In a rare review of a food truck, Times critic Pete Wells today lavishes two stars on Birria-Landia — the Jackson Heights-based truck that specializes in Tijuana-style birria tacos.
Birria is a type of rich meat stew that’s become incredibly popular on the West Coast but has little presence here in New York. Brothers José and Jesús Moreno have made a splash locally since they started serving their version earlier this year.
Just like Eater critic Robert Sietsema, Wells digs everything on the brothers’ tight menu. The Times critic’s favorite is the mulita, where tortillas sandwich the birria and melted cheese. The brisket “is rich and seems to grow softer as you eat it, like a square of chocolate.” On the consomé, which customers can purchase for $4 and use as a dip for tacos:
There is no error in dunking your tacos de birria or in keeping them dry, either. What would be a shame would be to miss out entirely on Birria-Landia’s consomé, which is so flavorful and meat-laden it almost overshadows everything else. Whether through long simmering or quick reduction, the broth is about as thick as melted butter. True, they don’t give it away. Some traditions simply don’t travel to New York. But at $4 for a small cup and $6 for a large one, the consomé is a worthwhile expense, particularly because it always seems to include a ladleful or two of meat.
The truck is currently the only place in New York that is dedicated to birria — but Wells notes that it may eventually expand. Another Moreno brother named Javiar may come on to run a second truck. Two stars.