Lengua tacos at Gran Electrica
Pork ribs at Gran Electrica
RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013
Gotham got tequila-sopping fiesta fare to rival the West Coast’s this year: the haute-Mex marvels at Alex Stupak’s Empellón Cocina; April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman’s midtown-baiting taqueria, Salvation Taco; and rowdy pan-Mexican cantina El Toro Blanco. But no South-of-the-Border spot struck your fancy quite like Gran Electrica, the Colonie crew’s pulsing taco den, set under the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. Diversifying an area chock-full of bakeries and pizza (legendary pie-slinger Grimaldi’s is around the corner), the lively eatery pulls in Brooklynites looking for both homey abuela standbys (rich, cilantro-nipped guac; fragrant pozole verde) and palate-expanding fare (tongue tacos, duck-leg tamales). Add inventive red-beet margaritas, eye-popping Day of the Dead toile wallpaper and a locavore edge (farm-raised meat, heirloom corn for the tortillas), and you’ve got Dumbo’s most lovable new amigo. Gran Electrica, 5 Front St between Dock and Old Fulton Sts, Dumbo, Brooklyn (718-852-2700, granelectrica.com)
Salvatoria Kitchen and Bar
For a taste of authentic Salvadoran cuisine in Astoria, look no further than Salvatoria Kitchen and Bar. Pupusas are the thing to order here, whether you go for chicharron (pork), revuelta (cheese, refried beans and pork) or queso con jalapeno ($3). They’re served with a vinegary coleslaw and spicy tomato salsa, per tradition. The menu offers much more than pupusas, though. Start with a fresh ceviche with seafood, clams and shrimp ($19) or salchipapas, a popular Latin American street food of sliced hot dogs and fries ($8). For your main course, try the grilled shrimp with rice and salad ($19), a seafood combination with creole sauce ($32) or steak topped with two sunny side-up eggs and served with fries ($17). Wash it all down with a Central American beer ($6) or glass of sangria ($8), and save room for an empanada dusted with powdered sugar ($3).
Venue says: “Salvatoria Kitchen and Bar is the only Salvadorian restaurant in Astoria. A must-try is our classic Pupusas that have variety fillings.”