The night began on a wary note: A bouncer relentlessly tried to kick an inebriated man out of a Mexican restaurant.
The group of eight cautiously eyed the man, patiently waiting for their al pastor tacos as two women worked the grill outside of Maravillas Restaurant. Inside, a man belted out songs in Spanish karaoke.
Most had never been to this part of Queens, where Jackson Heights blends into Elmhurst and the soundtrack is the consistent rumble of the elevated 7 train.
“For a minute I wondered if he was going to be our tour guide,” said Annie Maynard, somewhat jokingly, of the drunken man.
Ah, Roosevelt Avenue, a whole new world late at night when the streets awaken with immigrant workers, many returning home from shifts in the service industry.
Here’s a little secret: It’s at night when some of the best Mexican and Central American food is dished out, grilled and fried and sliced and diced in nocturnal food trucks and carts. The trucks are virtually full-service kitchens on wheels, with televisions blaring soccer games from back home.
Think you can’t get good Mexican food in New York? Think again.
“This is Mexican food made by Mexicans for Mexicans,” said Jeff Orlick, our real tour guide. “It’s the real thing.”
And so here we were: two Aussie tourists, six New Yorkers, a reporter, a Spanish translator and her 5-month-old baby and Mr. Orlick, a 29-year-old Woodside resident who has made it his mission to shed light on New York’s little-known culinary scene…. read more >>