Sunset Park Mexican: Where to Eat when the Ball Fields are Empty
As we head into this first dismal weekend without the Red Hook Ball Field vendors, Eat for Victory would like to remind you that you can still find some of those lovely people during the off-season. Last night we paid a visit to motifed La Asunci, which is owned by the Perez family, who are from Puebla, and whose interior design tastes run towards the soccer-meets-Catholicism style.
The Perezes happen to run perhaps our favorite stall, and our favorite item at that stall is the goat taco. The meat is braised in a cauldron until its connective tissues disintegrate, leaving the meat tender and extremely tasty. The matriarch of the family, Eleazar Perez plucks a piece out of the pot, dripping with its own juices, and places it in a soft taco which you are free to adorn as you wish: with green and red hot sauce, fresh salsa, chopped onions, lime, cilantro, etc. lined up at the table. (We know one fan who has been charged extra for her greediness at this point in the process.)
We hoped to find that these tacos are alive and well in Sunset Park, and it is on the menu, but we must be honest -- the one we sampled (and we only sampled one, so, it could be a fluke) was unremarkable, and compared to the original, verging on dry! The carnitas taco was dryer, but, just as our lower lipped started to quiver in despair, the carne asada tostadas showed up to save the day. It was a festival of textures, people, and the meat was nicely fatty. Phew.
Still believing the Perez strength was in slow-cooking, our next course was the caldo de res, or spicy beef soup, the most expensive soup on the menu ($6.50). The broth is bright red, but hardly spicy at all, which was slightly disappointing, except who cares when the stuff is so tasty? The beef has broken down to variously sized nibbles -- some big enough that the edge of the spoon is needed to break it down further, and some so tiny they have become broth-thickeners, along with the potato which sits in the middle of the bowl, letting off little specks of itself. Next up: Honduras Maya
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