corner for some time now, but due to the economy and the winter I finally got around to going there WITH a camera in hand. The menu consists of tacos, huraches, quesadillas, burritos, tortas, tostadas and sopes. BUT, this is a taco blog, and here it is.

What to get:
Hands down carne asada tacos. The meat was tender, not greasy, I wonder if at one point in the process they steam the meat. It’s topped with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes; I am not usually a fan of lettuce on tacos but I made the exception this time. I have to admit that it’s been a while since I had a good taco and Paty’s serves a good taco.

This photo doesn't do the taco justice.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

El Tapatio 209 East 116th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Ave.) 212.876.3055

Again I found myself uptown, (I promise I’ll make a trip to Queens soon) and just so happen to walk into this place. The TV and radio blasting doesn’t create a peaceful ambiance but if you get your kicks out of loud whole-in-the-wall places then El Tapatio is for you. They have a lot of things on the menu and again I force fed myself large quantities of food all for the sake of this blog.

I started off with a steak taco, nice and juicy, I knew I was off to a good start despite the noise. Then they brought over the carnitas taco, now I always prefer asada tacos over carnitas but this one held its own. The barbacoa tacos came out next, and well I wish I had some more room for some more.

I ordered a chicken tamale, clearly I wanted to go into a food coma but I ended up taking it to go.

Overall, El Tapatio’s menu boasts a variety of Mexican comfort food that merits a second trip, but someone needs to tell management to turn down either the music or the TV. If ambiance isn’t a factor then this place is for you, if you’re looking for that cute romantic gem, try somewhere else.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tacos Xochimilco (pronounced Zoh-chi-meil-co) 4501 5th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 718.435.7600 (Sunset Park)

It’s been a while… the cold weather turns me into a huevon, which is Spanish for “unmotivated” (you can look this up). Now that we’re in the low 50’s I decided to venture out and I made my way to Sunset Park. I have read and heard so much about this neighborhood that I had to see it for myself. Stetson hats and cowboy boots for sale is what I found followed by several taquerías. I made my way into Tacos Xochimilco, I couldn’t eat everything on the menu so I am giving you the 411 on what I managed to stuff into my face.

What to get

Tacos de carne asada were delicious, the beef was nice and juicy; served with this guacamole-type salsa, which was a nice flavorful touch. The carnitas tacos were also good, this isn’t my favorite taco but this place does a good job. I had half a ham torta, which went down well with an horchata.

What not to get
Tacos de lengua… wasn’t impressed (sorry).

The prices are recession friendly and they have a breakfast menu. Easiest way to get there is to take the R train into Brooklyn and get off on 53rd street, walk east one block to 5th Ave.

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