How lush was my taco?
At the invitation of Serious Eats Mexican-food expert Scarlett Lindeman, I visited a newish taqueria in Sunset Park in the shadow of the looming Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Brooklyn’s largest Roman Catholic cathedral. The place is called Tacos Cachanilla, and one of the lures–apart from a massive menu that includes food from several southern Mexican states, plus Tex-Mex, etc., etc.–is that they make their own white-corn tortillas, some of incredible girth. One of the largest is deployed to make the biggest chile relleno taco placeros I’ve ever seen.
This taco is so big, it’s almost a burrito.
You’ll remember that these sorts of “market tacos” were first encountered locally at a humble cart on Roosevelt Avenue and featured head-scratching ingredients like rice, boiled eggs, and chiles relleno. Made with humble, cheap ingredients, these represent the poverty food of southern Mexico, noted Lindeman.
The cart under the 7 train tracks eventually moved into a barroom in East Elmhurst called Tacos Morelos, retaining its menu of tacos placeros and adding tequila. These tacos have since been seen at the two Tacos Morelos vans and at various other taquerias in town, where tacos had previously been made with huge wads of meat and little else. Vegetarians breathed a sign of relief.
Now Tacos Cachanilla has come up with the best rendition so far, nearly a foot in diameter and containing a freshly fried, egg-battered, and cheese-stuffed chile relleno along with grilled green chile strips, yellow rice, sautéed onions, and–surprise!–French fries.
“These tacos placeros always taste dry to me,” she said before the contraption arrived, but once she sunk her teeth into it, her face lit up with a smile. I noted that the taco was so big, it could satisfy two people. And it did. Priced at $5, Tacos Cachanilla’s chile relleno taco constitutes one of the best cheap feeds in Sunset Park.
5807 Fifth Avenue
Sunset Park, Brooklyn