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Queens | lost taco

Tagged 'Queens'

Tia Julia: Jackson Heights  June 9th, 2008

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.

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Tacos HNS Rodriguez: Jackson Heights/Carne Asada Manifesto  June 8th, 2008

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.

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Tacos Guicho’s: Jackson Heights  June 6th, 2008

Is it wrong that my heart starts to pound when I see a little taco cart surrounded by ravenous locals? Is this unnatural? Shifting my weight nervously from foot to foot as I stood in front of Tacos Quicho’s I found myself puzzled by these questions. What was it about this cart? There were like four mother’s with kids in strollers and several men all jostling for position. There was one woman inside cooking all the food and taking care of the transactions. She wore a plastic glove on her food handling left hand and kept her right hand bare for handling money and paper plates. I saw several delicious looking tacos served up before I was able to belly up to the window. I ordered a single carnitas taco because it was first on the list of specialties.

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Tacolandia: Jackson Heights  June 6th, 2008

Fresh off the 7 train, I spotted a sign that read “Tacolandia” and I just couldn’t help myself. Maybe it’s my Southern Californian upbringing, but when a place as any kind of “land” appendage (in English or otherwise) I’m mysteriously drawn to it, sure that it can’t be all bad.

Tacolandia was no exception. Located on the corner of a strip mall, it’s a small kitchen space with an adjoining dining room. At 2:30 the place was about half full. There were teenagers picking out songs on the jukebox, the music going so loud I could barely hear the waitress over the din. I ordered the steak, and she went to work, throwing a fresh batch of beef on the grill and chopping it and turning it with the metal spatula.

Well, this won’t be so bad, I thought. At least the meat will be hot. The condiments appeared to be in order. She turned to ask me if I would like grilled onions mixed in with the grilled steak. No, I would not.

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