When you see a beautiful, fat dripping trompo illuminated by fluorescent light inside of a truck doing brisk sidewalk business, it is almost impossible not to stop and eat. Tacos Los Poblanos has one of these beauties, even with pictures of it adorning their truck as well, showing a newcomer just what should be ordered.
Our first order was a styrofoam container full of tacos al pastor ($2 each, below), the marinated pork that is cut down from that trompo, or spit like you find in Middle Eastern gyro shops. (For a brief explanation, see this post). The tacos were properly served dressed with pineapple, cilantro, and onion, and our box was full of cucumber, limes, radishes, and grilled onions.
With one of the best taco trucks in the city a few blocks north in the same neighborhood, this establishment had a lot to live up to, and unfortunately did not wow with the pastor tacos. To be sure they were tasty, but just not on the same level as the Bronco. Not seen on the tacos above are their sauces, of which the red really shines and pairs well with the marinade.
Not wanting to write such a nice trompo off after one visit, we did try again and had another above average meal, and on a third visit went for another route, trying cabeza and tripa tacos ($2 each, below). Once again the toppings and presentation are perfect, and red salsa delicious, while the meats were good but failed to make me want to write operas.
If you are spending just one night in Sunset Park and moving from place to place to try different things, skip the birria at the Tacos El Bronco truck and head down here for a cup. People from Jalisco may ask what people from Puebla are doing making birria, but with so little chance to enjoy it here in New York, it is worth the time.
A cup of caldo de birria de res ($6, above and below) is really good, rich and complex. The first time I asked for it, the pot was empty and by the way the guy told me this information, I guessed it had been empty for a long time. The next day I returned much earlier and procured a cup to bring home.
A generous portion of limes is given to make the soup sufficiently sour for each taste. As seems to be standard here in NY, beef is used rather than goat, but the cuts are good. Spices and many other flavors accompany each bite. A small stack of tortillas also comes along if you want to make some tacos of your own with the birria.
If you are at all interested by birria, don't bother trying to find more in New York. There are a few around, but the versions are not what the dish can be. There is no doubt that you will enjoy this cup of caldo de birria, but for the real experience go to Los Angeles where there is a culture of birrierias. I got to check out a couple of these last autumn, and only had my appetite grow. Or better yet head to Guadalajara. And send pictures.