So I’ve been getting a lot of lip from you people about my neglect of Sunset Park. I guess that’s good. I guess it’s why I wanted to write about tacos in the first place. But the zeal some NYC taco hunters reserved for 5th Ave. between 39th and 56th inflated my expectations so much that I thought I was going to walk off the Subway, fall in a pile of pillowy tortillas and immediately be smothered in al pastor. Not so. The salsa verde does not flow through the streets of Sunset Park, but the tacos were there, and I was hungry.
Tagged 'Carne Asada'
Finding a good taco truck, one that you trust, isn’t unlike being in a relationship. There’s the discovery, the passion, the long summer nights wiled away in loving embrace, and of course, inevitably, the moment when they take off the emergency brake and drive away, leaving nary a trace. I have loved and lost, readers. I have, but I am not a cynic. I seek out love still.
So it was with this quixotic spirit that I approached Tia Julia, a taco truck at 91st and Roosevelt, in Jackson Heights, Queens. The lunch rush was pretty much over, but there were a few stragglers munching on tacos and sipping horchata. The horchata looked cold and delicious. My hopes picked up, love radar cautiously humming to life.
I think it was the blatant Mexican-ism that drew me here. Or rather, I thought there was an outside chance that had Northern Mexican style carne asada. Now, just so we keep our terminology straight: carne asada is simply grilled beef. But in the experience I’ve had with Mexican cooking in the Southwest US and Northern Mexico, carne asada tends to be something very specific.
I’d heard about Tortilleria Los Hermanos from several people (including a few native Californians) so in spite of the fact that the NYTimes likes it, I figured it was as good a place as any to start my search.
The first thing I saw when I walked up was a woman inside the window grilling meats, always a good sign. The factory itself isn’t big, and the dining area is really just two folding tables pushed together to form a kind of bar where everyone sits. I squished down in between two people really involved with what appeared to be tortas. After waiting for a couple to be served, I ordered one carne asada taco and a chorizo.