The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos

Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
Tortillas. Inside.

I don't eat Mexican food as much as I should. It doesn't help that New York City is known for having bad Mexican food—like, it exists here, but most of it blows. Or so I've been told. Growing up in suburban New Jersey meant little Mexican food made its way into my diet, and I never developed the palate to be able to tell what's really good or bad. The tastiest Mexican food I've eaten the city has come from food trucks, specifically those that offer tongue tacos, my favorite filling. But since I'm not much for eating outside (most likely in the cold) while standing up, I rarely visit taco trucks, and rarely eat Mexican food.


So what drove me to visit Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos in Bushwick? My friends Veronica and Tristan wanted to go. Also, Anthony Bourdain went there, and he has the knack for making everything he eats automatically be the thing I really want to eat. And, most importantly, it's a tortilla factory...with a small kitchen and seating area in the front. Fresh tortillas take a short journey from the neighboring assembly line, to the griddle, to your mouth.

There were no tongue tacos, but all the major meat groups were represented: chorizo, carne enchilada (spicy pork), carnitas (pork), pollo (chicken), bistec (steak), and cecina (salted beef). Also, besides tacos they also offer taquitos, tostadas, tortas, picadas, and quesadillas. I just stuck with the $2 tacos.

chorizo and pork

I ordered a chorizo taco based on Dan's recommendation, and a carnitas based on my addiction to pork. Chorizo was the better of the two since it's pork + seasoning + spiciness and the other is just...well, pork. Not that anything is wrong with just pork. I added green sauce for mouth tingling goodness. A little too much tingle. I fear my tolerance for hotness is dwindling. Nooooooooo. (The other day I ate dan dan noodles from Grand Sichuan for lunch and felt what I would guess was the introductory stage of hallucination. Maybe I shouldn't have eaten that as my first meal of the day.)

Veronica and Tristan NOM NOM
Veronica and Tristan nom nom.

Veronica and Tristan agreed that these weren't the best tacos they've had (they mentioned a good place in Sunset Park whose name I'll have to get later), but the tortillas were great and the filling wasn't bad. Worth my little trip into Bushwick, which wasn't much of a trek—only 35 minutes from my office, and right outside the Jefferson stop on the L train.

Charlottesville, Day 3: Mexican, Hot Chocolate Break, and Vietnamese
Phoenix: Day 6 & 7
Phoenix: Day 1, Part 1
accidental Mexican bakery, Thai and Indian food, and the wheeze continues


Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
271 Starr Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (map)


marthagrace / November 22, 2009 10:09 AM

Tacos Matamoros does have pretty awesome tongue tacos. And it's got a nice atmosphere and friendly staff.

There are a bunch of other places in Sunset Park too, if you like eating tacos indoors. Flor de Piaxtla makes a mean al pastor taco, as does Piaxtla es Mexico (sometimes mistakenly called Ricos Tacos). Both places also make fantastic tortas and cemitas. Tacos Xochimilco makes decent tacos, but their real winner is the pambazo, a sandwich made with salsa-soaked bread and a potato filling. Weirdly satisfying.

Actually, the taco truck on 5th Ave and 43rd Street (Tacos el Bronco) usually sets up a heated tent around the truck when it's really cold, so you can eat street tacos in relative warmth. Their chorizo tacos are seriously good, either they make the chorizo themselves or they've found a better brand than what most places use.

I've always thought that the reason people diss Mexican food in New York is that they walk into the (more numerous) Dominican joints, see that there are tacos on the menu, and mistakenly order them. Then they're disappointed, because those tacos are never that great, and they write off the city's Mexican food as sucky. Either that, or they're just not willing to venture to Sunset Park, or Bushwick, or Corona. But tasty tacos exist, and they're worth a journey (as you know).

veronica / November 22, 2009 3:33 PM

whoa, martha grace knows her sunset park taquerias.. tristan and i went to tacos xochimilco and i thought they were pretty good for ny standards, but the pambazo sounds awesome!

bops, i think it's time for a sunset park taco tour. except let's wait until maybe next month when i've recovered from eating way too much mexican food in the past two weeks..

EyeNoU / November 22, 2009 8:05 PM

What, no tacos al pastor or barbacoa tacos? Come on down to Texas and hit a real taqueria...........

roboppy / November 22, 2009 8:59 PM

Veronica: Taco tour, WE WILL HAZ!

EyeNoU: Yeah, the Mexican food scene here would probably not make ye happy.. ;_; Texas, someday!

bill p / November 24, 2009 2:04 PM

i think their tacos are much better if you ask for them Mexican style -- just onions and cilantro. A little salsa and lime, they're perfect.

If you haven't tried Taco Bite on S.4 and Rodney, their carnitas tacos are the bomb.

also... Los Hermanos' cecina is pork? Most taco joints in NYC it's beef.

bill p / November 24, 2009 2:08 PM

I'll add I agree with MarthaGrace, the people who dis NYC mexican aren't going to the real places. There are TONS of great taco joints, though most are in the back of Mexican grocery stores (like Tehuitzingo in Hell's Kitchen) or further out in BK and Queens.

Also, lots of places have barbacoa (which is usually goat here) and al pastor.

roboppy / November 24, 2009 2:17 PM

Bill: Oops, my mistake;; I ate the carnitas one! Correcting that now.

And I'm sad to say I never did try Taco Bite when I lived like..down the block. One time I remembering wanting to, and then it was closed that night. Oops. CRUEL FATE.

I'll be doing a Sunset Park taco crawl later on, that's for sure. Mmwhaahhahaa. And, randomly, I just remembered I had tasty tacos at Zaragoza once.

Teresa / November 30, 2009 3:42 PM

I think that was the worst part about New York this summer. Not the repeat-rain or the terrible roommate with her poopmachine of a dog -- but the lack of Mexican food!

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