Anyone who does Sunset Park Mexican via guidebooks or even these boards is making a mistake. Always go for the emptiest, most dismal, unknown haunts. they're always best. The southerners (Oaxaca, Chiapas, etc) don't market themselves well and lack funds to really do up their places, but cook like a dream.
latest fave: el palenque. 57-09 5th avenue, 718-567-8503
57-09 5th ave.
Menu mostly the usual suspects (cow foot tostatdas intrigue, however). But all uncommonly well done, and friendly sincere staff.
No idea where they're from (again, the menu's very standard). But the dynamic of single daughter waitress and mom and pop in the kitchen makes for much more sincere food than the splashier spots.
My previous fave in this genre of bleak but soulful was Marazul Restaurant. 5804 5th ave. But it appears to be shuttered.
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