The people asked — apparently, not so nicely — and Birria-Landia listened. The acclaimed Jackson Heights food truck credited with putting Tijuana-style birria tacos on the map in New York City is looking to expand to the Bronx in 2021, according to co-founder José Moreno.
The proposed food truck would be the third location for the budding birria company, which started in Jackson Heights in the shadows of the 7 train in August 2019 and has built a solid following for its brick-red tacos and hearty beef consomme. No location has been finalized at this time, but Moreno says he’s considering spots in Little Italy and along Grand Concourse in Fordham Heights. The taco truck will be up and running later this year, he says.
For better or worse, Moreno says he “had no choice” but to open a third taco truck. After the company announced its plans to expand to Williamsburg last year, he says the company received comments from frustrated patrons who accused him of “catering to white people” by opening along a heavily gentrified corridor of Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. Moreno says the location allows the truck to attract customers coming off the nearby Brooklyn Queens Expressway, but those comments — paired with many more imploring him to expand to the Bronx — caused the taquero to finally cave.
Moreno opened the first location of Birria-Landia with his brother Jesús in the summer of 2019. A few months after opening along Roosevelt Avenue, the duo received a rare two-star review from New York Times critic Pete Wells that changed everything, Moreno says. The accolades came at a time when most restaurants are still growing into themselves, but nonetheless, lines at the truck grew to the point that he had to bring on additional staff, while other restaurants in the neighborhood began slinging Tijuana-style birria tacos, as well, to get in on the demand.
The food truck followed up with its Williamsburg location in October 2020, and in a pro tip from Moreno, it tends to be less busy in the evenings.