Yo busco uno mercado Mexicano en Nueva York, por favor.
March 19, 2009 9:24 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a Mexican market in New York to stock up a suitcase of tortillas etc. to help me survive the coming months in Mexican-free Berlin.

Hi New York. I'm visiting my former home -- where I could occasionally find a good taco truck -- from my new one, Berlin -- which has only the saddest simulacrum of a burrito shop (with an enlarged map of the Mission district on the wall, just to make me bitter). Can you recommend any good Mexican markets in New York where I can pick up some essentials to take back with me? I'm thinking of trawling around 5th Ave. in Sunset Park but I was hoping for something specific.

I'll be staying in Park Slope/Prospect Heights, if it helps...
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not what you're looking for, but tortillas are dead easy to make from scratch. It's just wheat flour or corn masa and water. Fill up your suitcase with corn masa and a tortilla press and you'll be set!
posted by zerokey at 9:43 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Good tortillas will mold right quick.
posted by mmdei at 9:51 PM on March 19, 2009

You could probably score some stuff here: Latinoamerika. It's in Bundesallee! Pretty much every page is "under construction" but you might could give them a call.

posted by turgid dahlia at 10:38 PM on March 19, 2009

This place is in Manhattan, but fantastic: Tehuitzingo Deli Grocery
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:38 PM on March 19, 2009

I'd definitely just make them. They'll be so much better anyway. You don't really need a tortilla press: a big cast iron pan works just fine. Flip them like crepes.
posted by rokusan at 10:49 PM on March 19, 2009

The Berlin-based internet seems to really like this delivery place. Assuming that website is current it's 3 euros for 16 handmade corn tortillas.
posted by sevenless at 11:18 PM on March 19, 2009

For what it's worth, when I was in a very small town in Germany, one of the local grocery stores carried Mission tortillas, which are horrible, but you take what you can get. (I don't remember what the store was called, but it was a chain). I actually had a party with all my German friends during which I made them burritos. It obviously wasn't restaurant quality, but it was at least an interesting novelty for them.

Tortillas are also incredibly easy to make yourself, for what it's worth.
posted by !Jim at 12:01 AM on March 20, 2009

Making your own tortillas also means making-your-own-tortilla parties.
posted by mdonley at 1:31 AM on March 20, 2009

Best answer: Here on the lower east side you can go to the Essex Market (F train to Delancey). There are a few different stands in there where you can pick up tortillas of various sizes. If you need even more, there is a market on Clinton street between Delancey and Rivington that stocks them, also one on Ludlow between between Delancey and Rivington.
I'm guessing that out by you in Park Slope you should be able to find them easily enough if you just go into the nearest Hispanic neighborhood bodegas or markets.
While I'm a big fan of making tortillas, sometimes you just want quick and easy.
I've never tried it, but a quick google just informed me that you can freeze corn tortillas to no bad effect, so go crazy.
posted by newpotato at 4:42 AM on March 20, 2009

"Latinoamerika" is right around the corner from me, (which means it's in the absolute dullest corner of the city) I'll check it out and let you know -

We (pining also, terribly, for 'real' Mexican food) get our flour tortillas in a package at BioCompany or LPG. They aren't great but don't suck either.

For what it's worth, I was able to get some good avocados last week and some coriander (read:cilantro) and made a totally acceptable guacamole.

I've had no luck making my own tortillas but mostly because I'd rather not use lard and it's easier if you do.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:44 AM on March 20, 2009

Also, if you do go the route of making your own tortillas, if we're talking about corn tortillas, keep in mind that you're going to need to use masa (ground corn flour). If you can't find tortillas in germany, I'm thinking finding a source for masa would be as difficult if not more so.
This is the dilemma I have when I'm in Melbourne. I brought over a tortilla maker, then had to search high and low to find masa (finally found a mail order company that can usually supply it). Don't forget to bring over some of the little cans of chipotle sauce, too, or chipotle in adobo. They kick ass when added to anything from mayonnaise to black beans.
posted by newpotato at 4:59 AM on March 20, 2009

making tortillas yourself at home is not too terrible difficult. on a weekend afternoon, you can make enough for a couple of weeks, if you freeze them. learning to make them yourself is your best solution. here is one recipe, but you can find tons of others on-line. all of the ingredients can be found in any market on earth.
posted by Flood at 5:26 AM on March 20, 2009

Best answer: Any of the small groceries on Fifth Avenue in Sunset Park will provide what you need; as far as I know there is no big Mexican grocery store around, and nothing in Park Slope or Prospect Heights (though Steve's C Town on 9th Street near 5th Ave. has a decent but tiny selection of Mexican ingredients that might provide the basics--masa flour, chipotles en adobo, small cans of Herdez salsa, Ibarra or Abuelita chocolate, and mole and pipian pastes in a glass jar, I think, as well as some dried chiles). One big advantage of trekking down to Sunset Park is that you can combine a shopping trip with an eating trip thus doubly satisfying your Mexican craving. Tacos Matamoros is great--they make a sublime chorizo torta.

I second the idea of buying one or two bags of masa flour and making your own tortillas by adding water and pressing the dough in a tortilla press (instructions on the package): they taste much better than ready-made and the flour will last forever. (For recipes, I'd also highly recommend one of Diana Kennedy's excellent books, which have just been re-issued after being out of print for a while.)
posted by agent99 at 6:09 AM on March 20, 2009

As others have said, making the tortillas is easy. What you will probably have trouble finding is good salsa and hot sauce. That is what I would load my luggage with.
posted by caddis at 7:04 AM on March 20, 2009

Their (LatinoAmerika's) tortillas are frozen but pretty good. No regrets here, but they are right around the corner. (Walter schreiber platz U station)
posted by From Bklyn at 7:05 AM on March 20, 2009

Western Beef is a supermarket chain which carries quite a few Mexican brands and foods. They also sell large quantities.
posted by zarq at 7:28 AM on March 20, 2009

Response by poster: Oh great! Thanks for all of these recommendations, here and abroad. From Bklyn, thanks for making the trek and kudos on das Guacamole.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 12:31 PM on March 20, 2009

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