The beef hits the table, hot with trails of steam. The dark shards march down the center of pale tortillas lying flat, wreathed with chopped onion and cilantro, a spoonful of avocado sauce, a blaze of green. The filling is suadero, the namesake at Nuevo Tacos al Suadero (9406 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens; 718-429-0555) in Jackson Heights, and even in harsh fluorescent light, it beckons.
The cut for suadero is found between the cow’s belly and leg, similar, in some ways, to brisket. It’s often marinated, but sometimes not, and braised until soft. Here, it is slow-cooked, pulled into small chunks, and seared on the flattop. It has the minerality that comes with good beef, plus generous salt and a twinge of vinegar and chile. The taco ($2.50) is flanked by a pair of grilled cebollitas (the bulb thoughtfully scored for more even cooking), limes, and radish. Even just one taco feels like a sumptuous plate, more than a snack to keep hunger at bay.
The taqueria is on a corner off of Roosevelt Avenue and is often empty until the weekend, when it fills up with families and groups of men looking for tastes of home. Selena is on the jukebox. The quesadillas are a treat.
The restaurant has gone through a number of revolutions in the past couple of years. Once Suadero Tacos, it became Roosevelt Tacos in 2012 when ownership changed. It has now been christened Nuevo Tacos al Suadero, and its namesake is exactly what you should order.
Scarlett Lindeman is a Brooklyn-based writer, covering the city’s best taquerias, fondas, and cantinas. She writes the ¡Oye! Comida column for Fork in the Road.