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Jackson Heights: Where do they serve home made tortillas?

danoots Jun 12, 2007 06:02 AM

I'm trying to find any places (street food or otherwise) in Jackson Heights that serve fresh home made corn tortillas. Similarly, are there any places that sell home made tortillas in the area?

And, while I'm at it, are there any places that sell fresh, mexican-style salsas? The goal is to make authentic tacos at home...

  1. hatless Jun 12, 2007 12:53 PM

    I Googled tortilleria and came up with

    Tortilleria La Mixteca
    6117 Roosevelt Ave
    (718) 478-1721

    Could be a mirage, could be wholesale, who knows.

    The modest little Mexican enclave along Dixie Highway in Pompano Beach, Florida has a storefront tortilleria with a steam table, and a grocery store that makes tortillas for the taqueria next door. Come to think of it, a teensy little Guatemalan takeout in a run-down strip mall at the edge of Ft. Lauderdale also made its own tortillas. Surely there are at least a couple of businesses that make tortillas around JH or Corona.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hatless
      welle Jun 12, 2007 01:12 PM

      Tortilleria on 61st is a commercial operation - not sure if it's still in operation - I don't smell masa in the mornings as I used to. Maybe it's scaled down, but it's the same people who run La Hacienda. BTW, La Hacienda use to have very good guac too - chunky and thick. Again, I haven't been there in a while, so can't vouch for... Tortillas you get there are the same you buy in the store.

      1. re: hatless
        E Eto Jun 12, 2007 01:16 PM

        There are a bunch of tortillerias in NYC that supplies all the restaurants and shops. Here's a link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&...
        However, there are no places in NYC that I know of that makes tortillas from fresh masa, just reconstituted masa harina.

        Just about all the places that makes gorditas, sopes, huaraches, use masa dough (again, reconstituted from the powdered stuff) to make them "fresh". I'm not sure if the OP is searching for tortillas made from fresh masa, or just tortillas made with the usual dough instead of stuff from a bag.

        1. re: E Eto
          p
          PAL Jun 13, 2007 10:23 AM

          I'd certainly settle for reconsituted masa dough around these parts, that would be an improvement over elderly store-bought tortillas heated in carnitas grease on a griddle.

          When my sister dragged me to Mercadito on 7th Ave. South in Manhattan, they used masa dough for their tortillas. Pretty good stuff, but the prices are not reasonable.

        2. re: hatless
          s
          stuartlafonda Jun 12, 2007 01:27 PM

          Dona Raquel? I had a good meal there last year but I don't remember the tortillas as being anything out of the ordinary. Maybe the ones used at T. Coatzinga are so fresh there is little taste difference. The street vendor lady in front of the supermarket around 80th street was pressing her own from a bowl of masa and they were really good, stuffed with chicken and cheese..

          1. re: stuartlafonda
            welle Jun 12, 2007 01:34 PM

            I think TC's tortillas are steamed, hence the taste difference. I prefer them toasted on a greasy griddle.

            1. re: welle
              danoots Jun 13, 2007 08:38 AM

              Thanks to all for the great wealth of information (and education) provided here. I wasn't even aware of the differing fresh vs. reconstituted masa tortillas... I just knew the few times I've had freshly pressed tortillas, I noticed a positive difference in the product.

              Looks like I've got some exploring to do! Thanks again all.

        3. JH Jill Jun 12, 2007 08:04 AM

          I don't believe anyone serves homemade tortillas around here. I haven't seen any of the salsas for sale in any restaurants, although I wouldn't mind buying the dipping sauce they make at Coatzingo or El Sol Azteca. As one who lives in Jackson Heights and also spent a lot of time on the border, I can say that most "authentic" tacos are made with store-bought tortillas. The only time I've ever found handmade was at the outdoor markets. I used to buy them in Tijuana. I haven't mastered making them, with or without tortilla press. And most tacos I've had anywhere use store bought. Think of it. How many of us make bread to make our sandwiches. There are about three big tortillerias in New York that keep the area in fairly fresh tortillas. It is, however, easy to make a salsa fresca that's like a pico de gallo or a good guacamole. Tacos in Mexico don't always contain any fresh sauce. They often put pickled jalapeños on them or bottled hot sauce. They're more likely to have guacamole and be eaten with fresh-squeezed lime and a radish.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JH Jill
            p
            PAL Jun 12, 2007 08:34 AM

            When I lived in Durham, NC, it was customary to use homemade tortillas, and I'm sure it's the same for many other cities in the US. New York is a busy place, though, and the high volume of business makes tortilla-craft difficult.

            Wasn't there a place in Corona that made their own? I forget the name...this was at least 7 years ago. I haven't found any places in Sunset Park, either.

            Some NY Mexican places make their sopes, huaraches, and even quesadillas in house. Not sure which do this in Jackson Heights, though.

            1. re: JH Jill
              welle Jun 12, 2007 08:43 AM

              I don't remember if I bought or just got some extra dipping sauce from Coatzingo, but I have taken out a substantial tub of that dipping sauce from there - you just have to ask. I assume if you go for the sauce only you have to pay some nominal amount.

              Haven't been to La Hacienda in Woodside for years, but they used to make an excellent version of pico de gallo - they used to sell it for $3.

              Have not seen tacos, but gorditas and sopes often come in homemade tortillas - check out Jim Leff's Google map of JH street food (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/388653), one of the vendors he mentions have homemade tortillas. Also El Paso in Woodside makes gorditas in homemade tortillas.

              If you are making tacos at home, why not make salsa at home? The key ingredients are tomatillos and jalapenos. other ingredients you can improvise to your liking - every restaurant/food vendor has their own recipe anyway. If you go with JH Jill's suggestion for homemade tortillas - try blue corn ones.

              1. re: JH Jill
                m
                Mike V Jun 12, 2007 12:31 PM

                JH Jill: If you're looking for a very good fresh made Guacamole they have it at Mario's on 37th Ave & 83rd St. I serve it to guests with chips. Mention you don't want it served over lettuce. Just the Guacamole. Only $4.

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