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Jul 19, 2000 08:47 PM

A real taco--in Brooklyn!

  • l

This is actually in response to Jim's first response in the Manhattan boards about "A real taco--in Brooklyn."

I've fallen in love with a place on the edge of Park Slope called Tacos Nuevo Mexicano. I tried to do a search to see whether it's ever been discussed here, but kept getting an error message, so I apologize if this has all been said before.

I must have eaten there the first time about two and a half years ago (maybe more), and I liked it then. For me, this is saying a lot, since I'm an Angeleno. I had been searching for years for a great New York taco. Finally I found one that I felt was at least very good. It was in a small storefront on Fifth Avenue at about 11th Street (491 Fifth Avenue), and offered a respectable selection including barbacoa and lengue, as well as carnitas, carne asada, etc. Served comme il faut on two slightly overlapping tortillas, with plenty of very flavorful filling, and not drippy. Very bright and fresh salsa cruda on the tables, good salsa verde on request. Garnished with radishes and limes. For me, a Park Slope resident, a happy happy thing.

I hadn't been there in a few months, and went about a month ago. To my astonishment, it had gotten even better. It had expanded into the next storefront--a bad sign. I feared that the phenomenon Jim points to had come to pass. Plus the place now smells of bathroom disinfectant.

However....they now had homemade tortillas! (Every day except Thursday, for some reason.) Very toothsome. They've expanded their choices of fillings, and they're even better than before. Although I'm a carnitas lover in general, it's not the best thing there. Something they call "salty beef" (the Spanish name escapes me at the moment) is great, as is a spiced pork. And I do like the barbacoa, which is unapologetically goat-y. They've also added a bunch of agua frescas (including heavenly mango).

The very friendly waitstaff speaks little English; most of the clientele is Mexican. They also have great pozole. In fact everything I've had there has been very good. But those tacos....I can honestly say they're at least as good as any I've had in L.A. They also have an outpost further down Fifth Avenue.

Have any other chowhounds been there? If so, I'd love to hear what you think.

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  1. Wow, Leslie, it sounds wonderful. Thanks for the tip on a place I've never heard of before.

    Just got your book today and look forward to diving into it in the near future.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      Alas, I can only sit here & drool over these posts on these boards...(maybe some day...)
      But on the upside, I also received your book today Leslie! Thank you so much again-it will be my upcoming vacation book read!

      1. re: Tammy
        Jessica Shatan

        Do tell what the book is!!!! I am now so curious :-)

        1. re: Jessica Shatan
          Leslie Brenner

          The book is "American Appetite"; it's a cultural and social history of the American food revolution. Last week I posted a notice on the General Topics board offering to send a free copy to the first three chowhounds to respond (I sent four, since it was almost a tie...). That posting described the book in more detail; I think the thread is called "American Appetite." I tried to check, but now I'm freezing up when I go on that board. I guess I'll download the new Netscape tonight...I'm also including a link to, where it's available in hardcover or paperback.


          1. re: Leslie Brenner

            Hi Leslie!
            I am an angeleno who is obsessed with mexican food. i was very excited to learn about TMM -- i will have to check it out.

            i was wondering, have you been over to the recreation area in red hook? I don't know the exact streets, but if you go all the way down clinton from carroll gardens (the closest train is the F at 4th Ave) and under the highway, you will end up there. There's an olympic-size pool, track, etc. Anyway, on Sundays (maybe on other days too, i'm not sure) they have food vendors set up across the street from the pool. they make huaraches, tacos, etc., etc., and they even have my favorite candy--vero mango--a mango-flavored lollipop covered with chili powder. you can even get mango on a stick with lime juice and chili powder -- JUST like in downtown l.a.!!! there's usually a soccer game going on in the afternoon and you can sit on one of the falling-apart benches and eat your yummy food and watch the game. you feel like you're in mexico. the best thing, though, is to go swimming first--do a whole bunch of laps until you are totally starving, then go across the street and eat, eat, eat.

            1. re: Dorcas
              Leslie Brenner

              No, I haven't been there yet, but it's near the top of my list of things to do. There's been on lot of talk on these boards about the arepa lady.

    2. I share your warm feelings towards TNM - it's a real gem. For several years I had friends at 14th St. and Fifth Ave. who were regular customers, which is how I learned about it. Whenever the subject of getting food arose, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that we'd wind up there. And I don't know what I enjoyed more- the delicious chow or watching the waistlines of two once-skinny boys gradually expand due to what must have amounted to a lard I.V.!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Lauren
        Leslie Brenner

        Lauren, so glad to find another fan! What do you like to eat there?

      2. I've eaten at TNM frequently, and agree wholeheartedly. The fruit shakes are yummy, too.

        1. Its funny - I have always loved this place and when I mentioned it on Chowhound about a year ago, I was met with harsh rebuttals. Just a matter of timing I guess. Its a great place, I agree.