In this city, restaurants come and go faster than you can say "sustainable locavore burger." And even though there are great new additions to the culinary landscape popping up every week, you've gotta give kudos to anyone who can stick it out for over a year. With that in mind, we bring you Still Got It, our tribute to establishments that continue to serve mouthwatering meals and drinks long after the buzz has faded—or if the lingering hype is still justified.
Los Hermanos is really a tortilla factory, cranking out fresh, soft patties of corn and flour from its warehouse just off the Jefferson L stop in Bushwick. But in 2006, the owners wisely added a small cantina to the space, where they serve tasty, super-cheap tacos, tacquitas and quesadillas that have been described to me by far more discerning West Coast taco connoisseurs as "the real thing."
Los Hermanos' eating space is small, and it gets packed pretty quickly, especially during a dinner rush. You write your order down at the register, wait an eternity amplified by the factory's aroma of tortillas and meat, then fight for your life for a table, either in the main room or in the warehouse with the tortilla machines (a pretty cool experience, as long as the weather's warm). The tacqueria serves tacos ($2.25), tostadas ($2.50), taquitos ($1.50), tortas ($3.50), picadas ($3.25) and quesadillas ($3.35); you can choose a vegetarian (bean) filling, chorizo, steak, chicken and pork, though the spicy chorizo is the most flavorful, with the steak coming in at a close second.
The tacos are small, but have the added benefit of being double-wrapped in the fresh tortillas getting cranked out next door; the quesadillas, on the other hand, are MASSIVE, and filled with tasty additions like avocados and tons of cheese. Los Hermanos also serves sour cream and spicy salsa with its dishes, but never overpowers the tortilla or meat with sauce, leaving you with a fresh, balanced, compact concoction. Los Hermanos is worth a long L trip, if you don't live in the neighborhood; but hit the ATM before you come, since the eatery is cash-only and banking options in the area are sparse.
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos is located at 271 Starr Street between Wyckoff Street and St. Nicholas Ave in Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-456-3422).