Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
Last weekend I had the great opportunity to design a special food tour for a hungry family from New Jersey. They had already explored much of Manhattan and wanted to learn about the best food in Brooklyn. They came to the right guy. We had a car and hopped from food stop to food stop in the hippest borough.
Now this couldn’t really be all the best things in Brooklyn because it would have been a week-long tour. Instead, I curated a list of places that tell the story of food in Brooklyn (we visited a hipster Asian restaurant, an old time Italian red-sauce joint, a brewery, coffee roaster, and dessert).
I also knew that I wanted to showcase the new immigrant food that is iconic to much of Brooklyn. Since the tour would be mostly in South Brooklyn, I looked to Sunset Park. I had my pick of places here – on one side of the neighborhood is Brooklyn’s growing Chinatown along 8th Avenue and on the other side is a large Latin American community huddled around 5th.
So in the name of research, a few days before the tour, I did an unofficial taco crawl trying to decide which of these iconic spots to take the group to.
The truth is that any of the places I visited would have been a hit, but my favorite tacos of the afternoon stuffing my face were the ones at the big and festive restaurant Tacos Matamoros.
Here I sampled my favorite filling of all time – al pastor. At Matamoros, they shave the marinated pork off the spit the way it is done in Mexico as influenced by Lebanese immigrants. The dark red pork is juicy and slightly sweet with raw onions breaking up the richness.
Even better than the pastor was the suadero. This refers to brisket that has been tenderized and braised. The beef just melted away – it was reminiscent of a great corned beef (minus the pickle flavors) and held up very nicely on the slightly grilled tortilla.
Ironically, we didn’t end up going to get tacos on the tour after all. The group expressed more interest in soup dumplings and so we went to a hidden Chinese food court that they loved. I know they would have loved these tacos just as much. Oh, well. I still got to do official taco research Tough job!. Price: $1.50-$2.75
|4508 5th Avenue (between 45th and 46th Street),
Sunset Park, Brooklyn