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NYC

Review

La Slowteria

$$$$
Written by

Bruce Wayne and Stanley Ipkiss can hide in plain sight because they’re unrecognizable without their fancy headgear, while Banksy and whoever invented Bitcoin use aliases. La Slowteria doesn’t do anything quite so elaborate. This place avoids being constantly mobbed thanks to its location in a casual space on a quiet block near the BQE. And while it’s certainly not a secret to everyone - it’s been serving excellent Mexican food in Carroll Gardens since 2012 - those who haven’t been yet need to change that as soon as possible. Because once you eat here, you’re going to want to come back all the time.

The main reason you’ll want to become a regular at La Slowteria is the food. Most of the menu is devoted to tacos, which come on fantastic made-to-order tortillas that’d taste good even if they were filled with the contents of a salad bar at a Jersey Turnpike rest stop. Of course, they’re not - the toppings here are things like squid with charred corn, cauliflower with rich mole, and housemade chorizo with brussels sprouts. The tacos are big and filling, but don’t skip the share plates ($9-$16), like the “inverted quesadilla” that tastes like the bottom layer of lasagna cooked in cast iron. There’s also one of the best corn salads we’ve ever had, which tastes even better topped with the very spicy housemade habanero hot sauce. It hurts, but like a deep tissue massage or being in love, it’s a good hurt.

What makes La Slowteria stand out from other spots that serve really good, affordable food is how many different situations it works for. Sit at the small bar for some tacos and margaritas during Happy Hour (until 7:30pm every day), or get a table with a group and order the whole menu. You could come with a date when you don’t want to wait two hours for a table at Frankies 457 down the street, or bring your kids when you don’t want to hear how Lyla needs to be more aggressive with her slide tackles from three different parents at a restaurant in Park Slope.

But this place should never just be a backup option if you happen to be in the area. It should be on your mind whenever you want to eat some of the best Mexican food in Brooklyn. It’s the kind of spot where you’ll plan on spending an hour, then suddenly realize that the black and white movie playing on the wall ended two spicy mezcal margaritas ago. You can catch the ending next time - it won’t be long, now that you know where La Slowteria has been hiding.

Food Rundown

La Rana

The guacamole is made tableside and served with both crunchy chips and fresh tortillas. You’re going to want a refill of both.

Three Sisters

This is not only a must-order once you’re here - it’s worth coming just to try this. The charred corn comes with a big portion of beans, thinly sliced zucchini, and a bunch of crumbled cotija cheese. It has all the refreshing aspects of a salad, but it’s also spicy, rich, and tastier than salad has any right to be.

Soldado

This is basically queso fundido with chorizo, and it comes with fresh tortillas to scoop it all up. You definitely want it on your table.

La Palma

Turns out quesadillas can be even better when they’re inside out. This is like beans and veggies in a wrap made out of salty, charred cheese.

El Valiente

This chile relleno is a ton of food for $9, and it’s a good option if you’re sharing with a group. The shell of the poblano is crispy, and even though there’s a lot of cheese and sauce, you can still taste the pepper and charred onion.

Tacos

The made-to-order blue-and-yellow corn tortillas here are fantastic. The toppings are also very good, especially the big portion of tender squid, the chorizo with grilled potatoes and brussels sprouts, and the juicy NY strip steak that we’d happily order 16 ounces of.

Taquitos

The tacos are great, but they’re also huge. If you want something a bit lighter, then go with the taquitos. They’re just small, flat, yellow corn tortillas topped with things like carnitas or lamb barbacoa. Our favorite is the one with shrimp, bacon, and cheese - it’s only about two bites, but they’re some of the best bites here.

Desserts

You should give the tacos and share plates all the attention they deserve, but if you still have room afterwards, you won’t be disappointed by the tres leches topped with a ton of cream or the coconut flan that comes with intensely flavored chocolate mousse.

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