05/01/17 9:43am

Photo: Georgia Kral

The roar of the J/M train created a cacophonous riot overhead as I approached the unassuming spot on Broadway near the BQE. But inside the train felt very far away, or maybe I just instantly forgot about everything that came before once I saw the plates being delivered to tables.

There were sopes piled high with meat, shredded lettuce and crema; burritos painted with salsa and more crema; fajitas sizzling from direct cast-iron heat. And there was tequila.

It may be easy to categorize Mexico 2000 as just another Mexican restaurant, but the spot should actually be your new favorite in Brooklyn. Here’s why:

  • There’s a big backyard with comfortable wooden tables, umbrellas and bulb lights strung overhead at night.
  • Delicious and affordable pan-Mexican food.
  • Affordable prices.
  • Free tequila on your birthday (and Cinco de Mayo! This week!)

Sergio Romero, a former server at Delmonico’s Restaurant in Lower Manhattan, opened Mexico 2000 two years ago with Adrian Mejia, the owner of the Mexico 2000 Grocery, located just two doors up the block. The Puebla, Mexico native worked both front and back of the house in the early days. (more…)

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05/19/14 9:00am

If you ask me, Mexican food is one cuisine that just never needed to be modernized, updated or Brooklynized. New York is newly awash in Mexican eateries with organic ingredients, innovative cocktails and tiny, $7-tacos, yet for all the hijinks, food-wise none of these fancy places ever manage to best the humble taco truck. So I was stoked to discover a brand-new restaurant that serves unbeatable Mexican flavors, without anything gimmicky.

El Sabor Citrico de Mexico–just Citrico to friends–opened in Prospect Heights last month, and hasn’t received much Brooklyn buzz or media hype. But those who have stumbled upon it have been excited indeed: it has yet to receive even one non-five-star Yelp review. It’s not hard to see why. The bright and airy dining room on Washington Avenue turns out plates that are, presentation-wise, a step above the average taqueria, and taste-wise, up there with the best of them. (more…)

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07/29/13 9:00am

Guacamole with chicharron de queso (Photo by Brendan Spiegel)

At Zona Rosa, the guacamole comes with a side of fried cheese called chicharron de queso that’ll make your heart melt and clog accordingly. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

Has any restaurant ever been more tailor-made to succeed in today’s Williamsburg than Zona Rosa? The eatery, which opened last week, comes with a prime location at the corner of Metropolitan and Lorimer, chef Ivan Garcia of nearby Mesa Coyoacan and a super-hip kitchen housed in the vintage airstream trailer formerly used at 3rd Ward. Its cuisine is very of-the-moment “Mexican street fare gone high end,” with house-made (trailer-made?) tortillas and salsas, plus there’s an airy rooftop bar to boot. Basically, Zona Rosa could serve Saltines and Kool-Aid and still pack the tables every night, which means they deserve some credit for serving fare that’s pretty damn good.

The concept combines various forms of traditional street food from across Mexico, ranging from Tacos Arabes–popularized by Lebanese immigrants to the state of Puebla, and consisting of spicy marinated pork layered on an onion wheat tortilla–to Torta Ahogada, a Guadalajara speciality that takes a carnitas sandwich (braised Berkshire pork, here) and submerges it in salsa. Four types of ceviche round out the small bites options, and both guacamole and a lentil-chickpea-red-bean dip come with a giant chicharron de queso–a hefty hulk of fried cheese made for dipping in along side your chips. Of course, there are also jalapeño margaritas, plus something they call zempasuchitls, mezcal and fresh fruit cocktails that come in lime, pineapple, watermelon and tamarind. (more…)

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04/29/13 11:23am

Dos Toros on Bedford Ave. offers build-your-own burritos and California-style Mexican food. Photo: Dos Toros

Dos Toros on Bedford Avenue offers build-your-own burritos and California-style Mexican food. Photo: Dos Toros

Cinco de Mayo may have started out as the commemoration of the Battle of Puebla, but these days it’s mainly an excuse to eat tacos and drink tequila. So, lucky for us, Brooklyn has a host of new Mexican food options to choose from next Sunday, or before.

First up is Loli’s Taqueria, set to open any day now on 6th Avenue in Park Slope. From Jose Ventura of nearby Casa Ventura, the new spot promises simple, authentic taqueria fare, with–you know what’s coming Slopeians–local, farm-fresh ingredients. That means Shushan Valley Hyrdrofarm tomatoes, plus local cabbage, beets and carrots in tacos, tamales and chiles rellenos. There’s also Brooklyn Brewery beer and sangria made from organic wines and fruit. Loli’s originally set April 26 as its opening date, which has been pushed back a few days, but it should still be up and running in time for El Cinco.

Over in Williamsbug, hipsterville has said hello to two Manhattan Mexican imports. The first, Dos Toros, is much beloved for its simple take on California-style Mexican cuisine. The Bedford Avenue outpost offers an indie-fied take on the Chipotle experience, with choose-your-own filling taco, burrito, quesadilla and rice bowl assembly lines. Their meat selections, like braised pork carnitas are, it should be noted, a cut above Chipotle and served on fresh corn tortillas from Tortilleria Nixtamal in Queens. Rosemary, lime and lemon berry sodas from Cup and Compass keep things Brooklyn-y, and for those of you celebrating, there are $3 cans of tecate.

Snack Dragon, an East Village favorite for late-night tacos, opened a taco shack in Williamsburg back in February on S. 4th Street. Photo: Daniel Broadhurst

Snack Dragon, an East Village favorite for late-night tacos, opened a taco shack in Williamsburg back in February on S. 4th Street. Photo: Daniel Broadhurst

The second taqueria to cross the East River is Snack Dragon, and just like its original location in the East Village, this Williamsburg taco shack is open late–4am on the weekends, 2am Sunday through Thursday. Its electric blue and orange interior takes some getting used to, but the tacos, not the ambiance, are what you’re there for anyway. Located less than a block  from Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Snack Dragon’s menu offers up successes like its Freshly Slayed Dragon Taco (pork confit with garlic and herbs, $5) and the Umami Taco (a Thai-style taco, again with pork confit this time spiced with coriander seed, tamarind and garlic topped with pickled cucumbers, onions, spicy peanuts and cilantro, $5). Don’t balk at the price–each taco is roughly the size of the paper plate it comes on, and both are served on blue-corn tortillas with black beans, monterey jack cheese and Snack Dragon’s own special salsa. Order at the window if you’re on the go; but if you’re staying, be prepared to teetotal with your tacos–Snack Dragon doesn’t serve booze.

Finally, new Gowanus BBQ spot Fletcher’s is also getting into the taco game. During lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, its wood-fired skirt steak and tr-tip will also be available in taco form.

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