>> El Divino Rostro | Eat the World NYC

18 February 2021

El Divino Rostro


COVID-19 UPDATE: Food trucks are perfect pandemic eating, with minimal human contact and no indoor dining.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Written by Joseph Gessert, photographed by Liv Dillon.

A handful of new taco trucks are springing up in south Brooklyn, and El Divino Rostro is the most exciting of them... so far. While their competitors share more or less the same menu, El Divino Rostro has taken note of the success of Jackson Heights/Williamsburg truck Birria-Landia and Bushwick’s Nene’s Deli Taqueria, and are specializing in stewed beef birria. This is a meat that has long been common in Los Angeles, popularized by the mini-empires Teddy’s Red Tacos and Birrieria Gonzalez, but is now (finally) becoming more readily available in New York City.

Tacos de birria de res ($2.50 each) are the classic preparation, with the stewed beef sitting atop tortillas that have been dunked in broth as well. Not only does this leave the tortilla red, but plates, hands, and napkins by the end of any meal. El Divino Rostro’s birria is fatty, rich, and nicely balanced, with none of the spices dominating any of the others. The "plain" taco is a good chance to try it on its own. The quesotaco ($3.50) takes this preparation a step further, melting cheese on the red tortilla before adding the meat. Both are best eaten with a side of cilantro-and-onion-specked consomé ($6) for dunking, leaving everything even more red and delicious. The consomé is ambitiously priced, but during a recent visit was offered for free in the context of a full dinner order. Drowned in the liquid was enough extra meat for two more tacos.

Also on the menu is the rarely-seen-in-NYC mulita, as well as more standard fare like tortas and tostadas. The burrito de birria de res ($9) is almost all meat, barely glazed with beans and rice, and cut with fresh onion and avocado. El Divino Rostro’s salsa roja packs a solid punch, and you definitely won’t go wrong giving the burrito a dip in the consome before adding the salsa. There are other meat options as well: chicken, steak, and chorizo. All are presumably worth a try during future visits.

As with so many NYC taquerias and Mexican food trucks, El Divino Rostro’s proprietors are from Puebla, but they have been quick studies in this traditionally Tijuanense dish. You will wonder, eating their birria, if the New York food scene could soon be home to more, for instance, Oaxaqueño restaurants. Or Yucateco. Regardless, this truck is a fantastic addition to local Mexican food offerings, and promises great things to come as the city opens up more vendor permits and reduces police involvement in ticketing street vendors.

After some issues with parking, El Divino Rostro has established a (hopefully) permanent location on 86th Street at the corner of 21st Avenue. They plan to be open every evening, with hours somewhat variable. You can call ahead before visiting (or to make an order for pickup or delivery) at (347) 866-7479.


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