Street-Smart Mexican in Queens

The Cuatro Vientos taco truck, a newish entry in the Queens street-food derby, has bolted to an impressive lead over its Roosevelt Avenue rivals.

Standard meat fillings like lengua (beef tongue) and carnitas (slow-roasted pork) are well above average, E Eto reports, but this truck really breaks out of the pack by offering choices rarely found at New York taquerias. Sobrebarriga is superb: crispy, slightly stringy meat that E Eto calls “the beefy version of good carnitas.” Suadero, cut from just behind the flank, is delicious as well. Campechano is a blend of beef and chorizo, “and, well, who wouldn’t like that combination?”

Cuatro Vientos shouldn’t be confused with a far inferior taco truck that once worked this spot on Roosevelt near 65th. “I was thrown off for a while to the great tacos being served here,” E Eto says, “since the truck that was there for years was pretty horrible.”

La Copeñita, a few blocks west, isn’t a truck, but it’s got plenty of street-food smarts. Its owners run the popular Super Tacos trucks in uptown and downtown Manhattan. Taco fillings are exceptionally good—hounds recommend lengua, chivo (goat), and al pastor (spit-roasted marinated pork), among others—and salsas are fresh and lively. Beyond tacos, Joe MacBu has enjoyed pork mole tamales and daily specials like Wednesday’s chileajo, chunks of tender pork rib in a delicious sauce of tomato and roasted chile.

The décor is unfortunate: cartoonish Italian chef mannequin out front; enhanced-interrogation-level lighting inside; leftover signage from the previous tenant, the hapless EcuaMex. Best ignore all that. “Despite the vibe, I am digging the food,” Joe says.

Cuatro Vientos taco truck [Woodside]
Roosevelt Avenue near 65th Street, Woodside, Queens
No phone available

La Copeñita [Woodside]
54-25 Roosevelt Avenue (at 55th Street), Woodside, Queens
718-205-1606

Board Links: Cuatro Vientos taco truck @ Roosevelt/65th, Woodside
Guide to Woodside
In the old Ecuamex spot in Woodside

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