Taquerias el fuego.

I have disparaged the Mexican food of New York City for the last time, quite possibly. A visit to the recently-reviewed-in-the-Voice De Guerreros Taqueria, at 719 5th Avenue in Greenwood Heights (that’s the south Slope to all of you with lying real estate agents) has put my qualms about the quality of local options to bed. No, De Guerreros doesn’t offer extensive moles, nor does it offer a burrito on the level of Lone Star or El Pelon. What it does offer is an unbelievable selection of tacos, sandwiches, and other meat-and-starch combinations at prices that will bring a smile to your face.

I went on a recent Saturday. Like my earlier visit, I took the R train solo to the nabe, this time actively hoping that I wouldn’t end up with burrito-bomb disappointment at the place next door. Fortunately, had De Guerreros been closeed, I had several other options in the area – Continental, apparently a Salvadoran restaurant, had a neon “OPEN” sign flashing a couple blocks up, and across the street was a holdover Czech-Slovak restaurant whose menu had my mouth watering before I pried myself away.

As much as I like Czech food, I had one of my intense spicy-food cravings and was determined to try the chilaquiles that gave Mr. Sietsema’s friend “Red Hook Kurt” the yelps upon tasting. While it didn’t make me initially gasp out loud, it certainly did make me breathe harder after eating half of it. I picked the green version (the red version substitutes a different chile sauce – no word on which is more spicy), and was presented with a delectable plate of barely-fried corn tortillas ripped in segments, drowned in the sauce with onions, topped with crumbled cheese and crema, and sided with fresh-tasting refried beans. The portion ($6) was big enough for two, particularly when you realize that you need to order other food to combat the spice.

My attempt to combat the spice was part guava juice, part taco – two of the latter, in fact. One was Suadero, which I had thought the menu explained as pork, but the internet seems to think it’s the meat from between the beef ribs. Either way, good, though undistinguished – of course, this may have been because the other taco, with pastor, was one of the best non-spicy things I’ve eaten in the last six months. I understand pastor (whose base is pork butt, and which is served in Mexico off of a doner kebap spit) has quite a preparation – marination of the meat in spices, etc. Whatever they did to the meat was breathtaking – I was absolutely stunned by the depth of flavor.

My entire meal came to ten bucks (an additional buck fifty for the guava juice), and I couldn’t finish the chilaquiles (a combination of being full and breathing fire). This humble spot is enough to make me wish I lived in Greenwood Heights – I’d be there nightly.

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1 Comment

Filed under NYC

One response to “Taquerias el fuego.

  1. Don’t know where in Brooklyn you are, but if you end up around Myrtle & Ryerson Castro’s is worth a stop (particularly anything involving the Chorizo).

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