Not a single post on the Outer Borough board about Taqueria El Gallo Azteca in Tompkinsville, Staten Island. I'm curious to know how it compares to other taquerias and other Mexican restaurants citywide. Is anyone knowledgable about the burgeoning Mexican food scene on Staten Island?
(Interesting aside: the latest census data reveals huge increases in NYC's Mexican community -- something like a 70% increase, if my memory of NPR's local newscast last night is correct, with most of those increases on S.I....so there has got to be some good Mexican food to explore there!)
A few weeks back, we hit Taqueria El Gallo Azteca on a visit to Tompkinsville (after a delicious Sri Lankan brunch at Lakruwana...!). We kept it simple ( and light, given our already-full bellies) and ordered only tacos, though there were quite a few weekend specials we could've tried: pancita (tripe soup) tacos de barbacoa (roasted lamb), consome de chivo (lamb soup), caldo de camaron (shrimp soup), tamales, champurrado, and arroz con leche.
The simple bistec taco was a hit -- exceptionally tender meat, with a tangy/spicy flavor. We were also heaping on the excellent house-made salsa verde (terrifically garlicky and spicy!), which we watched one cook make in a blender right in front of us.
The special "azteca taco" was good, but less so -- mainly because the oversized portion of meat overwhelmed the other flavors and threw off the delicate balance.
There were no vegetarian tacos on the menu, but it was easy to request a nopales (cactus) taco, which was actually pretty tasty (not SoCal tasty, but way better than veggie tacos at my usual Astoria taquerias). The nopales had been sauteed with onions and were quite hearty and savory -- a great meat substitute. (Full details of our meal are on the site: http://www.cityspoonful.com/taqueria-...)
If you know about Taqueria El Gallo Azteca (how it stacks up in the citywide food scene) or other places for great Mexican food on Staten Island, please do share! We are determined to find decent (even great!) Mexican food in our fair city.
El Gallo Azteca
75 Victory Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10301
668 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10304