In the dicey world of mobile eateries, the taco truck reigns supreme as a consistently excellent option for eating on the go. Though Halal stands or falafel booths may tempt from blocks away with wafting scents, questionable meats and grimy grills can’t beat the soft shell taco form. Simple, portable, and loaded with fresh cilantro—a taco seems to suit the truck arena to a tee. Recently, in celebration of weather that’s been positively south of the border, I embarked on a mini taco tour of the city, and embracing a theme of mobility I went on my bike. The first stop, not technically a truck, was Snack Dragon, a tiny stand on 3rd St. and Avenue B. In the past, Snack Dragon’s main appeal for me has been it’s location amid East Village bars, and the fact that it’s open well past last call. Draws like these plus the $4 price tag put Snack Dragon next to Belgian Fries on my list of all-time favorite drunk foods. It was a welcome change of pace to try their offerings during the day—the juicy chicken taco withstood the sobriety test, and the screamingly inebriated masses of 3 a.m. were no where to be found; the best thing about a daytime Snack Dragon—happy hour! Tacos before 7 p.m. cost only $3. Across the Williamsburg bridge, I stopped by Endless Summer, on Bedford St. and North 7th. Taco Lunchers began lining up at this already overcrowded intersection long before the truck opened its window for business. It’s worth milling around for a while. The beef taco I ate was delectable, with tangy sauce, ample cilantro, and copious amounts of flavorful meat. The real taco truck mecca of New York, however, is located miles south of Williamsburg. In Sunset Park, taco trucks dot 4th and 5th avenues at regular intervals. On a sunny Saturday, bikers must maneuver around double parked cars blasting Latin music, kids lining up for shaved ice, and families meandering about the chaos to and from the park. My first stop was at 44th St. and 5th avenue, El Bronco, a tiny truck which opens around dusk right across from the park and churns out tacos all night. El Bronco offers a number of unexpected options, including tripe and tongue, but I decided to stick with the chorizo. The sizzling, chopping sounds of a taco’s production punctuated the cacophony of 5th Ave, as I waited with the hungry hordes for my meal to be complete. When I finally bit into the spicy sausage, enveloped in crisp veggies and a fresh wrap, I understood acutely why locals crowd this corner deep into the night. At last I reached 60th St. and 4th Ave, where Sunset Park borders Bay Ridge. Here, on a slightly quieter but hardly mundane block, one find Tacos Deliciosos, a stand true to its name. Deliciosos sits beside a basketball court, used by some youngsters as a makeshift soccer field. Among these kids were the offspring of the cooks, who periodically marched up with demands to be fed or for Papi to settle disputes with other children. I had to wait for my pork taco order while Mr. Deliciosos went to investigate the theft of his son’s chimichurro. Not that I minded. Though I was surprised to find no sauce on my taco (it’s possible the cook, distracted by his son’s battles, just forgot), the food at Deliciosos was ultimately satisfying. Of all the tacos I’d eaten that day, this one offered the freshest shell— a warm, doughy delight, fried up right in front of me. Finished with the day’s tacos and charmed by this tasty neighborhood, it was with languid feet and slight regret that I peddled the dozens and dozens of blocks back home. I wanted to stay and taste tacos all night, just to see how wild the scene would get around midnight. Though the convenience of Endless Summer or Snack Dragon will bring me back for their treats time and again, the trip to Sunset Park was definitely worth it. My tacos south of thirtieth were just a little sweeter, served up with local flair.
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