Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eating Tacos in Corona Queens

This past Friday night my friend and I decided to head out to Corona, Queens for tacos.  We hopped on the 7 express and took it to 103rd street. Corona must have the highest concentration of Mexican and Latino food, anywhere in the 5 boroughs (please forgive me if I'm wrong). Walking along Roosevelt Ave between 104th and 90th Streets there were so many Taco StandsTaco Stands, Equadorian Food Tucks, Mexican and Latin Restaurants,. The area looked like it was getting ready for partying after a huge sports game. You can find taco stands on every corner and the only way to find the best... follow you nose. And, oh yeah, and see how many people are lined up out front.

We wandered the area eating for about 2 1/2 hours.  Our first stop was Tortilleria Nixtamal on 104th Street and 47th Avenue known for making fresh tortillas. They are very friendly and clean.  The skate taco and carnitas taco are both delicious and I enjoyed the red and green salsas. Then we headed to a place formerly called La Espiga Bakery  that had been written up in the NY Times back in 1998.  It's not clear as to it's current name but it's still the same place. It might not be anything to look at, it's a bit run down and looks as though it hasn't been painted or had the menus replaced since it first opened. The tables are communal and the prices dirt cheap.  We ate tamales, tacos and something I don't remember the name of.  It was a flour tortilla filled with beans, grilled and then topped with cheese- I'll call it delicious! This place has fabulous, authentic food. The next time I'm in the mood for tacos I'll take a trip out here.

Walking around at 8pm the barber shops and beauty salons were still busy. The area had this feeling that the streets were about to be jam packed with people and the taco stands were just getting set up. The atmosphere was on the verge of being almost electric, but not quite.

Next we headed back to Roosevelt Avenue and began to walk under the elevated train back towards Junction Blvd.  At 99th street and 39th Avenue there's an island where a typical looking taco truck is parked, except this one is making exceptional food.  They had a plastic entrance covering the front with 3 people standing behind the grill.  The woman on the right took our order and our money (she also seemed to be taking orders on the phone). The woman on our left was making fresh flour tortillas and the man in the middle was helping her cook.  If you've never had fresh tortillas let me tell you they are nothing like the ones you buy in the supermarket or are served in most restaurants..  Fresh flour tortillas are light and delicious, nothing like the heavy leaden ones that wraps are made from.  I never knew they were so delicious. We ordered a zucchini flower quesadilla and an al pastor taco.  The quesadilla was divine.  Light and cheesy,sweet and just delicious. The pastor, tender and tasty!  I wish we hasn't eaten so much at the other places.  This taco stand is worth the trip here alone, if just for the quesadilla.  I'll be back to this stand for sure.

Best Taco Stand (in my opinion)
99th Street and 39th Avenue
Under the Elevated Train on Roosevelt Ave.

La Espiga
4213 102nd St
Queens, NY 11368

(718) 779-7898

104-05 47th Ave
Corona, NY 11368

(718) 699-2434