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I love Tacos Matamoros. Where else should I try in SP?

Kitchop May 18, 2009 02:29 PM

I just discovered Tacos Matamoros in Sunset Park recently and it's one of those restaurants that immediately went right onto my personal "A" list. I love both the food and the vibe at Matamoros. Whenever I wish I could be in Mexico, I crave Matamoros. I knew the first time I ate there that it was destined to become one of my regular restaurants. Like I said, I've only been there maybe a half dozen times so far, so I'm still working my way through trying their menu.

I, of course, started with a variety of tacos, both small and grande. And, as most people agree, the tacos are great. Recently, we accidently got shrimp tacos (which, for some unknown reason are not on the menu) when we experienced a minor communication glitch. We ordered shrimp cocktails and got grande shrimp tacos. Clearly, we were not clear when we ordered. But it was a happy mishap. The shrimp tacos were good and I'd order them again --- now that I know they'll make them (even though they are not on the menu.)

But I LOVE their shrimp cocktails. They are destined to become one of my favorite cold summer foods. A very generous portion of cold shrimp is served in a big tall glass in a "sauce" that I can only describe as tasting something like gazpacho with chunks of avocado too. It's delicious and my new favorite way to eat shrimp cocktail.

I've also tried their chicken enchiladas mole poblano which were yummy and almost exactly like the ones I eat in a tiny loncheria in a tiny Mexican pueblo that I love. Have also tried the shrimp in garlic sauce and it was good too. Oh and their pork burrito is to die for. I also like their cemitas and tortas but I probably like their cemita better. Like I said, I'm still working my way through the menu. I have to try one of their tamales soon.

I definitely do not understand why too many people only recommend the tacos. Sure, the tacos are great and they make a nice meal or starter. But, to me, Tacos Matamoros is not just about tacos.


(1) What other menu items should I try at Tacos Matamoros?
(2) What other restaurants/street carts should I try next in Sunset Park and what should I eat there?

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  1. c
    carfreeinla RE: Kitchop May 18, 2009 05:57 PM

    I tend to eat the tacos and the enchiladas. Have you tried them all yet? Seriously, in a place like Matamoros, I would just eat my way through the menu- and hope for more happy accidents.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carfreeinla
      Kitchop RE: carfreeinla Jun 9, 2009 04:02 PM

      I'm working my way through the tacos and haven't tried them all yet (even though I managed to accidently get served shrimp tacos when they weren't even on the menu). But I'll get there. Now that they're serving margaritas, maybe I'll get brave enough to sample some of the more exotic meats. I keep getting distracted with other parts of the menu though, good as the tacos are.

      1. re: Kitchop
        missmasala RE: Kitchop Jun 9, 2009 04:12 PM

        Tho I usually don't love the exotic meats, the tripe tacos at matamoros are seriously good. The best tacos I've had there. And i don't even normally like tripe.

        1. re: missmasala
          Kitchop RE: missmasala Jun 17, 2009 03:03 PM

          It's possible that margaritas might help me work my way up to tripe. ;-)

    2. Flaco RE: Kitchop May 18, 2009 06:15 PM

      The goat is excellent, caldo de pollo is comforting and the fish torta special a great substitute for the dreaded fish taco jones...

      1. chompchomp RE: Kitchop May 19, 2009 06:59 AM

        Great report! I can't wait to try it. Sunset Park is home to Ba Xuyen, which makes my absolute favorite banh mi in the city. It is...perfect. Also, the very tiny Yun Nan Flavour Snack has outstanding cold noodles with chili oil and crispy pork. It is out of this world.

        1. p
          Peter Cherches RE: Kitchop May 23, 2009 12:02 PM

          I went to Matamoros today based on this thread. I had the costillas en adobo rojo (sometimes called puerco adobado or adobe de puerco), pork ribs (the menu says chops, but they're indeed costillas and not chuletas) in a spicy, thick red sauce, and it was excellent, at least as good as the excellent one at Tulcingo del Valle. The thing I love about this dish, by the way, is that it's closer in taste to the vindaloos I had in Goa than are the vindaloo at most NYC Indian restaurants.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Peter Cherches
            Kitchop RE: Peter Cherches Jun 9, 2009 04:18 PM

            I'm very happy to hear that this thread inspired you to check out Matamoros. And your contribution to the thread has catapulted costillas en adobo rojo to the top of my list of meals to try next at Matamoras, a restaurant that has quickly become a regular place for me. And they recently started serving margaritas -- which should go very well with this dish you've suggested, don't you think? Thanks for the recommendation. Ribs that remind you of vindaloo. Who can resist trying that?

          2. c
            Chopperita RE: Kitchop May 23, 2009 07:45 PM

            I love Tacos Matamoros too. Mmmm. Tacos pastor. Enchiladas mole. Shrimp cocktail. Cemitas with extra chipotle. And now (drum roll) margaritas!!!!!!! Yes, I went today and they have both margaritas and pina coladas now. Happy happy day.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Chopperita
              francesb RE: Chopperita May 24, 2009 06:49 PM

              Speedy's (it's actually Tamales Tonchita) on 4th Ave between 59th and 60th is excellent. I don't get tacos there, i get the entrees. great costillas, and mole poblano as good as the mole I had in Puebla. Also, the employees/owner are all very friendly. Watch out for Sunday mornings, as there are frequently a couple of junkies who show up, order champurrado (which, by the way, is great) with extra sugar, and then pass out on the table, much to the consternation of the employees.

              1. re: francesb
                jpiglet RE: francesb May 28, 2009 03:28 PM

                Ditto the Speedy's recommendation, especially the enfrijoladas (cheese or chicken rolled in tortillas, drowned in a frijoles puree, and topped with lettuce, crema, and avocado), and I would add the criminally neglected Santaguito's, on 5th Avenue towards Bay Ridge around 63rd--cheap, spectacular, and friendly. Their mole enchiladas are of special note, but everything is great.

              2. re: Chopperita
                Kitchop RE: Chopperita Jun 9, 2009 03:58 PM

                Hola Chopperita. I too am very happy that Tacos Matamoros is now serving margaritas. So glad that, if they have a limited liquor license, they chose to serve margaritas and not beer instead of the other way around. This just solidifies my love for this place.

              3. g
                ginsbera RE: Kitchop May 26, 2009 06:12 PM

                Loved Matamoros, but found a number of other spots worthy of a visit.


                1. h
                  hhhippo RE: Kitchop May 26, 2009 10:15 PM

                  Tacos Xochimilco nearby on 5th Ave (at the corner on 45th, I think) is also pretty good. Al pastor and carnitas.

                  Really liked the lengua at Matamoros, and all pork tacos. People like the chilaquile; I tried and was not blown away, but would like to try again sometime.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: hhhippo
                    Peter Cherches RE: hhhippo May 28, 2009 05:28 PM

                    I've been to Xochimilco once. It was good too. I haven't tried the carnitas at Matamoros, but it would be hard to beat Piaxtla es Mexico ("RIcos Tacos" on 51st).

                    1. re: hhhippo
                      bhill RE: hhhippo Jun 9, 2009 08:40 PM

                      I like Xochomilco for tacos. Though I used to be a rabid supporter of Matamoros, I've found their tacos, in particular, inconsistent over the past few visits. Sometimes the meat is dry and somewhat flavorless. The other stuff I order off the menu is still pretty good though.

                      1. re: bhill
                        Peter Cherches RE: bhill Jun 10, 2009 05:13 AM

                        The second time I went I had tacos, and they were nothing special. But most people seemed to be getting full platos, and since the adobo was so good, and since some here have said the mole Poblano is great, maybe they should change the name to Platos Matamoros.

                    2. b
                      bconniff RE: Kitchop May 27, 2009 10:30 AM

                      I'm also a huge fan of Matamoros, and I definitely second Ba Xuyen--it is definitely the best Banh Mi in the city, and only costs 3.75, unlike ridiculously overpriced new places in manhattan and park slope. Also, I haven't been there, but the village voice just reviewed a Sichuan place nearby in Brooklyn Chinatown that sounds authentic and amazing: http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-05-2....


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bconniff
                        Caroline R RE: bconniff Jun 9, 2009 11:19 PM

                        Thanks, bconniff - Metro Cafe is a must try in Sunset Park! I've been dreaming of a Sichuan place opening here for a year and it's finally happened. Everything that I've tried has been really fantastic, they are open until 11, and they deliver!

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