Beneath the shade of the 7 train, the fruit spread at the front of 5 de Mayo Food Market looks like any other grocery store lining Roosevelt Avenue. But if you happen to visit on a weekend and you happen to wander past the mounds of cherimoyas and prickly pear fruit, beyond the shelves of dried peppers and tamarind-and-chili-flavored candy, you’ll hit two men lording over a tiny table of sizzling meats and toasting tortillas on a comal. More often than not, you’ll also hit a line of fans ready to pounce on the beloved tacos that this pair makes only two days each week.
The stars at 5 de Mayo are the barbacoa tacos, packed to almost-bursting with rich, gamey chivo (goat) or soft, succulent borrego (lamb). Both meats have cooked for hours until perfectly tender and juicy. But you can’t go wrong with any of the other tacos on offer, including fatty carnitas (pork), suadero (beef), and tripa (intestines). On cooler days, you might also be tempted by the stand’s consomé, a hearty, spicy goat meat soup.
All the tacos get loaded with onions and cilantro, and a side of lime. Slide up to the back area’s tiny table or countertop, douse your meals in green salsa, and wash everything down with a cold soda or beer from the bodega’s beverage case.
Remember, the stand is open only on weekends. If the thought of a taco-free week is too much to bear, you can always buy the meat by the pound to hold you over until next Saturday.
Know Before You Go
The tacos are about $3 each. You pay at the front register.