You would never know that the generic-looking bodega with a yellow awning that reads, simply, Deli and Grocery, cooks up an impressive array of tacos, tortas, and cemitas if you didn’t notice the small chalkboard menu stuck in the cluttered front window. Walk into the cramped store, and it seems even more unlikely. You’ve got to go to the back, and duck behind the refrigerators holding soda and beer, before you’ll find the tiny, but cheerful, neat back room, where a guy mans a griddle and a salsa bar is set up with freshly made guacamole, chile de arbol salsa, and salsa verde.
At lunch time today, the place was crowded with Spanish-speaking construction workers, from the nearby BQE project. Tacos are $1.50, and offered with suadero (beef), buche (mouth), chorizo, lengua (tongue), bistec, pollo, cecina, and tripe. There are also tortas, cemitas, and shrimp soup.
Fork in the Road enjoyed three very fine tacos: tongue (less like pot roast than usual–a bit chewier/bouncier, but with a nice, cow-y flavor), chorizo, and suadero. That’s a big lunch for $4.50. Don’t skip the de arbol salsa — it’s smoky, hot and delicious.
Deli and Grocery
780 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 26, 2009