UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
Preface:
Umamiventure #11: Banh Mi Crawl, Pt. 1 (Ba Xuyen)
Umamiventure #11: Banh Mi Crawl, Pt. 2 (Thanh Da)

Umamiventure #11: Banh Mi Crawl, Pt. 3 (Tan Thanh)



When I wrote Porkchop Express asking him for his personal recommendation for banh mis in Sunset Park, he suggested to make a detour to Rico's Tacos for a torta. Still a sandwich, so can't argue with that. So with only a handful of people left on the crawl, we literally crawled to Rico's for this special last stop.

We ordered 3 different tortas togo and had a late afternoon picnic at the nearby park (called Sunset Park- duh) with some beers and coconut soda. We waited an excruciating 40 minutes for our tortas while ordering various drinks and hanging out in front of this RAD sign:


Radhika: the big beehive glass barrel of tamarind juice at Rico's looked totally amazing when you walk into the restaurant from the sweltering hot street. Tamarind is big in Indian street food and I had no idea its tangy amazingness was enjoyed pan-tropically. Wikipedia said tamarind originates in Africa, wow!


Paystyle: If you like tamarind drinks, then this is one you'd appreciate. The melon agua fresca was also good, made from milk & sugar, though I think they could've used a bit less sugar. I appreciated the freshness of the ingredients they were using. And while I didn't get to try the horchata, I know it has to be good because they were making it from scratch (with real rice) rather than from a powder.


Paystyle: They should change their name to Rico's Tortas, because they clearly outshined the below average tacos. We had the carne asada tacos and they just sucked badly.


Paystyle: The tortas, on the other hand, were a different story. Both the chicken and beef milaneza (breaded) tortas were great. In fact, some of the best I've ever had. They had generous helpings of avocado and delicious melted white cheese and nice and saucy overall, not dry. I'd give the nod to the breaded chicken torta over the beef simply because the beef was tough and tendony in certain bites, but the chicken was juicy enough and tender in every bite.

Milaneza de pollo (chicken) crotch shot:


Milaneza de res (beef):


Amy Ann: I thought that the grilled chicken was the best of the three. But I can tell you true: they put too much mayonnaise on all three of these bad boys.


Kayoko: They put these pickled carrots (above) in all of the sandwiches that blew me away. I initially thought- WTF is this doing in my torta?, but what a great surprise! It was the one component carried over from our banh mi crawl. Ha.

I whole-heartedly agree with Paystyle and J.Slab- the chicken milaneza was one astounding sandwich. Soft bread, gooey refried beans, layers of melted cheese, freshly deep fried chicken slathered with avocado and mayonnaise. It was unreal.

Serious foodgasm happenings in Sunset Park. Thanks again to J. Slab for this awesome recommendation! Read his write-up on Rico's here.

Paystyle: View from Sunset Park: amazing.

Ricos Tacos y Antojitos Mexicanos
505 51st Street at 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
T: 718.633.4816

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Column: Umamiventure
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6 comments

  • There’s no such thing as too much mayonnaise in my book. Also, that taco looks good! TMonkey and I went there for our taco crawl last year, and I remember quite enjoying them. Anyway I’m so proud of you guys for making it all the way to the end of the epic Banh Mi crawl! You rock, Kayo.

    ayagwa on

  • you HAVE to try the torta al pastor at rico’s, nothing beats pork in a torta. and all that crema can be a bit overwhelming but too little would be a far worse scenario. just discovered your blog and, seeing as you heaped praise on what is so far my favorite destination in sunset park, i’m planning to become a regular reader!

    Tory on

  • wow – what a trip. thanks for letting me experience the ’venture through all the pics and posts, kakabori! so is it fair to say stop # 1 (ba xuyen) would be the place to go for a banh mi virgin like myself?

    LOVE that you ended the trip with tacos and tortas!!! :)

    Hamamama on

  • i could kill for one of those tortas right now.

    undomiciled on

  • I just have to say that by the end of the Movable Feast, we were passing around sandwiches in the park like a bunch of winos with a bottle of Thunderbird, Ripple, and Night Train trying to figure out which was the best. Good times!

    amy ann on

  • good to know- will def get that next time! Thanks for reading Tory!!!

    kayoko on

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