Monday, August 18, 2008

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly . . . Brooklyn Mexican Food

We begin this posting with good Mexican food down to the worst Mexican food we have ever tried in our lives (and we have tried our share):

Word-of-mouth praises and great reviews about an obscure food joint didn't catch our attention since the infamous Midnight Cuban Sandwich at Paseo's in Seattle. Then there was Mexico 2000. We've been wanting to try Mexico 2000 (on 367 Broadway between Hooper & Keap St) since we got to NYC since it was highly recommended by our friend Tony. It was even more intriguing when he said "don't tell anyone about it, I don't want the hipsters to find out about this place." Like him, we selfishly love eating at small hole-in-the-wall places that the mass crowd doesn't know about. Sorry Tony, it was too good to not share with our family and friends.

Mexico 2000 is a Mexican bodega filled with with Mexican snacks, beer and juices, hot sauces, jars of chiles, corn tortillas, some produce and pastries, Guadalupe candles, and other Mexican variety you won't be finding at a Safeway near you. You walk past the jarred goods and two cramped tables all the way back to the food counter and there you look at the menu taped to the refrigerator and order from a variety of tortas, chimichangas, burritos, and tons of shrimp dishes (unfortunately no shrimp today). You watch as two ladies diligently do their best to quickly prepare the dishes in front of you. It gets crowded since it's such a tiny space and we had to wait about 20 minutes. Do yourself and the workers a favor by waiting outside. We were drooling as we watched them finally prepare ours in take-out containers. We knew we were getting the real deal when we were the only ones in the joint speaking English.

Their nacho and FRESH guacamole platter is delicious! Recommended!

Their chicken taco topped off with mounds of cheese is a good deal. You'll be full after these.

Their carne asada platter was just average, but their rice and beans were just right.

Mexico 2000 treated us to a lot of food and reminded us why we love Mexican food so much. Our dinner totaled only $25, which also included two beers and two breakfast pastries.......... nice.

Taco Chulo at 318 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY was on the slightly pricier side but they delivered for free and for one of those "we feel lazy but we want some Mexican food in our system" nights, it was perfect for us. The photo to follow is their "Mission" taco ($4.50), consisting of cheese, rice, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa verde, crema. It was delicious, esp after you've loaded it up with their somewhat mild salsa. Their Carne Asada burrito was a bit funky tasting with the bbq flavor and potatoes. The flan was nothing special, not worth $5.

Taco Chulo's menu has some interesting items that might be worth trying for the curious souls like their Nopalitos taco/burrito, which comes with chilled marinated baby cactus. We're not sure how we feel about their Vegan options but it's at least there for meatless lovers - their Santa Cruz comes on a whole wheat tortilla filled with spinach, black beans, avocado, lettue, pico de gallo, tofu sour cream. Um, I think we'll pass on that. If we do ever come back here, we'd try their sweet stuff: Te-Qui Lime Pie (with tequila-infused syrup) or their Tamales de Chocolate (
warm chocolate-coconut tamales steamed to order in corn husks, filled with dried cherries and apricots, and served with a chocolate-chile dipping sauce). Not your traditional taqueria but they offer a great twist on one of our favorite cuisines.

We were passing this Endless Summer truck almost every day and finally tried their food. Tacos served out of this truck seemed appealing, almost nostalgic, during these summer days, like those ice cream trucks. Their menu with cheap prices looked even better. We always saw people standing in a long line and folks sitting on the street around the truck stuffing their faces with their tacos. So we had pretty high hopes for this place, which is why when we tasted the food, we were doubly disappointed at the small portions of unflavorful, dry, banal food. What do you expect when your tacos are made by three non-Chicanos..... a waste of $$$$$. You're not supposed to be hungry after you eat Mexican food. But we were. And how the hell can you mess up rice and beans ?!?!? Endless Bummer.

And the drum roll please . . . . . The worst Mexican food we have ever tried goes to LA Burrito. The irony in the name is that most of the best Mexican food I have encountered was in LA. They don't deserve a picture in this blog. Don't go there unless you want to be peeing crappy Mexican food out of your butt all night. Who knows, maybe we caught them on a bad night but we're not taking a second chance on them. I believe two-day old Taco Bell would be a better choice (and we disdain Taco Bell). My deconstructed burrito looked and tasted like bland Gerber Baby mush. Their nachos were horrible, like they were dried up leftovers from the day before.

Well, take or leave our advice on Mexican food, the one thing that remains constant for us - we will always be on the hunt for the perfect taco.