Sunday, August 28, 2011

Las Margaritas

It is a risk to try out a hole-in-the-wall establishment. These are eateries that are literally a hole in the wall that aren't fancy and usually their menu isn't either. Plus, its with minimal seating so it encourages a grab-and-go style. When you stumble upon one, it could be either be a great find or a race to find the nearest bathroom.

It just so happens that one opened up down the street from where I live. Las Margaritas (1738 Bath Ave, Brooklyn, NY) is a Deli-Grocery. From the front, it looks like a small grocery store with an array of native Mexican products. In the back its actually a deli with a flip-table and chair for one, but usually the table is stacked with products. This is truly a family-run establishment. The father (I assume) does the cooking with the grandma and his wife. There is a young boy that is usually playing with a baby in a stroller and I've seen all of them at the deli every time I visited.

Its funny how I came upon this place because I don't really go exploring for food around where I live. Many times I find take-out menus in the mail box or door slit and I would throw them out, except this one time. And thankfully, I kept it. It is definitely not a fast food option because they make everything from scratch. The boyfriend and I waited from 20 minutes to an hour for our food. Starting off with the drinks:

Mexi-Cola and Fanta

My first time trying Mexican Cola. The boyfriend said its supposed to taste different, but I couldn't tell. It could also be because my mouth was numb from the spices.


I wanted to try something different and this fit the bill. I wasn't sure about it at first because its not typical, but that's why I wanted to try it in the first place right? It smells different, not in a bad way, and tastes syrupy sweet.

Lengua Taco (Tongue) - this is LEGIT!

The tongue is very tender and flavorful. The second time I visited this place, I ordered Lengua en Salsa Verde (Tongue in Green Sauce, cause the guy said green is not as spicy as the red sauce + rices & refried beans) because the Lengua was delicious. Only problem was the green sauce was still too spicy for me.

(2) Lengua (tongue) Gorditas

The tongue is REALLY tender and the gorditas are homemade corn tortillas stuffed with lettuce, onions, and cheese. If you think tongue is gross, it really isn't. You just have to try it. They don't serve it as a whole tongue and it is cut up into pieces. If you were served lengua without the prejudice, I bet you will like it. :) The problem with gorditas is they can get soggy from the ingredients (plus moisture from the heat in the styrofoam box too) so careful picking it up!

Salty Beef Gordita

We were too full to finish this but I bet its delicious! It is in the fridge waiting for me to devour it tomorrow.

Torta Cubana - pork, breaded beef, Mexican sausage, egg, ham, pork cheese & cheese

The cheese is like Mexican mozzarella - so stringy, so good. Its the most expensive sandwich, but also the heaviest. Full of meat with different flavors and texture mixed with the melting cheese. Yum. This is a better Cubana than ones I've had at bigger restaurants (aka Essex).

Al Pastor Torta - Mexican sandwich garnished with refried beans, avocado, tomato, Mexican cheese, mayo, jalapeno, and marinated pork

Al Pastor Cemita - roll sandwich garnished with refried beans, Mexican cheese, avocado, papalo & chipotle

I'm beginning to grow very fond of the Al Pastor, maybe because of the pineapples that add the juicy and tangy-ness. Al Pastor is like Mexican gyro (and I loveee gyro!) and it has a long history behind it.

"Likely as a result of the adoption of the shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Having derived from the shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish doner kebab and the Greek gyros. Whereas döner is usually lamb-based (thus the "shepherd style" name), gyros and tacos al pastor in Mexico are made from pork."

Salty Beef Tortas - Mexican sandwich garnished with refried beans, avocado, tomato, Mexican cheese, mayo, and jalapeno

The sandwiches here are seriously no joke. They are homemade, fresh, and heavy.

"Plain" Nachos

Mixed Nachos with chorizo, dry salty beef, and other meats with FRESHLY FRIED NACHOS!!

I put "plain" in quotation marks because it isn't plain, as stated on the menu. Do you see the ingredients on top of the nachos? Look at how fresh the avocado looks! These are probably the best nacho chips I've ever had. They are freshly fried and made-to-order.

Please note that these are pictures from two visits and not one fatty moment. They don't go cheap on the ingredients and they take the time and effort to make the food. It is not the typical Mexican fast food, but with the prices of one. It is pretty out of the way for anyone not living in this area, but if you are around here, really, check it out. (Take-out recommended)