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Oaxaca Taqueria

Brooklyn NY (Park Slope)

250 4th ave (btwn. carroll and president), brooklyn NY 11215
mon-thurs 11am-12am, fri-sat 12pm-1am, sun 12pm-11pm

Oaxaca Taqueria

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Rating: 74
Price: $$$$

Oaxaca Taqueria is a place I've been meaning to review for a while. Way back in June, when the concept of a website devoted entirely to tacos was a novel concept, I tried to go there with business associates Ben and Gomes, but was denied by a closed sign early in the morning. A couple months ago, after a strange indoors-outdoors party in a Gowanus warehouse (featuring s'mores, an indoor shooting range, and some crazy metal human-spinning contraption) I stopped by Oaxaca for some tacos with my business associate Allie, but neither of us had a camera or working camera phone - I had fond memories of this trip, so Oaxaca was definitely on my list of places to return to.

On a recent wintry evening, I found myself in Park Slope (I know, big mistake) with my business associates Lilly, Mandy, and Isa. We had just come from the Colorado State Fair at the Bell House where I proved my skills with a ping-pong victory and a heartstopping draw at Connect Four (and I won tickets to the Seaweed concert in April!). Unfortunately, though, we arrived to late to partake in the submissions for the green chile cookoff, and found ourselves leaving following a Packers victory quite hungry. While I didn't have my camera on me, I had just got a phone with a camera function, and was determined not to let an opportunity to review Oaxaca slip by me once again. Plus, I was SUPER HUNGRY!!

I ordered three tacos: 1 asada, 1 carnitas, and 1 papas (a daily special). For an extra 20 cents, I was offered an upgrade to the combo featuring rice and beans - naturally, I caved. The rice and beans came out first, topped with cotija cheese. They were delicious, though the spice on the rice was very unusual - they had a hint of sweetness to go with the tang of the cotija.

After a quick wait, the tacos came out. Three in a small serving boat, topped with what seemed like pickled cabbage and cilantro (the papas taco also had some cotija) and served with a slice of lime. The papas were fairly bland and without much texture, though the cotija was a nice flourish on top. The meats were pretty comparable. Both were mildly spiced and a bit overcooked. The asada, in particular, was a little too dry and chewy. The pickled cabbage did a good job providing a contrast in flavor and texture, but on the whole the meat needed a lot more flavor.

Salsa options were Oaxaca's biggest weakness. We had two options: Cholula and Valentina. While I love Cholula as much as the next Pomona College graduate, I will never be convinced that it is the best option for topping a taco. With Oaxaca's steep prices and crazy flavors (in addition to the papas option, there was also a Korean BBQ taco available), they try to sell themselves as a somewhat gourmet, California-style taqueria. This illusion immediately comes crashing down with the lack of a delicious, house-made salsa.

Oaxaca is a conveniently located taqueria. Prices are steep and the tacos are, overall, pretty average. Maybe that's a manifestation of the neighborhood - if you want strong ethnic flavors, Park Slope is the place to avoid. Oaxaca has two more locations spread out around Brooklyn and a new location in my neighborhood, the East Village. Unless I'm similarly starved and have reneged on my vow to avoid Park Slope at all costs, I'll probably skip Oaxaca in the future.

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