New + Wonderful Taco Truck in Williamsburg
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a taco cart parked on Bedford between Metropolitan and North 3rd. I was a little bit skeptical, as their signs indicated that they served "American" food (burgers, cheesesteaks) alongside tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
My skepticism was totally unfounded, because this place is really great! Way, way, way better and more authentic than Endless Summer, which parks over near the Bedford L. And I think a bit cheaper, as well. ($2.50 for tacos, $5 for relatively large quesadillas, I'm not sure about the price of burritos). I stopped by for a quesadilla about an hour ago, and am still giddy about how good it was.
First off, the corn tortillas are made fresh to order -- lumped and pressed and then tossed on the griddle -- and are delicious in their own right, with a sort of nutty corn flavor.
I'm vegetarian, and for my veggie quesadilla I was given two options: shredded zucchini and corn, or mushrooms. I choose a combination of both. The marinated mushrooms were almost certainly made from fresh (not canned) mushrooms, and both they and the zucchini mix were well-seasoned, though they could have been a bit spicier (next time I'll ask for jalapenos as well). A ladle-full of roasted and marinated onions and peppers was added on top: totally awesome. They use shredded, almost mozzarella-like queso fresco in the quesadilla, and then sprinkle some more on before serving. There's a choice of salsas and sour cream -- I got the salsa verde, which was satisfyingly tart and had a bit of heat -- as well as cilantro and chopped onion as additional toppings.
The truck is run by an older hispanic couple who are incredibly friendly. They haven't been there every single day, though they seem to be there occasionally during the week, and on both days of the weekend. Highly recommended!
I think this is the same cart that was parked outside of Brooklyn Industries on Bedford around N8th for awhile and around N11th before that. Not sure why they are moving around but I agree that their food is good!
I just noticed this truck the other day as well, and I hope they never leave! I've been holding a grudge against Endless Summer ever since they stayed and became so popular after Matamoros Puebla closed down. I agree about the quesadilla -- fresh tortillas really make all the difference. I also had a chicken taco that was perfectly seasoned, and I'll be back to try the others.
As I learned through painful experience, they don't use homemade tortillas for the burritos or tacos. I recently had a cesina burrito, which was sparsely stuffed with tough meat. After watching the woman at the cart make a quesadilla and trying some of my friend's carne asada taco, I'm sure those are the superior options... especially the quesadilla! I'll be back to give them another shot soon, as the taco truck up near the Metro is a bit unbearable to me.
They also have a jar of spicy pickled vegetables (including cauliflower, carrot, jalapeno if i recall correctly...) I'd also recommend asking for some of that on your quesadilla, if you're into that kind of thing. Sorry you had a bad experience with the burrito! I wonder why they don't use the homemade tortillas for those as well?
Given the mealy consistency of the handmade tortillas they use for their quesadillas and sopes, I don't think wrapping them into burrito form would be feasible. While a mass-produced flour tortilla seems less charming than the handmade variety, it's really the only way to create a portable, tightly-wrapped burrito.
This cart is and has been for some time the best Williamsburg Mexican option since Matamoros closed shop. Their burritos use the same well-seasoned (though occasionally tough) meat fillings as their other offerings, and do not contain rice or solid beans. They are also much smaller than the average chipotle brick many of us have come to expect, and are all the better for it (closer to an authentic LA burrito than any others I've had in NYC).
In my experience, their grilled burritos come standard with the following:
- Refried beans spread onto a large flour tortilla
- Oaxacan Quesilla (stringy white Oaxacan cheese)
- Meat filling of your choice (I recommend trying the Carne Enchilada -- i.e. spicy pork -- the chorizo, or the mushroom mixture if you're not feeling carnivorous)
- a sauteed onion & nopale-based vegetable mixture
- pickled jalepeno-veggie condiments (upon request)
- salsa roja or verde, sour cream, and cilantro garnishes
There are several other vegetable options that I haven't tried (an elote-like corn mixture looked intriguing). Also, you have to be rather pro-active about placing your order and making sure it gets prepared promptly - they're starting to see pretty heavy volume and get overwhelmed rather quickly. Unless you're just ordering tacos ($2.50 apiece), typical wait time seems like 10-20 minutes whenever there's a line.
Yeah, it's pretty unfortunate that the Endless Summer truck captures so much foot traffic up on the northside. It's a hipster-run tourist trap - but then again, so it goes with much of the neighborhood these days.
Sad to hear that the mushroom mixture is so disappointing at the Bedford & Metropolitan taco cart - I've never tried it myself, but ferdydurke's initial review suggested something a bit fresher than canned mushrooms. Perhaps the couple who runs the cart is adapting (poorly) to the higher volume they're no doubt dealing with as the weather heats up? I still can't pin down any sort of predictable schedule when it comes to their days and hours of operation.
I finally got around to trying Endless Summer and avoided it based on the reviews here - and was surprised that it was pretty tasty actually. The chorizo taco was really salty but I thought it was fine - and the beef burrito I had I also enjoyed. "Avoid at all costs" and "tourist trap" are all too harsh - at least based on my one experience, it wasn't that bad for a late night taco.