Relief for Torta-Hungry Woodside

Tortas Neza is just what the neighborhood needed. Joe MacBu says this Woodside newcomer, the western outpost of a Corona eatery that got its start as a truck, does tacos and Mexican sandwiches the right way, starting with the meats. Lengua is tender and beefy. Carnitas is "moist and porksome" and crisp at the edges. The fixings are right, too: lively fresh tomatillo salsa; griddled onion and chiles (just ask for them); papalo (a cilantrolike Mexican herb), pickled chipotles, and stringy cheese in the cemita. Joe (who faults only the cemita's roll, a tad dry and thick) ranks Neza "in the top tier of the taco totem pole of western Queens."

As the restaurant's name suggests, tortas (nearly 20 of them) are the specialty. MarcInSunnysideGardens likes the milanesa de pollo (fried chicken cutlet) with roasted chiles: "Really good texture throughout, clean flavors." And his 5­-year-­old chow pup goes for the cheesy cemitas with "lotsa gooey melted quesillo." More experienced hounds, who've endured long taco droughts in this corner of Queens, aren't taking Neza for granted. "The immediate area does not seem to be great for keeping Mexican places afloat," Joe observes. "Please do your part to keep this place alive ­ for my sake."

Tortas Neza [Woodside]
53­06 Roosevelt Avenue (at 54th Street), Woodside, Queens
718-205-2121

Discuss: Tortas Neza - Great tacos in Woodside

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