Mexico 2000 – Mexican Grocery Mart, Music & Video Store, and Restaurant Williamsburg Brooklyn NY
367-A Broadway (@ Keap between the Marcy and Hewes JMZ stations)
718 782 3797
Restaurant open till about 10pm everyday.
In the late 90s I lived on a sketchy block on W27th between 6th Ave and Broadway. The closest grocery stores were way out on 8th avenue or Park Ave South. Occasionally, I’d take my bike and ride out to 10th avenue in the W30s to shop at a few tiny Mexican grocery markets which have the best selection of tortillas, beans and chipotle salsas. Besides a few 24 hr bodegas, there wasn’t much else in terms of food but inside those Mexican grocery markets was something that might surprise you – a makeshift restaurant. I say makeshift because at a moment’s notice the chairs and tables could be folded. I’m assuming that these restaurants weren’t exactly legal at the time, but nevertheless the food was awesome. These deli + restaurant combos are quite popular throughout NY. There’s a few on Amsterdam between W100 and W110. Some of these deli grocery marts are clean and nice, and some are a bit on the shady side such as this one down in Bed Stuy near my friend Olivier’s loft on Myrtle and Bedford. From the uniforms of the waitresses, you’d think that there’s more on the menu than just food. Either way, it’s definitely a fun experience to check out.
I recently found one down in Williamsburg under the JMZ tracks on Broadway between the Marcy and Hewes stops. The front of the shop has all of the popular canned products, salsas, vegetables, as well as music videos and CDs from the hottest stars on the Latin music scene. In the back, are 2 tables, the requisite jukebox and a TV playing your favorite Telemundo daytime soaps. I ordered a carnitas burrito and a bottle of Negra Modelo beer ($9.50 total). The plates are enormous and come with a side of rice, salsa and salad. The burrito itself was interesting. While the carnitas was very good (it’s hard to find good carnitas in NY for some reason), they decided to add carrots, string beans and peas as vegetables within the burrito. It kind of reminded me of the pizza restaurants in Beijing that use corn as a topping on a pizza – weird but kind of works. Nevertheless, Mexico 2000 is definitely worth checking out. It can’t get any more fresh and authentic than this at such a deal. In fact, you may want to brush up on your Spanish skills a bit as the owner doesn’t speak any English. Enjoy!