Incredibly Cheap Eats: Tlacoyos


I wrote about El Centenario Grocery and Deli back when it really was a grocery and deli, with just a counter in the rear where a lone, hardworking cook turned out reliable Mexican standards, including great barbacoa tacos. Walking by the other day, I peeked inside and was surprised to find that all the shelves have been taken out, and the space completely remade into a restaurant. Although the outside awning still reads “El Centenario,” the menus inside are printed “Luz de Luna #2 Mexican Restaurant.” I believe the cook is the same able woman as before, but the menu has expanded to include more antojitos, including Oaxacan molotes, and Central Mexican tlacoyos (not to be confused with Oaxacan tlayudas, another hard-to-pronounce delicacy).

Tlacoyos are torpedo-shaped, thick masa patties stuffed with black bean paste and often topped with crema, cheese, and/or chopped onion. At Luz de Luna #2, you can get the basic tlacoyo for $2, or topped with your choice of meat — a generous helping — for $3. For a very full meal, three of the hearty snacks (above, with cecina) go for the discount price of $6. The masa cake is warm, fresh, and corny, slightly blistered on the griddle and fat with its creamy bean filling.

El Centenario/Luz de Luna #2
687 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn