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Quesadillas from the cart at Roosevelt/61st, Woodside

E Eto | Mar 24, 2008 11:15 AM

Under the LIRR and 7 train tracks at Woordside station there's a new Mexican cart which is stationed there pretty much all day and into the evening. The first time I went, I noticed that there's a wooden tortilla press that one of the two ladies use to flatten out tortillas. I thought it was for tacos, but it's not. They use it to make quesadillas. They have two kinds: chicharron and calabasa (zucchini), and tinga de pollo. I haven't tried the tinga de pollo since I've been so hooked on the chicharon. I don't think they prepare (that is to say, fry) the chicharron (or pork skin) at the cart, but they have a mixture of chopped up chicharron and calabasa in a big plastic tub, which is stuffed into a freshly flattened tortilla, and placed on the grill. It's finished with a spread of crema, a handful of lettuce, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. So it's not the gewy, cheesy thing that you might be accustomed to imagining a quesadilla to be. The ladies offer up a green and red hot sauce (I like the red sauce). Since I've discovered them during the cold weather, I've always rushed home to eat it while it's still hot and crispy (it loses its crispness pretty quickly when wrapped up so tight in foil). But as the weather improves, I would advise others to take it to the benches next to the Duane Reade and enjoy it there. That area around the cart always seems so dingy for any kind of enjoyable eating experience.

I also noticed that the Mexican locals have caught wind of this new offering, and as it's usually made fresh, it takes a little while to make (anywhere between 10-15 minutes, longer if there are others waiting). Also noteworthy is the carnitas. It's a little underseasoned, but nothing a little salt won't cure.

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