>> Tlacoyos Zacapoaxtla | Eat the World NYC

23 August 2016

Tlacoyos Zacapoaxtla


Sunset Park is more family oriented than Jackson Heights, Queens, and therefore has a much smaller street scene when it comes to eating at night. If you walk down 5th Avenue after dark, most of the businesses are closed and all is pretty quiet. There are a few very strong options for those that look around though, like the Tacos El Bronco truck near 37th and a gorditas and esquites vendor at 45th.

Further down between 50th and 51st is a tlacoyos vendor that I started noticing a couple months ago. Usually there are plenty of patrons here, so I finally went for myself to try their popular specialty.

The street vendors I came across in Mexico City usually had tlacoyos in a basket, which seemed to be their trademark. When you ordered, they would take it out and dress it with the salsa of your choice, some cream if desired, and a bit of cheese. I never saw options for meat on them in Mexico, but could not resist putting different choices every time I visited this cart in Brooklyn.

The first order was one cecina (left, good) and one enchilada (right, forgettable) ($4 each, above). You can order a tlacoyo regular for $3, which is the original version of the antojito without any meat, focusing your palate on the beans cooked into the thick masa vehicle.

As seen below, that vehicle holds up a hefty amount of toppings. Besides a choice of six or so meats, they will also ask if you prefer red or green salsa, which you can also take on the side. Tlacoyos have to be fresh and stay moist, otherwise they start to get very hard and unappealing, but for this reason it is a good option for street snacking because they are almost always made recently.

On another night, an order of tinga (below) was made, another great option. This seemed much fresher and homemade than the enchilada, and paired very well with their red salsa, complementing smoky flavors.

The cart has a list of items, and also make sopes and huaraches. Last time I was at the cart, I stood admiring the making of a huarache while my tlacoyos were being prepared. The huarache is thinner but also has beans inside, made the correct way with no shortcuts like you see by many vendors.

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