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May 17, 2010 02:48 PM

Authentic Mexican in Brooklyn or Queens

Any suggestions where we can get really great Mexican in Brooklyn or Queens.

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  1. Sunset Park in Brooklyn... home to several, ridiculously good Mexican restaurants. There are several existing threads on the OB board about specific spots in SPark if you want to do some reading, but I'm a fan of the chorizo taco grande at Tacos Matamoros (5th ave/46th street)

    Tacos Matamoros
    4508 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

    4 Replies
    1. re: brooklyndigest

      Matamoros is my favorite, except for carnitas & lengua, which is better at Piaxtla es Mexico. But Matamoros has the best al pastor I've had in the city (get the taco grande, which has excellent guacamole), and the main courses are good too, especially the adobo de puerco (maybe they call it costillas en adobo rojo) and the camarones al ajillo. I was much less impressed by Coatzingo, which is fine because I can walk to Matamoros.

      Piaxtla Es Mexico
      505 51st St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

      1. re: Peter Cherches

        What do you think of Tacos Xochimilco? I like Matamoros (agree better than Coatzingo), but went across the street once and had the pambazo and some lengua tacos and liked both a lot. It's more modest than Matamoros, but seems to have a decent following for some items.

        Tacos Xochimilco
        4501 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11220

        1. re: Silverjay

          I only had a couple tacos had Coatzino, so I can't speak for the rest of the menu, but I was mildly disappointed. It's not that they weren't good, but the corn tortilla was eh a little soft and the carnes enchilada was hardly spicy, indeed beyond mild. Still good ingredients, but I think I like the the tacos I've gotten in the BX more. Just sayin'.

          1. re: NewYorkNewHaven

            Agree they sometimes undercook the tortillas. Other places do this too. It's a definite demerit......Enchilada is not one of Coatzingo's strong points. The best are the al pastor, the lengua, and the birria de res. Coatzingo tacos are a good value too. $2 for a healthy serving and the guacamole sauce is better than average. See- .

    2. Depends on the dish you seek. Right now, Taqueria Coatzingo is tops in Queens (extensive menu and everything is good) with honorable mention to Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona (which is more about their tortillas and tamales although the small menu they have is good also). I also liked Tacos Matamoros (also an extensive menu) in Brooklyn. Sunset Park in general has a great Mexican neighborhood vibe with supermarkets and bakeries- so depends what exactly you want.

      De Mole in Woodside is solid but a notch below the others. I do give them much love for their Mexican Hot Chocolate- theirs is the best I've ever had.

      One other honorable mention- Calexico in Carroll Gardens makes my favorite carne asada (burrito or taco). If that is what you seek, it's worth the trip.

      Taqueria Coatzingo
      76-05 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

      De Mole
      45-02 48th Ave, Queens, NY 11377

      122 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

      Tortilleria Nixtamal
      104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

      11 Replies
      1. re: BigV

        I never got de mole. right now one of my favorites for the mexican steam table is el paso in woodside. go as late as you can, do not go for lunch. you need those meats to simmer. weekends they have some amazing barbacoa

        1. re: Jeffsayyes

          El Paso was closed for over a month, but now are back.

          the taxman took them down... I am so glad to see them back. I didn't realize how much I loved them until they left.

          El Paso
          64-06 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377

        2. re: BigV

          Wow, I went back there last week after not going for 8-10 months. On my previous visits I had GREAT fish tacos and the very best tamales I've ever had in NYC (and I live in Queens so I get lots of options on that one!). But this time the chicken tamales verdes were hard and tasteless. And teh vaunted tortillas were also kinda hard and dry. And the tacos were pretty average, with the al pastor actually not anywhere near as good as at leats 5-6 places in a 20 block radius of the restaurant. But the place WAS filled with out of towners--maybe in for a Mets game?--who seemed to love it. I guess it IS still better than what you can get in Greenwich (but not Portchester) but too bad, Nixtamal seems to be going the way of Park Slope eateries in its slavish devotion to the idiot gringo...

          Tortilleria Nixtamal
          104-05 47th Ave, Queens, NY 11368

          1. re: zemilideias

            I think Nixtamal's performance depends on when you go. I've had experiences that ranged from excellent (tamales comparable to anywhere) to disasterous (i ordered chilaquiles a few weeks ago...and an hour and fifteen minutes later they told me they couldn't make them because they got a big order). The tacos are just ok for me.

            1. re: BigV

              I love tortilleria nixtamal, but the service is abysmally slow. When there is more than 2 tables, the speed drops precipitously. Not a place for a quick bite when just trying to get your check takes 20 minutes.

              1. re: Pookipichu

                At least you got your food :) How many people go to a restaurant, order something, and then actually never get it?

                1. re: BigV

                  Lol, Ive been there multiple times and they are on a different time zone, relaxed to the point where I feel like the waitress is watching soap operas and sipping cocktails somewhere in the back.

                2. re: Pookipichu

                  I've never had a problem waiting for a check anywhere I've eaten. If the check hasn't arrived by the time I'm ready to leave, I just get up and start walking to the door. Not sneakily or surrepticiously-- I make a bit of a show of it to make sure I'm seen. I might say good-bye to my waitperson or some other staff, etc. I've never had a time when someone didn't deliver the check to me before I got out.

              2. re: zemilideias

                they are taking part in the Creative Time Key to the City project, where people bring a key to various destinations and get a special tour or treat or something. I didn't know about it until the last time I was there 2 or so weeks ago when at least 4 tables came in and presented keys.

                1. re: Widmark

                  I suspect that's actually the reason why you're hearing complaints about the service at Nixtamal in this thread. Unlike other places participating in the Key to the City project - where you'll get a free topping if you come in with the key - the folks at Nixtamal bring you down to the basement and let you make your own tortilla. It's really awesome of them to do it, but it obviously takes a lot of time and is killing their staff. I'm sure when the Key to the City program is over, their service will be back to normal.

                  1. re: Greg

                    Actually the service is always slow there, key no key. Year after year. The staff is lovely and pleasant but disorganized and SLOW.

            2. I really like Tacontento near Junction Blvd on Roosevelt Blvd in Jackson Heights. They do tacos without the guacamole if you have a preference. Go on a weekend or late at night when they are busy and the Al Pastor is on the spit.

              You could (and some have) spend all day walking Roosevelt hitting just taco places both brick and mortar and carts/trucks along the road.

              96-15 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11368

              1. I am a big fan of Chilaquiles.. They make an awesome version at Mexico 2000 in Williamsburg.. Right under the train.. The make the chilaquiles in this tangy green sauce.. I think they add avocado leaves which kind of reminds me of sorrel.. gives it a really tang.. and there is a ton of it and it's covered with chicken and queso fresco and drizzled with crema..

                Small little bodega.. They have the best Mexican Candy. I love the light colored lollipops called Pollitos.. They are shaped like chickens.. note, there are two colors.. i like the lighter one.

                They have Barbacoa on weekends which is pretty fantastic.. Just seating for 8 people..

                Last time I was there,two days ago, there was this dude that was eating a plate that was meatballs sitting in a light red sauce.. A plate with rice and beans and some other things.. He was wrapping pieces in tortillas..

                Worth a visit.

                Mexico 2000
                367 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                1 Reply
                1. re: Daniel76

                  Tried a torta from there and it was below average. But you're making the chilaquiles and barbacoa sound interesting. Yelpers seem to like it too- not that there's anything wrong with that.

                2. Do you want really great Mexican or Authentic Mexican? I like the tacos at Taco Bell more than many of what I suppose are the more authentic Mexican ones. The Taco Bell on 4th Avenue and 39th Street in Brooklyn is a TD Bank now, but there are a lot of places to get Taco's on 5th Avenue in the Forties. I found most of them serve a taco that is quite a bit drier than the ones at Taco Bell. They don't always put lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream on them, which is the way I usually like it.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: TomChowhound

                    The title of this thread is "Authentic Mexican" so id say were safe inferring the OPs intent. Are you contending that Tbell is "really great mexican"?

                    salad, cheese and sour cream are in no way part of authentic tacos.

                    im sorry your sunset park taco bell closed, if only mom and pop retailers could put walmarts out of business, too.

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      I don't think the snobbery is necessary. TomChowHound was simply offering the counterpoint that the silly word "authentic" does not necessarily mean better. If we're gonna get real here, let's point out that food and cuisine aren't static, unchanging entities. You know churros? You do realize the Portugese adopted these from China? Is it authentic that the Chinese use American crops (potato, tomato, bell pepper)?

                      1. re: NewYorkNewHaven

                        I think it was pretty obvious that the Taco Bell reference was an attempt to be ironically contrarian- which seems to be a not uncommon tact that some new posters take when they enter the forum- rather than as a sincere discussion of authenticity and tasty food. It's a lame alternative to a lack of real insight. I think anyone regularly following along here usually understands the vernacular of "authentic [insert country of origin]" without having to digress into the whole "what is authentic" wormhole.

                        1. re: Silverjay

                          well, here i am still waiting on a keyboard with an irony button. . .

                          ill not comment on TomC's taco preferences/feelings on authenticity any further.

                          That said, last night at Matamoros the menu was featuring a special they were calling super tacos gringos, with all that lettuce, tomato and cheese - 4 dollars.

                          We passed on the salad taco - but did try their huaraches, two to an order for 950, and really tasty. not the best huarache ive ever had, but a solid option for when you need a break from tacos.