Happy Birthday America! Liberty & Tacos For All!

The Taco Slut and I wish you all a very happy 4th of July!

Consider adding tacos to your American BBQ party today!

 

Abraham Lincoln – Historic Taco Slut

(Lincoln Taco Credit: Matt Savoury. Check out his work at mswork.tumblr.com)


Tacos + Punk together? How Bazaar! (@Oaxacatacos Review – @BKBazaar Edition)

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Okay, so maybe tacos and punk fit naturally together…particularly when cheap beer is thrown into the mix and it takes place in Williamsburg. Still, I’m a sucker for puns and OMC, so as bad as it was, I couldn’t resist the title. Anyways, Brooklyn Bazaar is a pretty sweet night market that takes place in BK every Friday and Saturday night. Its basically the market scene from Aladdin but darker and there is Modelo spilled everywhere. Every weekend they have an awesome array of independent vendors, live music, food carts and art…plus blacklight minigolf and table tennis. If they had Big Buck Hunter there legitimately might never be a reason to leave this place.

The Doc and I were meeting the dudes from PUP before their gig at BKBazaar recently. The plan was to get beers at The Turkey’s Nest around the block and then take the dudes out for some quality tacos before their show. Turns out they had tickets for free tacos from Oaxaca’s cart inside the bazaar, so rather than venturing farther away we retreated back with them after Turkey’s Nest to give Oaxaca a go.

The Doc had already given the Park Slope locale a rollercoaster of a review last year, but we decided to still write these up to see how the taqueria faired away from its home court. Here’s what we discovered…

Papas y Rajas - Roasted potatoes and poblanos peppers…these are a few of my favorite things. This taco came with a few of my other favorite things too, like pickled red onions, pico, salsa verde, avocado salsa, cotija and cilantro. Good ole fashion Mexican street food. I respected the taco, and I’m going to say it wasn’t the fact that I was already drunk before I started eating that made this the case. 3 out of 5 tortillas.

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Drunken Attempt at a photo…Papas y Rajas (right) Chicken Guisado (left)

Chicken Guisado – This taco was my favorite of the pair on the night. Slow-simmered chicken marinaded with guajillo peppers and served with pickled red onion, salsa roja, avocado salsa, cotija and cilantro. Classic chicken taco that really hit the spot. 3.5 out of 5 tortillas.

Doc's Script - Al Pastor & Korean

Doc’s Script – Al Pastor & Korean

Al Pastor – I’m a sucker for pork and pineapple tacos. Now, this wasn’t as good as my aforementioned Park Slope outing last year, but still a satisfying taco. Again, this isn’t the normal setting for the Oaxaca tacos, so taco beggars can’t be taco choosers. I still ate it and smiled. 3.5 out of 5 tortillas.

Korean – The specially marinated beef in this taco was STELLAR. This was topped with some kimchi and a delicious spicy sauce. I kept saying to our buddy Andrew, “Dude! This taco is so good! I mean, have you tried it yet? I should’ve gotten two of these!” Yeah, I should have. 5 out of 5 tortillas.

Brooklyn Night Bazaar
165 Banker Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Websitehttp://bkbazaar.com/
FacebookBazaar Friends!
Twitter: Bazaar Tweets!

Oaxaca Taqueria

Websitehttp://www.oaxacatacos.com/
FacebookTaco Friends!
TwitterTaco Tweets!

PUP - 5 out of 5 tortillas. Photo Credit: Andrew Buttermilch

PUP – 5 out of 5 tortillas.
Photo Credit: Andrew Buttermilch

Love & Guac,

TS + the Doc


Kickstart My Guac (@ChavelasNYC Review – Crown Heights)

Before I even tell you about the tacos (and they were satisfying), you need to know about the guacamole.

Dat Guac

I mean, yes, Chavela’s does offer a standard “classic” guacamole. I’m sure it’s delicious and good but I’m not interested in writing about that. My dinner partner and I immediately noticed a special version, with smoked trout, pico de gallo and chile salsa. With great curiosity, and a little hesitation, we dove in.

Let’s be clear: If you don’t like smoked fish, you’re not going to like this. I myself am a fan and I absolutely loved this guacamole. It tasted like a Mexican take on lox and cream cheese. We could not stop attacking the guac, spreading it on  crispy tortilla rounds again and again. It also had a very spicy kick, which I tried to cool with a refreshing grapefruit margarita. (It didn’t work. So hot.) If you’re up for a flavor adventure, you have to get this.

Now onto the true objects of our affection…

Carne Enchilada, Nopales, Pescado

Carne Enchilada, Nopales, Pescado

Carne Enchilada - It’s pretty had to resist a taco that offers chunks of both roasted pork AND pineapples. They’re an unimpeachable flavor duo that BEGS to be devoured. MORE PLEASE. 4 out of 5 tortillas.

Nopales –  I was looking forward to this cactus taco, but found it to be disappointing. If there wasn’t a hunk of avocado in the taco, I’m not sure I would have finished this one. There are other catcus tacos out there… 2 out of 5 tortillas.

Pescado –  A redeeming third taco to close out this trio. Delightfully crispy with some chipotle mayonnaise and cabbage to add some crunch. PRO TIP: I schmeared some of that smoked guac onto this taco, creating a next level fish taco experience. 4 out of 5 tortillas.

I would definitely make the trek out to Crown Heights for another round of tacos at Chavela’s. Word on the street is that their brunch is not to be missed…

- Doc

Chavelas Restaurant
736 Franklin Avenue
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Websitehttp://www.chavelasnyc.com/
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Down on the Corner…(@LaEsquinaNY Review – Nolita)

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A few months ago, I was drunkenly wandering through Nolita with my good buddy Tone-tilla, when we happened to walk past this little ‘diner-lookin’-tortilla-joint’ across from Petrosino Square. Having just eaten more tacos than I care to admit at Taqueria LES a few hours early, we didn’t stop. Still, I was determined to make it back there eventually as I really dug the vibe of the place. There was, however, a two-fold problem; (1) I didn’t catch the name and (2) I was too drunk to remember how to get there.

Assumably, it would be a while before I finally got to taste these tacos.

Yesterday morning, while I was preparing for a meeting in the Nolita area, Taco Queen was kind enough to look into some taco options I could check out for lunch. I opened her email, and there it was…the third link out of five…my little taco diner-dive, La Esquina! It was like that moment in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory when Charlie finds the golden ticket in the drain after he thinks his dream of visiting the factory was over.

La Esquina is a no-nonsense type of a tortilla ‘bar’. Like almost every other quality taqueria I’ve encountered in the city, its tight quarters mean I would recommend getting your tacos to go. However, on a beautiful spring day like yesterday that’s a moot point as its much more enjoyable to sit across the street in Petrosino Square anyways. This place is decidedly authentic and original. Next time you’ve got a beautiful day and you’re in Nolita, definitely hit La Esquina up for some lunchtime taco goodness.

Here’s a breakdown of the tacos I ate:

Papa, Nopales y Chorizo Taco - chorizo sausage, potatoes, cactus, shredded cabbage, salsa verde

Papa, Nopales y Chorizo Taco – chorizo sausage, potatoes, cactus, shredded cabbage, salsa verde

Papa, Nopales y Chorizo Taco – I was a little bit disappointed in this taco to be honest. Don’t get me wrong…it wasn’t bad, but chorizo (chorizo) and nopales (cactus) are two of my favorite tacos individually so I had high hopes for this guy. Unfortunately, the potatoes were a little bit mushy which overwhelmed the unique texture of the nopales I usually love and the heat of the chorizo. I probably wouldn’t get this taco again, 2.5 out of 5 tortillas

Hongo y Epazote - mushrooms, epazote, hominy, cilantro, salsa roja, queso blanco, rice, chipotle mayo

Hongo y Epazote – mushrooms, epazote, hominy, cilantro, salsa roja, queso blanco, rice, chipotle mayo

Hongo y Epazote Taco – Once again, the mushroom taco wins. I’ve found lately that mushroom tacos are becoming my favorite and this case was no exception. It was reminiscent of my G.O.A.T <greatest of all tacos> from Morocho, and confirmed that epazote is, in fact, an herb I greatly enjoy. On top of that the hominy (basically corn) and rice added a lot to this taco and the queso blanco and chipotle mayo were also delicious. It might have been a bit overstuffed, but in this case I wasn’t mad at that. 4.5 out of 5 tortillas

I’ll be back for the mushroom tacos and to give the rest of this unique menu a try!

La Esquina
114 Kenmare St.
btw Lafayette & Centre
New York, NY 10012

Website: http://www.esquinanyc.com/
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Eat Your Brussels Sprouts…No seriously do it (Brussels Sprout and Caramelized Shallot Salsa Taco Recipe)

You know what’s a bullshit myth? That brussels sprouts are gross…

If you’re five-years old, I get it. Your palate isn’t mature enough to understand that these little bundles of nutrition are actually tasty. More importantly, you’re probably too young to have realized that if you smother any vegetable in butter, garlic, salt and pepper it magically becomes delicious. But if you are older than five, do yourself a favor and reassess brussels sprouts…its part of being a functioning member of society…plus butter.

That being said, the Doc stumbled upon this recipe recently and, knowing my love for interesting veggie taco options and brussels sprouts in general, sent it my way. Last night, I finally got the chance to make them, and let’s just say…the next round of Taqueria LES is on me for the Doc as a thank you for putting me on to this.

I won’t clutter this post with directions, as Jessica at How Sweet Eats did an amazing job and I followed her directions to a tee. Instead, I will just tell you why you should, in fact, eat your brussels sprouts…in taco form. These tacos manage to hit all three major points of the flavor triangle…spicy, sweet & savory. The brown sugar-caramelized shallot salsa, which also featured baked grape tomatoes and fresh torn cilantro, is pretty much the sort of awesomeness usually reserved for slow-cooking delicious meats. That sweetness is balanced beautifully by the healthy dose of salt in this recipe (not too mention butter), and finally throw in the way the garlic/paprika/red pepper flake combo punches through to add a perfect amount of kick and you’ve got a pretty interesting flavor party going on in every bite. When you sprinkle a little manchego cheese into the mix, you end up with one hell of a taco.

Bottom line is this, ask yourself these three questions; do you like nopales (cactus) tacos? Do you like butter? Are tacos god’s greatest gift? If you answered yes to at least two of these questions then eat these tacos…eat lots of these tacos!

Brussels Sprout and Caramelized Shallot Salsa Tacos

Brussels Sprout and Caramelized Shallot Salsa Tacos

The directions one more time in case you missed them –> http://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/01/brussels-sprouts-tacos-with-caramelized-shallot-salsa/

Love & Guac,

TS


The Art of the Taco (Tacos El Dorado Truck Review – Flatbush)

We have a special post for all you today! One of our great friends, the inimitable Nick Kozak, reviewed a taco truck in his section of Brooklyn. But this is no ordinary Taco Slut review. This is coming to you LIVE (previously recorded) on video. Nick’s review brings us great joy and we are so happy share it with you!

The taco presentation from this truck is noteworthy. Along with the tacos, they provide you with a cup of salsa and guacamole. If that’s not enough for you, you also get a tin foil present of limes and radishes, essential taco friends.

Nick reviews for us the following tacos: al pastor, pollo, and lengua.

Overall, Nick gives this truck 4 out of 5 tortillas. Check out the video for the specifics!

We hope for this to be the first of many future video reviews. Please stay tuned for more from Nick. Mr. Nick Kozak has many videos for you to see. Check them all out at his YouTube page! Thanks again, Nick.

- Doc

Tacos El Dorado Truck
East 17th Street and Church Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226

Website: Here’s a Yelp Page?
Facebook: No Friends :(
Twitter: No Tweets, Just Meats


All You Need is Love (@OttosTacos Review – East Village)

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Doc: Thanks again man, I really love the tortillas. There is something special about them.
Otto: Thank you sir, its cus they’re made with love.

Made with love. It sounds cliche to say it, but wouldn’t all tacos be better if they were made with love? Not by some line cook shoveling ‘Taco Tuesday’ mystery meat into a limp, soggy soft tortilla that’s going to break upon first bite. Thankfully, there are a few places and people that take pride in the art of tacoism; Otto is one of those guys. One simple look at their mission statement tells you all you need to know about this place; and its not just lip-service.

Otto’s Tacos is an LA-inspired grab-and-go taqueria, focusing on freshly prepared tacos. We make all of our tortillas, salsas and marinades from scratch every day. Our goal is to bring a bounty of bold flavors from our kitchen onto your plates. We hope to serve you the best tacos and Mexican food you’ve ever had and, if for some reason you are ever disappointed, just ask for Otto; he’ll make sure it’s taken care of…

We didn’t even have to ask for Otto…he was right there manning the tortilla grill. As we were walking out and thanking the crew for the delicious tacos they provided, the Doc actually spoke with him unknowingly. The verdict, he’s a genuinely good dude that makes a genuinely good taco. The tortillas aren’t your typical corn variety, as they’re a little sturdier, and to be quite honest, a bit more flavorful. Inside each tortilla you get a mountain of protein with a nice compliment of cilantro, onions and green or red salsa. For a little extra you can add a heaping helping of delicious, homemade guacamole…we suggest you do. Another point of excellence with Otto’s is that the tacos have a little kick to them, even without adding hot sauce into the mix. As a result, you don’t have to alter the intended flavor of the taco to get that heat you crave. Overall, these were pretty much top notch tacos that the Doc and I (as well as our dinner friend / drinking buddy @SidViciousDelicious) were more than pleased with.

There is a small downside to this taqueria and its twofold. (1) Its basically a taqueria inside a closet, and with word  spreading about how awesome the food is, getting a seat is a little tough. And (2) no liquor license yet. So you’re going to have to head to one of the eleventy billion dive bars off St. Marks before and after your tacos for cervezas. Small price to pay  for this high quality of a taco treat!

Here’s the lowdown…

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Chicken Taco – Otto’s

Chicken Taco –  (TS Review) –  These chicken tacos were on point. Had I not been so in love with the mushroom tacos I probably would have been ranting and raving about this a little more. Still the chicken was expertly grilled and marinaded in some sort of homemade goodness you expect your best ‘bbq friend’ to make at home. The kind of marinade that you and your friends talk about all year long, and you can’t have a cookout without it. I didn’t get guac on this taco as I saw the amount of protein they put in the tacos and I thought I’d let it ride with just the onions, cilantro and green salsa. It held up and I’m happy with that decision, even if the guac I had on the mushroom tacos was friggin’ amazing! 4 out of 5 tortillas.

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Mushroom Tacos

Mushroom Taco (TS Review) –  In case my chicken taco review didn’t make it abundantly clear…I loved this taco. Recently mushroom tacos have been my favorite variety, and aside from the Morocho Peruvian Hongo Tacos in Union Square, this might be the best mushroom taco I’ve come across. As was the case with the chicken, this taco could have stood up sans guacamole, but I decided to give it a go anyway and the guac was excellent. It was really well whipped, giving it a light refreshing taste, and it complimented the mild heat from the green salsa and the marinade on the ‘shrooms perfectly. I think I’ve only given like 3 of these out in the year and a half the Doc and I have been writing about tacos, but I give this taco a perfect score; 5 out of 5 tortillas!

Note from the Doc: Firstly, there’s a lot to be said about a good tortilla. Usually, it’s the kind friend keeping all the taco fillings in place while you consume the goodness. Its presence taken for granted. You know when you have a bad tortilla, though. The badness can be distracting. Otto’s tortillas are just the introduction to a delicious taco experience. The first thing I said to the TS after I bit into the shrimp was, “Dude! These tortillas!”

Shrimp Taco – (Doc Review) -  When you see this taco, you can only think, “So many shrimps!” And what delicious shrimps they were. The Serrano cream provided an excellent kick, making every bit delectable. This is a can’t miss seafood taco. You little shrimps get 4.5 out of 5 tortillas.

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Carne Asada & Shrimp Tacos

Carne Asada Taco – (Doc Review) – Sometimes, the best part about a steak taco is the taste of the seared bits of steak. The caramelized mixture of meat and spices proves to be irresistible. Otto’s carne asada has this and then some. The red salsa topping this also gives you the spice you know crave. I got mine with guac as well because, COME ON. 4 out of 5 tortillas for the carne.

Otto’s Tacos
141 Second Avenue
btw St. Marks Place & East 9th Street
New York, NY 10033

Website: http://www.ottostacos.com
Facebook: Taco Friends!
Twitter: Taco Tweets! 


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