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Rico's Tacos

Brooklyn NY (Sunset Park)

505 51st st (btwn. 5th & 6th ave), brooklyn NY 11220

Rico's Tacos

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Rating: 92
Price: $$

My first odyssey to Sunset Park brought such gems as Isabela's and Tacos Matamoros. After waiting for a few months to allow proper digestion and the roads to thaw out, the days prior to the 2011 vernal equinox brought about some glorious spring weather in New York (never mind the fact that it's supposed to snow later this week). Inspired and enthused, my business associate Ben and I decided to undertake a bicycle adventure from our East Village office to sample some of Sunset Park's finest taquerias. Meeting us there was a third business associate, Sarah S. Indeed, it was a day of tacos for the whole company! Our destinations were three: Rico's Tacos, Tulcingo, and Tacos Nuevo Mexico.

First up was Rico's Tacos. It has a paint job and decor reminiscent of some of Southern California's taco joints. Bright paint, a sign with a pig happily awaiting its death, a crowded interior, and a menu containing a variety of tacos, tostadas, tortas, burritos, and platos. We sat down inside, browsed the menu, and placed our orders. For the first go-round of the day, I ordered two taquitos: one suadero and one longaniza. First thing to notice is that, at $1.50, Rico's has better prices than most of the places you'll find around New York, even in Sunset Park. Though referred to as 'taquitos,' the tacos were the standard size and contained a normal amount of meat, cilantro, and onions. The wait for our tacos was pretty surprising - though, to be fair, after Ben and I placed our order, Sarah showed up and ordered, so they may have been holding back our food so it all came out at the same time.

Either way, once the tacos arrived, they were delicious. Though I ordered longaniza, chorizo is what they brought me. Honestly, I don't know if I'd have been able to tell the difference. The chorizo was peppery and rich, as it should be. Totally fantastic. The suadero, though traditionally mild, was still a bit bland for my tastes. I think it could have used a bit more seasoning to really bring out the flavor. Both meats were good cuts, without much gristle, and cooked to a nice consistency without too much chewiness.

Accompanying the tacos were three salsa options: a smoky red, a tangy green, and an avocado-green. The avocado-green was medium spicy and could have used a bit more flavor, but the smooth taste went well with the chorizo. The smoky red was fairly spicy and a nice complement to the mild suadero. The tangy green was not my style, but had plenty of flavor to go with the medium spice level. These three salsas are a very good set to have, and could work well with almost any taco filling. The tortillas themselves were fairly mundane. They mostly served as a vessel to transport fillings, rather than adding much to the taco.

Overall, Rico's Tacos are the best I've had in Sunset Park so far, and even beat out Zaragosa. It's hard to compare them to Tortilleria Nixtamal because the setting and style was so completely different. However, I think I'll have to rate Nixtamal a bit higher for now, simply because every single taco there was a stand-out, while the suadero could have used some work at Rico's. Definitely a great choice for anyone in the neighborhood (or even if you're not in the neighborhood, it's just a half hour from Union Square!).

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