Slideshow: Tacos: Coney Island, Brooklyn

Chorizo and Chicken Tacos at Doña Zita
Chorizo and Chicken Tacos at Doña Zita
The tacos at Doña Zita are overstuffed, to say the least; so much meat that the two tortillas could barely hold up to the fillings. The crumbled chorizo was strongly-spiced and flavorful, and the sharp green sauce added a fresh and acidic balance to the cinnamon, clove and cumin in the meat. The chicken taco was unique in that it was a shredded, tomato-sauced, moist pile of chicken—which went well with the spicy, toasted flavor of the salsa roja. Both tacos were piled high with iceberg lettuce and sliced, sauteed onions. Not your typical taco toppings, but interesting nonetheless.
Carne Enchilada and Carnitas Tacos at Doña Zita
Carne Enchilada and Carnitas Tacos at Doña Zita
I happen to be a big fan of carne enchilada, which is typically bright red spiced and marinated pork, which is grilled and cut into small pieces. The carne enchilada at Doña Zita's was good, with that beautiful heat that almost makes salsas unnecessary, but I added the green sauce for contrast, and topped it all with some of the pico de gallo that sat on the counter for freshness and crunch.

The bite from the raw onion, jalapeño, and the juicy red tomato, along with the crunchy lettuce and soft sauteed onions, made for a great combination of textures, flavors, and temperatures. The carnitas, however, were nothing special. The shredded pork meat was a bit dry, there were no crisp parts, and the fatty bits were too large and chewy.

A Closer Look at the Carnitas Taco
A Closer Look at the Carnitas Taco
It looks better than it tasted.
But Tacos, Tortas, Tostadas
But Tacos, Tortas, Tostadas
Taco de Cecina at Rainbow
Taco de Cecina at Rainbow
I had a feeling that only good could come out of a place like Rainbow, and I was proven right. The cecina (dried, salted beef) taco was great. The woman behind the counter took her time making the taco, slicing onions to griddle along with the meat, and then lovingly topping it with lettuce (again) and handing me pico de gallo and an avocado salsa verde to add myself.

The cecina was perfect—chewy, salty, and a bit gamey as cecina usually is. The lettuce was crisp, the sliced onions were still crunchy and sharp, the ripe, red tomatoes of the pico de gallo were fresh and the sliced green jalapeños added heat, while the creamy, spicy, avocado-based salsa cooled and heated each bite simultaneously. The only complaint I have with the taco is that the tortillas were griddled with oil and became quite greasy. Otherwise, a good taco from start to finish.