Tacos in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Photo by Mira Evnine.
When I began testing recipes for my cookbook, lots of people asked whether I could find the right Mexican ingredients in New York. When I said yes, they said, "Are you buying them in Sunset Park?" I didn't know Sunset Park
, a neighborhood in southwest Brooklyn, south of Red Hook. I had been buying my ingredients in the small Mexican bodegas near my house in Queens. Since Sunset Park was about 90 minutes away from me by train, I made a mental note to visit at some point. I finally had time to go this winter and I'm so glad I did. The Mexican food in Sunset Park is good
. It's more than good, a lot of it. And the neighborhood feels a bit more settled and established than the Mexican stores and shops in Corona, near where I live. That's because Sunset Park has been a destination for Spanish-speaking immigrants since at least after World War II
. (In February, I saw a few signs touting "Spanish-American" food instead of Mexican food, probably a nod to the booming Puerto Rican population in the 1960's-70's.
) The first time we visited, my friend Mira and I struck up a conversation with one bodega worker who said he'd been selling dried chiles and Mexican products since 1986. The faded awning out front also advertised the same. The striped style of the awning didn't look anything like Corona, where the signage is newer and usually more nondescript. I'm excited to announce that on Saturday, June 20, I'll be hosting a Taco Crawl of the neighborhood with Sunset Park historian Joe Svehlak
. I'll be leading a small group to try Mexican tacos and other nibbles, while he talks about the evolution of Sunset Park as an immigrant destination. The tickets, which are $65, include all food consumed on the tour, a copy of my new cookbook, and an invitation to the exclusive cookbook launch party that evening in Bushwick. If you live in New York, please join me! We only have room for 15. Advance ticket purchase is required via Brown Paper Tickets
. Here are a few more photos of the types of things we'll be trying.
Chicharrón en Salsa Verde. Photo by Mira Evnine.
Homemade Potato Chips in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Photo by Mira Evnine.
Guaxmole in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Photo by Mira Evnine.
More tacos in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Photo by Mira Evnine.
A spicy fruit cup in Sunset Park. Photo by Mira Evnine
Hope to see you on June 20!