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