Graham Avenue in Williamsburg may be named Via Vespucci for the Italian flair of its northern reaches, but head south and the atmosphere veers towards another stripe. There's cheap cuchifrito joints, discount shoe stores, and corner preachers calling out in Spanish. Antojitos Mexicanos represents the Mexican side of the Latin American sector, a festive, heavily decorated restaurant with red tablecloths and an old school jukebox in the back. Families from the neighborhood tuck into plates of puerco en adobo ($8.50) with fluffy rice and refried beans. Solo diners look to stabilize their centers with pozole ($6.50).
Antojitos does not actually specialize in their namesake—there are tacos, tacos dorados, chalupas, and huaraches, but no other inventive corn masa made snacks to whet the appetite. But there are tacos placeros ($3.50), oversized tortillas holding rice, jalapenos, and nicely boiled eggs, with nary a grey yolk ring in sight. The chalupas ($5.50) are especially nice, flash-fried in packs of four. They are swiped with fiery red and green salsas, and anointed with a few spare crumbles of cheese, diced onion, and a spot of crema.
Also popular is the pancita ($8), a steaming bowl of rusty red broth with curls of tripe that catches pockets of red in their honeycomb webbing. The broth is rich and porky, sweetened with tomato and spiced with chile de arbol alongside doses of lime and crisp sweet white onion to temper the funk. A roll-up of warm tortillas wait on the side. If you can't stomach the stomach, there's a just-as-spicy chicken soup that also nurses New Years-sized hangovers.
107 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (map)
About the author: Scarlett Lindeman wears many hats as a food-writer, recipe editor of Diner Journal, a food/arts quarterly, and a doctoral student of sociology. E-mail her at email@example.com.