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Sep 9, 2007 02:01 PM

Cobble Hill and environs - So many restaurants, no good Mexican

Anyone around here as frustrated as me? Ate at the "New" Mexicali the other night 'cause I'd heard some good things. Nothing good about stale chips and sauces that taste like they come from jars. Buddy's: disgusting - don't know how they stay in business. Alma - too expensive, totally hit or miss with the food (though good chips/salsa/guac, and good chicken enchiladas), but again - expensive. Mezcal chain - so over priced, so terrible. Pacifico - fine as long as you don't order a main course. Lobo - ugh! Frankly, Chipoltle on Montague street is probably the best Mexican in the Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, or Carroll Gardens. Anyone out there know the answer? Taqueria in Park Slope is too much of a hike but it's the closest good place. HELP!

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  1. First of all, it's New York. Of course there is no good Mexican here. Having said that, try Taco Chulo in Williamsburgh. It's not great, but is tasty within reason. Also La Esquina in Soho, but you did say Cobble Hill and environs. But still curious what you or anyone thinks of it. I have seen very few mentions of it at all.

    10 Replies
    1. re: NYJewboy

      I've had good mexican in both sunset park and queens. For somebody in Cobble Hill, I'd say walk over to 5th avenue and head south...way south, untill you're in the 40s. There's good tacos down there for sure.

      1. re: NYJewboy

        there are mediocre tacos found up and down roosevelt avenue, but also some really outstanding ones, along with enchiladas, cemitas, moles and all kinds of other good stuff. some decent tacos to be had in sunset park, which is where I'd suggest jagoy to go; many people like matamoros' $1 tacos but I found them skimpy and the wrong ratio of filling to wrapper; had some good tacos at some other places on 5th avenue.

        but this coming weekend, get thee over to the red hook soccer ballfields, extended until october 21, at the corner of clinton and bay street, a few blocks south of the BQE near court street. there you'll find amazing food prepared by maybe a dozen vendors; many mexican but also other latin countries; you're guaranteed your fix although surprisingly, I never see people eating burritos there, which, if you're down with the Mission in SF, is king.

        oh, and avoid Maria's, a mexican place on 4th ave. in park slope. not very good.

        1. re: bigjeff

          I would second hitting the Red Hook ball fields. I had some astonishingly good goat tacos there this weekend. The goat had been stewing in a giant pot over a grill--it ended up incredibly juicy and fall-apart tender. There was also some nice pico de gallo with chopped radishes. You can also get great aguas frescas, elotes, and fruit with chile and lime juice.

          By the way, I agree with you that the Mexican options in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens are abominable.

            1. re: MVNYC

              If you enter at the corner of Bay and Clinton, the vendor (Eleazar Perez) with the goat tacos is all the way to the end of the right-hand (Clinton St.) side. Ask for the barbacoa.


              1. re: brooklynr

                Yep, that's the place. I highly recommend it.

          1. re: bigjeff

            Burritos are northern Mexican in origin, hence their ubiquity in California. The overwhelming majority of NYC's Mexican population are from south central Mexico (particularly Puebla), and burritos aren't really a part of their cuisine.

            But why not go to an actual Mexican neighborhood before putting down Mexican food in NYC? Tacos Nuevo Mexico on 5th Ave. near 11th St. in the south part of Park Slope, although not great, is far better and more authentic than any of the other places in the area mentioned here (with the exception of the Red Hook ballfields) and is primarily patronized by Mexicans. As mentioned above, 5th Ave. in Sunset Park offers many more Mexican (and other Latin American) food options than anyone would reasonably expect in Cobble Hill and environs. And Roosevelt Ave. and the surrounding streets in Queens even more so.

            1. re: Woodside Al

              ya I gotta say, I loved eating my way through burrito after burrito in the Mission, but since there are all those great taquerias on roosevelt, I prefer antojitos over burritos now (haven't had a burrito, esp. in ny, in years).

          2. re: NYJewboy

            I've yet to find good mexican in cobble hill area. I have had passable burritos at Buddy's actually, but I've only ordered them a few times. Mexicali is terrible.

            When I want mexican, I hope on the F a few stops to Mole in LES. Superb food.

            1. re: Nehna

              I agree on the fields. I don’t know the difference between East/West coast Mexican, but for everyday Mexican we like Buddy’s. Order there all the time and I find their food to be fine – nothing special. Prompt delivery and reasonably priced which suits the bill for us. I also heard they have fish tacos, which someone mentioned are off menu and are decent. Lobo, stick to the margaritas, all of their dishes taste the same to us. Pacifico, good happy hours, then again it’s hard to screw-up a bottle of Corona with salsa and chips. Alma, you’re paying for that view. Mexicali we found the food OK, if lacking a bit in atmosphere compared to other places mentioned. Personally I thought the worst place in the barrio that you left off was California Taqueria on Bergen & Court, still baffled by the amount of people eating there every time I walk by.

          3. Two cuisines to avoid in Downtown Brooklyn: Chinese & Mexican. Head south to Sunset Park and Chinatown.

            1. I thought Alma's was super tasty and inexpensive for brunch. The french toast with plaintains was to die for. I also had a steak sandwich which perfectly complemented the side dish that came with it. And the view of the Manhattan skyline is fabulous. Drinks - just so so.

              1. Well seeing as your subject mentions mexican food in *this* neighborhood (not sunset park, not the slope) I will let you in on a little secret. Fast & Fresh deli on Hoyt between Atlantic and State is the real deal. It may not look like much, but it's where Mexicans go to eat and hang out. The tacos are delicious and taste like straight off a taco truck and the tortas and tamale's are also great. I haven't tried their burrito, but seeing as it's a "mexican" place, I don't know if that's really their thing.

                Give them a shot. It's simple, but delicious.

                8 Replies
                1. re: bhill

                  good call. I always forget they're there. great (enormous) tortas.

                  1. re: bhill

                    awesome, thanks for the suggest.

                    1. re: bhill

                      funny, I was going to mention fast and fresh, but haven't been in over a year and wasn't even sure if they were still open. glad to know they are still going strong.

                      note though, that they close early (can't remember the time, but not a place to go at 8 at night) and they are not a real sit-down restaurant.

                      1. re: missmasala

                        Yes, Fash & Fresh is still going. They have burritos, but they are not great. Better to get tacos, a Mexican sandwich (torta) or their chicken with green chile sauce.

                        During nice weather, you can sit at tables and chairs in a little courtyard in the back.

                        Last time I was there for a weekday lunch, the place was very crowded with construction workers (presumably Mexican) from all the construction going on now in downtown Brooklyn. I was the only "gringa" there. Man, those guys ate a lot!

                        1. re: parkslopemama

                          I totally forgot about Fast and Fresh, I used to go there weekly untill a friend went and had a bad experience. It was the kind of thing that happens to everybody in any restaraunt but it just turned me off, then I moved a short time after to Queens. But when I was going regularly, they were super nice and the tacos were fantastic. I'd get two with a side of rice and beans and a coke and sit out back, or at the little counter.

                          1. re: Widmark

                            tacos nuevo mexico is a let down everytime. i live about 1/2 block from it and it's hard not to keep giving it a try, but not one single time(out of maybe 6 visits) have i not said "no reason to come back here again".


                              1. re: TBird

                                Hecho en Dumbo is tasty, but EXTREMELY small portions, and very small menu.

                    2. If you're willing to go to Red Hook (other than the ballfields), try El Huipil at 116A Sullivan St.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rosswords

                        Sorry, I just found out it closed. Apparently another placed called Viva opened in its place.