Desperately Seeking Taco’s in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Taqueria El Maguey

3910 4th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(718) 768-2846

Right off the rip, this small storefront looks a similarly like one of the Los Angeles little Taqueria joints from the outside. Painted an interestingly harsh sea-green, the color looks as if it was chosen straight from the 64 pack of Crayola crayons some of us colored with as kids-with the sharpener in the rear was the only way to go. I sauntered inside to see what was looking good for lunch, as there was no street side chalk boards denoting the daily specials which is common among the areas restaurants. Personally, I find the chalkboards not only interest piquing and attention catching, but can readily wrestle up an appetite even from a partially hungry tummy.

On to the food: The few tacos I ordered after reading the menu cover to cover, were what one has become to recognize as the typical taco meat choices. Unfortunately they were out of  the one’s I had wanted to order, this came to me as quite a shock as being out of one or two items can occur, but three and the first three I ordered? “This experience can only get better?, right”? was the shred of hope I forced myself into believing in the moment as the only other option was just to offer a sheepish “You know, I am not really hungry after all, have a nice day” But I stood strong in my resolve to walk out with tacos and walk out with tacos I would, just not what I wanted.

 Tripa, (translation: Tripe, which is the belly, gut and intestine portion of he cow) “Sorry, we do not have that today”  Alpastor (translation: Shepherd-and the way the pork is prepared, which is spicy, marinated meat. ” Umm no, we do not have that either” Cabeza (translation is head, but includes the brains and cheek of the cow. “Nope” 

Left in a quizzical state of mind on which menu item I should order next, I went with what I hoped was a sure bet in a very unsure taco cubbyhole, as it is a fixture in every Mexican food location

Please pass the darts, the dartboard and the menu again please…

Fourth attempt in my ongoing food request challenge, BINGO, H7 (Battleship) attacking New Guinea (RISK) whatever your preference in making a successful connection with the opponents opposition forces-

Enter the Carne Asada and Pollo Asada taco’s, (Grilled meat, grilled chicken) Feeling hungrier by the second, I thought to order the Enchilada’s de Queso as well because ordering food that does not exist certainly works up an appetite..

Enchilada’s de Queso was unusual looking dish from my experiences with Enchilada’s and cheese, not only in color and texture but in flavor profile as well. Spice throughout every bite and a pungent aroma to  boot. Credit for the boldness of having such a fiery menu item with no forewarning disclosed on the menu, like the little red pepper that has the heat lines above it. Unlike most all tacos I have had the immense pleasure of eating through out my travels, the taco’s here at Taqueria El Maguay, had diced yet chunky pineapple bits as a standard ingredient in both taco’s I ordered. so I assume it is a standard ingredient for all taco’s. Adventurous and refreshing upon my first bite, turned to a growing desire to pick the pieces out as my consumption continued. The pineapple addition just did not awaken the flavor, but did change the texture and took away from the cooked meat. Perhaps it may be a nice add on item.

Overall the rating I feel is appropriate for Maguay is two out of a possible five stars. This rating is the result of an unfriendly staff,  an un-kept dining area, which was only ten seats but rice and drink spillage upon some of the tables and floors. Additionally, not having 3 taco options in a row and over charging me for my total meal, by $4.00, which I noticed immediately and the cynic in me did feel that this was not a mistake of common mathematics, more of a opportunity.


About glenn van nostrand

Spent some years making my way around the cities and states, working, learning about new food ideas and planting and eating my share. Making my points about rejecting the corporate take over of our food source to my opinions about the New York food scene. LASTLY: No matter the size of my living area, I am always growing herbs & vegetables and enjoy the nurturing experiences of the growth to the nutritional value it gives from the table. View all posts by glenn van nostrand

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