I confess. I had no clue where Sunset Park was and had no desire to find out. That is, until I got the email from Paula about the dinner she was organizing at Tacos Matamoros featuring barbecued goat. Having been to a few of her dinners, I knew one thing for sure: the food would be great and plentiful. Thus, I found myself RSVP'ing in a heartbeat and looking forward to devouring the meat and checking out the neighborhood.
Alighting from the subway and walking towards Tacos Matamoros, my initial impression of Sunset Park was that it was like being in Mexico. Mexican establishments dominated, true there were some Ecuadorian restaurants as well, but generally it was Little Mexico everywhere. To give you an idea, literally across the street from Tacos Matamoros were Tacos Xochimilco and El Mexicano, to name two other restaurants. A bit confusing at first to a newbie, but a minor stumbling block in the quest for good food.
The way Paula set up the dinner with the restaurant was that there would be multiple courses of appetizers followed by the main course. The first to come out were the chorizo nachos (pictured above) that were simply amazing that I ate too much despite my conscience and heart yelling at the same time, "Stop!". Vegetarians, get ready to cringe. After three slices of this (and surely a few days worth of grease and salt intake), my stomach must've been two-thirds full already, so the somewhat "relaxed" pace of service somewhat gave me time to regroup while chatting with the other people. The tostadas de ceviche soon followed, basically assorted seafood ceviche with a sharp, semi-sweet sauce served on a tostada. Another appetizer I enjoyed, being a big fan of ceviche who doesn't indulge in it nearly enough. Unfortunately this time there was only one tostada per person. Bummer!
There were actually two main courses for the night: on the left, the barbacoa cabrito (goat) being readied on the taco and shortly stuffed into my mouth, and on the right, the pollo a la mexicana (chicken) which as expected, was hot, hot, hot! The heat subsided after the welcome appearance of the waitress clutching a jar of water, and after that I filled my stomach to capacity with the cabrito, and was one of the last people left standing as the others slowly (wisely?) wound down and waited for the flan with cinnamon to arrive. Truly a delicious meal at reasonable prices. Dessert-wise, although the only option was flan, I was so taken with it that I got a doggy bag for a second portion (and somehow resisted doing the same for the cabrito), only to have the syrup spill all over my jeans on the subway ride back home as I drifted in and out of consciousness after a wonderful pig out session. Nevertheless, now I know where Sunset Park is, and I will be back.