| Tacodeli's "cowboy" taco. Photo: Portal and Friends/Flickr
Austin's taco scene skews toward what some might call "gringo fancy," characterized by the prominence of flour tortillas and nontraditional ingredients like bison and basil -- and fish, which is found infrequently in Sunset Park.
Brooklyn tacos, on the other hand, pay homage to one of the neighborhood's main demographics, Mexican immigrants, with tacos wrapped in two corn tortillas. They typically contain nothing more than a meat filling -- goat, lengua (tongue) and cabeza (brains) are among commonly selected options -- minced raw onion, cilantro, a spritz of lime and an optional flurry of queso fresco (white cheese).
Poll and more after the jump.
Chief among the Sunset Park taquerias is Tacos Matamoros. The cabeza and goat barbacoa are juicy and highly flavored, and a pork number comes with a spicy kick not found in the Austin fare we've sampled so far. Down the street, a shack with neither a name nor solid operating hours offers tripe, while El Potrillo offers the (to us, boring) option of chicken.
Tacodeli, on the other hand, has a wildly eclectic menu typical of what we've found in Austin. There's the delicious -- and worthy of seconds -- Cowboy (beef tenderloin rubbed with ground coffee and brown sugar, topped with onions, corn, roasted peppers, queso fresco and guacamole) and Mojo Fish (tilapia seasoned with paprika and garlic mojo, topped with guacamole and pico de gallo).
Owner Roberto Espinosa says the menu is varied due to customer preference. "The chicken mole was [because of] a recommendation. I never thought it possible to offer mole tacos!" All are commonly served on flour tortillas, though corn is an option. Asked about the prevalence of flour tortillas, Espinosa again cited his customers' tastes. "We also serve whole wheat tortillas."
Near the University of Texas an outpost of Torchy's Tacos serves a fried avocado taco as well as one with fried chicken. Both include a "poblano ranch" sauce that this eater never spied the likes of in Brooklyn.
Yet a surprising find was street-corner truck Taqueria Piedras Negras, which shells out tacos reminiscent of Sunset Park. If you can get past the meat's high oil content, the carnitas and stewy beef barbacoa are well-seasoned gems.
It boils down to where on the spectrum a taco lover's affections lie: Some might cite class differences -- or whether one's palette skews American or more traditional Mexican. To this taster's stomach, Sunset Park offers the better taco. Nevertheless, Austin holds promise, the promise of new discovery, even if it's in a flour tortilla.
But you tell us:
|Los Angeles||50 (15.1%)|
|other (tell us in the comments!||40 (12.0%)|