Tortas Neza recently opened a location on the southwest corner of Roosevelt and 54th St in Woodside (they have another location in Corona, which I have not been to). The immediate area does not seem to be great for keeping Mexican places afloat, but I truly hope these guys make it for a while. I think they could be in the top tier of the taco totem pole of Western Queens. Please do your part to keep this place alive - for my sake.
You can't go wrong when you get the basics down. The tortillas are robust and well griddled. The meats are properly executed: The braised lengua, while slightly salty, comes as large chunks of beefy tenderness; the carnitas is moist and porksome with adequately dessicated and crisp edges; the suadera has nicely singed edges yielding to juicy meat and fat; the bistec has the clean flavor of beef and is so perfectly cooked that it's almost boring. Yes, it would be better if it were grilled over live fire instead of seared on the griddle - but really, I'm not complaining. If you're worthy enough to be given a bit of the fresh made tomatillo salsa, you should be grateful. And if you wonder aloud about whether they have roasted chiles and onions, you might find yourself lucky enough to have some prepared for you on the spot.
Needless to say, the two cooks are friendly and accommodating in the tight space. And quite skilled at the art of the antojito. Any doubts you have should vanish when you see the milanesa de pollo - a perfectly deep-fried slab of flesh, crunchy golden brown outside, succulent inside. Too bad it only comes on a torta or a cemita (every respectable meat should come in a taco, I think). The cemita is respectable, authenticated by the use of papalo, emboldened by the chipotles en adobo, assuaged by the stringy quesillo. But isn't it the bread that always lets you down? A bit on the dry side, a tad too thick, taking away the balance from the rest. Alas. Next time, I will ask them to put it in two tacos instead and hope that they oblige.
There are tortas galore - 19 offerings, in addition to 9 cemitas and 13 quesadillas. Sometimes they have al pastor (though not on a spit), and you can even get your oreja on.
53-06 Roosevelt Ave
9am - midnight
53-26 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377
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