The Quesadilla That Ate Pete
I must have passed this Mexican grocery in Sunset Park hundreds of times. It's on Fifth Avenue, just north of the park, so I pass it whether I'm headed further down Fifth for Mexican food or crossing through the park over to Eighth for Asian food. I've always been interested in their quesadillas, Puebla-style, with either flor de calabaza (zucchini flower), champinones (mushrooms), or huitlacoche (corn fungus). I once walked into the place, but there didn't appear to be any place to sit down, so I moved on and ate elsewhere. This weekend I decided I'd pick one up and eat it in the park as a snack, then head over to Eighth Avenue for some Vietnamese or Malaysian food. So I went inside and asked the guy at the deli counter in the back if this was where I order quesadillas. He pointed to a doorway in back of him. Lo and behold, there was a secret little restaurant in back, with a few tables, counter space, and a mini kitchen. I love discovering hidden places like that. I asked the cook whether he had flor de calabaza quesadillas. "No," he said, "huitlacoche." So I ordered one huitlacoche, my intended pre-lunch snack.
When it arrived at my little table I was overwhelmed by its magnitude. I wasn't expecting such a monster, never having tried Puebla-style quesadillas before. It was made with giant corn tortillas and cut into three pieces. Inside was huitlacoche, corn kernels, green chiles, and the fresh white cheese that's similar to mozzarella. Guacamole was served on the side.
I could barely finish two-thirds of it. Needless to say, I scrapped my plans for lunch part two.
I don't know if the place has a name beyond Deli Grocery. It's at 4011 Fifth Avenue, between 40th & 41st Streets.