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Spit-roasted Al Pastor tacos?

adamclyde Apr 9, 2004 12:04 PM

A current thread on the LA board got me craving great al pastor tacos, carved off a spit...

Does this exist anywhere in Manhattan? Or even anywhere in the tristate area?

I know Eric Eto recently talked up a place in Queens (Taqueria 3 Caminos, I believe). But all other mentions of the topic looks like they are 2+ years old. And none refer to either Manhattan or any burbs.

Does anyone have any good recs on where to get this? I have never seen it anywhere in Manhattan, either on the far West side of Hells kitchen, or in East Harlem. And when I've gone to Sunset Park, I've never seen it either... I guess that leaves Roosevelt Ave, which I need to spend more time in...

I'm almost positive it isn't anywhere to be had outside of the 5 boroughs (I've scoured Westchester/Fairfield cos looking for it and haven't heard/read of anything in Jersey or LI).

Anyhow, any rec on where to get good spit-roasted al pastor in the Tri-state area is greatly appreciated.

*as a side note... does any know why this is so hard to find in this area? It's not like it is really difficult to acheive - you see it all the time on taco trucks or taquerias or even on taco carts...

- Adam

  1. q
    queue Apr 15, 2004 05:18 PM

    i know i'm jumping into this late ... and recommending al pastor tacos that (i think) are not spit-roasted ... but i really enjoyed the al pastor tacos at hernandez grocery in astoria ... and i used to live in l.a. and have travelled quite a bit in mexico and, well, i think those are some great tacos.

    1 Reply
    1. re: queue
      adamclyde Apr 16, 2004 06:14 PM

      guess this should now be on the outer boroughs board since we've digressed a bit, but since we are talking about Astoria, Queens:

      Interesting that you should mention the Hernandez Grocery in Astoria (It changed it's name, didn't it? or am I thinking of the wrong place) Anyhow, I went there about 6 months ago on a tip that they had tamales de rajas con queso. They didn't have any, but the did have great oaxaqueno tamales. I'd recommend them. They aren't as good as some I've had in sunset park, but they were still really good considering what we usually get. Plus, real tamales oaxaquenos are hard to find out here anyhow...


    2. e
      Eric Eto Apr 9, 2004 12:44 PM

      Haven't really seen a proper al pastor spit in Manhattan, though you may find it in Spanish Harlem. I haven't been around 116th St in a while. I also imagine you'll find it in the Bronx as well, perhaps at Real Azteca where I have yet to try (maybe JackS knows). These are places where I have had a proper al pastor.

      Sunset Park:
      Tacos Nuevo Mexico III
      Ricos Tacos

      Rincon Azteca

      Taqueria 3 Caminos

      Jackson Heights:
      Taqueria Coatzingo
      El Poblano
      Tulcingo (Junction Blvd branch)

      La Espiga (sometimes)

      I think one or more of the Suadero or Tacos Mexico chains may also serve a spit roasted al pastor on weekends as well.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Eric Eto
        adamclyde Apr 9, 2004 12:54 PM

        I havent' seen anything in East Harlem. It's been 3-4 months since I was there last, but when I used to go there rather frequently, I never found al pastor on a spit.

        Thanks for the recs, this is perfect. I was in Sunset Park 2 weeks ago, but didn't stop in to either location you mentioned... I was on a tamale hunt and wasn't looking out for tacos.

        Looks like Queens has the most goods, though. What about the place you posted about recently, taqueria 3 caminos? Are they still doing al pastor on a spit, like the others you mention above?

        1. re: adamclyde
          mrnyc Apr 10, 2004 09:29 PM

          i saw meat on a gyro spit today thru the open window into the kitchen in TULCINGO DEL VALLE. i went with the cecina taco because i had a jones, but made a mental note of that sight. always pays to take a gawk into a kitchen when you can, no? give'm a try.

          1. re: mrnyc
            a&w Apr 12, 2004 10:07 AM

            Aha! I knew their al pastor was tasty, but this is encouraging still. In fact, I think I'll head there tonight...you know, just to confirm....

            1. re: a&w
              mrnyc Apr 12, 2004 02:15 PM

              please do. did i see what i thought i saw? there is meat on a spit visible right in the little kitchen window. i have not had the al pastor yet only the two i mentioned so i cannot say for sure.

              1. re: mrnyc
                a&w Apr 12, 2004 09:19 PM

                Just finished dinner--two tacos al pastor sans guac but with (my own) sliced avocado, plus a side of beans and cheese (love the cheese, btw). Quite tasty...

                And I can confirm: the pork was being roasted on a giant metal spit. As described by mrnyc, it can be seen right through the kitchen window. This place appears to be the real deal. If only they did better guacamole and burritos...

            2. re: mrnyc
              adamclyde Apr 12, 2004 11:57 AM

              Wow - this is really encouraging... al pastor (on a spit) in manhattan! Are you sure?!? That would be great.

              I'll have to go there and try it out. May be a little while before I get there, but definitely worth a try! Does anyone have experience trying the al pastor here?

              - Adam

              * By the way, you are referring to the place on 665 10th, right?

          2. re: Eric Eto
            JackS Apr 9, 2004 01:38 PM

            Real Azteca didn't have al pastor tacos last time I was there. There are increasing amounts of Mexican food in the Bronx, but I don't know of one for al pastor yet.

            1. re: Eric Eto
              The Chowhound Team Apr 15, 2004 08:48 PM

              Can anyone help us locate Taqueria 3 Caminos? We're including it in ChowNews this week, and our detective attempts have failed.

              Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/23/c...

              1. re: The Chowhound Team
                Eric Eto Apr 15, 2004 10:15 PM

                Here's the link to the info...

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. re: Eric Eto
                  The Chowhound Team Apr 16, 2004 12:08 AM

                  Many thanks. How about Tacos Mexico? Any clues? Everything else we've tracked down.

                  1. re: The Chowhound Team
                    babar ganesh Apr 17, 2004 06:45 PM

                    if you still need it: 32-08 38th street, right south of broadway on 38th street (steinway R or broadway N/W trains).

                    been by there several times but never been in. articles on the door saying they are DF-style.

                    1. re: babar ganesh
                      The Chowhound Team Apr 17, 2004 10:31 PM

                      Thanks, we'll post that correction in next week's edition.

            2. s
              snot-rock Apr 9, 2004 12:30 PM

              I had them in Los Angeles - there they did it on one of those Gyro-type machines and just carved it off and into the tortilla. Amazing. Someone PLEASE find out where there is something like that around here.

              1. r
                RGR Apr 9, 2004 12:24 PM

                Have you tried Taqueria de Mexico, in GV? I could be wrong because it's been a very long time since I've been there, but I thought the meat used for their al pastor tacos was spit-roasted and carved to order. Those tiny tacos were extremely tasty.

                4 Replies
                1. re: RGR
                  snot-rock Apr 9, 2004 12:30 PM

                  Does GV mean Greenwhich Village?

                  1. re: snot-rock
                    RGR Apr 9, 2004 02:27 PM

                    Yes. And, after reading your post about what you had in LA, I'm thinking now that Taqueria de Mexico may not be using a spit but, rather, the gyro-type gizmo you describe. So, you might want to go there and check out their tacos al pastor. Address: 93 Greenwich Av., bet. Bank & W. 12th Sts.

                    1. re: RGR
                      snot-rock Apr 9, 2004 03:22 PM

                      I'm on it. Thanks for the address. I'll report back.

                      1. re: snot-rock
                        enrevanche Apr 9, 2004 03:32 PM

                        You'll enjoy the taquitos al pastor at Taqueria de Mexico, but be warned: they're tiny. Three of them basically make an appetizer serving, and run about seven bucks.

                        - er

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