Taculito: Little Ass Tacos

All photos via Taculito

Taculito (little ass tacos) is a Mexico City-style taco popup on Friday nights at Brooklyn Safehouse (120 Franklin Street). The chefs, Giovanni Cervantes and Maria Romero, both have creative day jobs and thought it would be fun to fill the taco void in Greenpoint by sharing their kitchen skills and love of traditional Mexican street food. Giovanni is a portrait photographer with a Greenpoint studio and Maria is a textile and fashion designer. Giovanni grew up in Mexico City and lived there until he moved to New York in 2011. Maria was born in Mexico City, raised in Spain and returned to Mexico for college, arriving in New York after a stint living in Italy. Because of their backgrounds, they share a deep affection for authentic Mexican food, which can be difficult to find in New York City. Continue reading

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Hot Sauce, Summer in the City: A Scorching Afternoon with Heatonist

Heatonist Founder Noah Chaimberg

One of the great things about writing for Greenpointers is occasionally getting to watch dreams transform into reality.

When I first met Heatonist founder Noah Chaimberg, it was on a bitter, snowy Sunday morning back in February. He was shivering on the doorstep of a Wythe Avenue construction site, kindly waiting to greet me and explain his zany vision for a spicy future. He was part-way through a Kickstarter campaign, with the hope of raising enough funds to turn said construction site into a hot sauce tasting room and events space, complete with the world’s first hot sauce sommelier. Continue reading

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El Toro Ready for Summer with Liquor License and Revamped Back Yard

El_toro_interior_greenpoint_rosie_de_belgeonneEl Toro Ironworks (formerly El Toro Taqueria) is my most local of local Mexican joints. Their tacos were the first takeout I ordered after moving into my apartment (flashback to the days I used to diligently illustrate my meals(!)) and I still pop in whenever I want something super-quick for dinner.

In January, long time Greenpoint resident Sebouh Yegparian took over ownership of the restaurant, seeking a change from the many years he’d spent working in the music industry. Whilst he’s kept the overall feel of the place the same, he’s gradually implementing new elements to make the eat-in dining experience even more enjoyable. Continue reading

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Lucky Luna: New Mexican-Taiwanese Restaurant Brings Dreamy Steamed Buns to Nassau Ave

Peking Duck Confit Bao

One of our readers recently used the acronym ‘OSOM’ (pronounced a bit like awesome) to describe the area on “the Other Side Of McGuinness.” Now that another restaurant has opened up over there, hot on the heels of Raizes, it seems a particularly apt time to start bringing OSOM into the everyday Greenpoint lexicon.

Lucky Luna (167 Nassau Ave) had its soft opening on Thursday night. The restaurant aims to bring together the best of Mexican and Taiwanese street food and serve up good-quality versions in a casual restaurant setting. Continue reading

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Lucky Luna, Konditori & Five Leaves Crate: A Glut of New Foody Openings

Konditori extends its Swedish Coffee Empire to Greenpoint

Food lovers of Greenpoint! Only three weeks in and 2014 is already looking to be the year of the eatery. A whole host of new cafes and restaurants are popping up on our fine, frosty streets and whilst some are still hanging their awnings and smoothing down the plasterwork, others have already flung open their doors to beckon us in. Continue reading

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Little Dokebi: A Delicious Taste of Korea in Greenpoint

Little Dokebi Bar

Little Dokebi (85 Driggs Ave) has been open for just over a month and already it’s a huge hit.  So popular, in fact, that when we recently tried to go for a mid-week dinner the wait was over an hour-long. Fortunately, when we returned for Saturday brunch it was much easier to get a seat, though this may have had something to do with the fact that it was the snowiest day of winter so far! Continue reading

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Recipe: Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos (Vegan)

This recipe is one of those vegan recipes you can put in front of any carnivore with no need to specify. Not because it tastes like meat, but because it is gosh darn delicious!
A vegetarian friend told us about Vegucated, a documentary that made him turn vegan. We put off watching the documentary, knowing that it would motivate us to make the switch, too. After we finally watched it, Jon and I looked at each other and said, “We have to, right?” I won’t go into detail, but I will tell you that if you are an animal lover, then even cheese is not really that cool. Animal cruelty aside, don’t even talk about global warming if you eat meat. The amount of energy it takes to make meat, from the water and petroleum based fertilizers to grow the animal feed through processing the final “product” is astounding. Why can’t we just live in ignorant bliss?
So now we are vegans! (That was a sarcastic exclamation point.) Well we are vegan-ish; we are not perfect. It’s been difficult to retrain our brains but we are surviving and Jon is really a vegan whiz chef. The idea to make these Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos just popped into his head. As a tough fish taco critic, I think these are a lot better than fish tacos. And that isn’t the vegan talking.

Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos
• Make a beer batter with some flour and beer, salt and pepper. The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter and not too watery. Coat oyster mushrooms in the batter and deep fry in vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
• Top with chipotle mayo, which can be easily made by mixing some mayonaise or veganaise with canned chipotle peppers or chipotle sauce in adobo.
• Top with corn salsa, made with chopped red onions, red peppers, corn, tomato, cilantro and lime.
• Top with fresh shredded red cabbage.
• Serve on your choice of corn or flour tortilla.

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Mexican Standoff: Greenpoint’s Best Taco

If you’ve made it this far into the summer without downing a single taco, I don’t know whether to congratulate you on managing to avoid an increasingly ubiquitous food or console you for missing out on one of Greenpoint’s most versatile foods.  The taco has been called (was it Proust?) the ideal food of summer – cheap, good eating in the hot sun, healthier than most things that pair so well with alcohol, and easily scaleable – one is a snack, three is a meal, and five probably means a nap is in your near future.  Greenpoint, luckily, has a wide array of noble taquerias to compliment its scenic waterfront and vast oil reserves, and on one glorious afternoon, your writers sampled from each in turn.  Continue reading

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Recipe: Broccoli Taco (or Braco)

The Braco - Broccoli Tacos

I go insane over broccoli. If I had to chose one only food to eat everyday, you guessed it: broccoli! Boil it, bake it, roast it, grill it, steam it, fry it, pie it – any which way, it is the best vegetable. And as a cruciferous vegetable, it’s also anti-carcinogenic. Not a bad thing considering I live directly over the plume!

While having a romantic dinner with my wife (wondering what that means? read here.) at No. 7, the restaurant in Fort Greene from the same owners as No. 7 Sub on Manhattan Ave, we ordered an exclusively vegetarian meal. This is very unlike us. When Julie returned from the dark side of being a vegetarian, we celebrated with a Sausage Party, and it’s been dirty jokes and meaty dinners ever since. But sometimes the vegetarian options will surprise you, and they are often overlooked because you think, I’m out, I might as well eat meat! If you want a lighter meal, go veggie; you will certainly leave feeling less stuffed.

Cheesy Bacon Gordita Crunch - Limited Time at Taco Bell

The Double Decker Broccoli Taco we ate was amazing, so I had to try it at home. It is basically the healthy vegetarian version of a Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell. (Don’t act like you don’t dream about it!) But with the braco, a hard taco is stuffed with feta cheese and broccoli, around which a black bean smeared soft taco is wrapped, then the whole thing is topped with pine nuts and hot sauce! Not only are the flavors happily married but the texture of the soft taco spooning the hard taco is quite a fiesta in your mouth.

Continue reading

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