Friday, April 1, 2011

Mexican Mile: A Closer Look At The Taco Trucks Of Bedford Avenue

Photo credit: atomische/Will Bredderman/NYC The Blog
Is Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn—between Metropolitan Avenue and North 7th Street in the heart of the North part of the neighborhood—becoming a Mexican Mile? Aol's City's Best recently wrote of "the street-taco scene" there when there were only two trucks. Now, a third has joined them on this five-block stretch —an unusual density in any neighborhood. In the following report produced by Yeah New York for NYC The Blog, Will Bredderman takes a closer look at the trucks on "Mexican Mile."

At the corner of Bedford and North 7th is Tacos Morelos, an outpost of the Tacos Morelos restaurant in Jackson Heights. Endless Summerowned by Jared Eggers—has staked out the block between Metropolitan and North 3rd.

The most recent addition is a pastel green and purple and stainless steel vehicle parked on N. 4th.

It doesn’t take much to see this new vendor is different from its rivals; it sits slightly further away from Bedford, on a quieter street occupied by mostly older houses with chipping paint or asphalt shingles. The truck lacks the faux-grittiness of Endless Summer and the loud signs of Tacos Morelos. The menu is written in marker next to the window, and the whole aesthetic is clean but unpretentious.

Inside is Gerardo, the owner, a pleasant, heavyset man from Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico. A chef, Gerardo started his truck nearly a year ago, having previously owned a grocery store near his home in Woodside, Queens. On why he chose to come to Williamsburg, he says, “I came out to see the place, the people seemed nice, so we opened here.”

With tacos going for $2.25 and its quesadillas as low as two bucks a pop, the truck is slightly cheaper than its competition, though Gerardo warns that his prices will rise next month. And unlike the other two food wagons, the truck’s weekday hours are from 11:30am to 8:30pm, and it closes at 10:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays—meaning it doesn’t cater to Bedford’s all-night drunken hipster pageant on the weekends. However, Gerardo hopes to change that.

“I need more help. Maybe we can do it this year. This is my first year, so maybe this year we’ll work more hours.”

He has big plans for his business. It’s why he says he dropped its original name, ‘La Troca del Sabor.’ “We changed it because we’re going to build a corporation,” which will include more locations. “It all depends on if I get the permissions, because getting the permissions isn’t easy.”

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