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Red Hook Ballfields - 2013

Bob Martinez Apr 29, 2013 08:21 AM

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7049/86...

Saturday’s perfect weather motivated us to attend opening day of the Red Hook Ballfields. We arrived at around 1:30 and promptly made a beeline to the Martinez huarache stand, aka the Country Boys.

There were about 3 people ahead of us on line and after we ordered we had our food within 5 minutes. And a good thing too – within 10 minutes the line had grown to 15 people. We’ve seen this before – the line waxes and wanes. If I arrived and found a long line I might be inclined to take a short walk and then come back – lines drive me crazy.

I love the huaraches, I really do, but at best they’re awkward to eat. They’re served on flimsy paper plates which don’t offer much support to the huarache. You’re always afraid that the tasty mess is going to disintegrate and fall on the ground.

As we were preparing to leave the apartment on Saturday I had a rare moment of clarity and we brought our own plates, robust reinforced disposables that really supported the huaraches well. They worked perfectly. Finally, a risk free huarache.

Here we go – the chorizo huarache con todos.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/86...

Not the most photogenic of dishes but it’s still terrific. The chorizo initially doesn’t have much bite but by the third mouthful it asserts itself nicely. This is the Everlasting Gob Stopper of sandwiches – it grows as you eat it and you need to buckle down and do some serious work to finish it. We were up to the task.

Aside from the flimsy plates the other caveat with the huaraches is that sometimes they can be a bit too juicy. The liquid has a tendency to drip on the unwary diner and also cause the huarache to start to disintegrate. I’m happy to report there was no excess liquid in Saturday’s specimens - eating was relatively easy.

My GF says she’s good for one more huarache this summer. I am made of sterner stuff – my magic number is 4. I will make a point of eating them relatively early in the day – they’re a potential dinner killer. As it is I skipped my starter at dinner. The huarache had gotten there first.

Serious Eats and Eater had broken the news of the return of the vendors and there was a nice crowd in attendance. People seemed really glad to have them back.

Some more pictures –

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7052/86...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8240/86...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8123/86...

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7054/86...

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7056/86...

The big line:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7049/86...

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  1. m
    Mike R. RE: Bob Martinez Apr 29, 2013 01:55 PM

    With the grand re-opening of Smith-9th on the "F" & "G", should provide a much-needed boost for the RH vendors.

    Any other strong recs? How about ceviche?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Mike R.
      Bob Martinez RE: Mike R. Apr 29, 2013 02:27 PM

      My heart belongs to the huarache.

      1. re: Mike R.
        Silverjay RE: Mike R. Apr 29, 2013 03:25 PM

        I love those huaraches. I get them mixto- with chorizo for the spicy kick and another meat for succulence... I personally think the star at Red Hook is the barbacoa at the Perez truck which is also called Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food and is the last one on Clinton. It's stewed for a long time and achingly tender and good. I get the cemita but the barbacoa tacos are nice as well...I like the ceviche, but it has gone up to $10 a container I heard. It was $6 for the same portion back before they were trucks and was $9 a couple years ago. The seafood soup from the same family, can't remember what it is called, is also good.

        1. re: Silverjay
          MVNYC RE: Silverjay Apr 30, 2013 04:16 AM

          Agree on the barbacoa tacos. I end up at the ballfields 3-4 times a summer and get those tacos everytime.

          1. re: MVNYC
            missmasala RE: MVNYC Apr 30, 2013 12:59 PM

            +2 on those barbacoa tacos. I love them.

            1. re: missmasala
              Cheese Boy RE: missmasala Apr 30, 2013 10:29 PM

              Nice goat --> http://www.flickr.com/photos/eatingin...

      2. c
        CarmenR RE: Bob Martinez Apr 29, 2013 07:28 PM

        Not to hijack, but Country Boys now has a restaurant on 4th ave and 16th st and it is a similar menu and is delicious. It's not like a tacostand in sunset, but if you live in the slope it's worth the trip (hint- get off at prospect r train, get food, walk up to 5th ave and use the mta bustime to catch the bus home. done!)

        3 Replies
        1. re: CarmenR
          Silverjay RE: CarmenR Apr 29, 2013 07:47 PM

          ...they also have a stand set up at Smorgasburg every Saturday.

          1. re: CarmenR
            j
            jeeg RE: CarmenR Apr 30, 2013 03:54 AM

            I really wanted to like their place on 4th ave but I found it truly mediocre, food, service , ambiance. For a new place they didn't seem to be trying very hard.

            1. re: jeeg
              b
              brooklynsabra RE: jeeg May 27, 2013 08:13 AM

              I so agree re: the Country Boys restaurant. The huarache I got there was totally and I mean totally lackluster; from the tortilla to the dry, bland filling. There was no love in that taco at all. The rest of our food was similarly uninspired. The ambiance of the place was also depressing. The service was fine--neither memorably good or bad--certainly not enough to make up for the so not Red Hook Ball Field worthy food.

          2. Silverjay RE: Bob Martinez May 23, 2013 06:10 AM

            Made it down a couple of weeks ago. As usual, the barbacoa cemita at the Perez truck was spot on. They also have a nice selection of four different types of house-made salsa... At the Country Boys truck, they had taped on sign advertising pernil. I guess it's not a regular item. Anyway, had it on a couple of sopes and it was great. Bold porky taste, bit of char from the griddle. Awesome....Tried some Colombian chorizo. This was good too. As was a fresh made pupusa from the Salvadorian truck...Washed it all down with a big cup of tamarind juice...It was on the early side and overcast that day. No lines.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Silverjay
              missmasala RE: Silverjay May 23, 2013 06:35 AM

              my son's been bringing back food from the trucks when he goes down to red hook to ref soccer games. the barbacoa tacos don't travel well, so have been getting pupusas, but forgot about the cemita. Do you remember how much it costs? Also, what do you get on it? This way, I can place an order for one the next time he goes down, as I rarely get down there myself.

              1. re: missmasala
                Silverjay RE: missmasala May 23, 2013 06:45 AM

                It's $7. I get it, or at least the last one, with the barbacoa. But they have the usual selection of fillings.... Hmm, comes with little spread of bean I believe, avocado, some onion, Oaxacan stringy cheese, and papalo herb. There might be a bit of chipotle pepper in there as well. I order it without mayo and instead use one type of salsa for one half and another for the other half.

                1. re: Silverjay
                  Silverjay RE: Silverjay Aug 5, 2013 11:50 AM

                  Was down the other week. The Perez truck bumped their tacos up to $3.50 each. Wow. Still good, but that price is pushing an uncomfortable threshold.

                  1. re: Silverjay
                    p
                    popcornsutton87 RE: Silverjay Aug 29, 2013 12:51 AM

                    does anyone know what time the vendors start closing up? if I get there by 7:30 will everything still be open?

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