Sun-Thu, noon-midnight; Fri-Sat, noon-1am
E, F, M, R at Forest Hills-71st Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Amid the chain stores that have commandeered the Austin Street shopping strip, 5 Burro Cafe is a welcoming mom-and-pop operation with a palapa roof and corrugated metal walls. A boisterous bar beckons locals with lethal “two-finger” frozen margaritas, a crowd-pleasing rock juke, and screens showing the Mets and Yankees. The restaurant takes its tacos as seriously as its teams, and meeting the food minimum at tables is far more pleasure than obligation. The Mexican cooks show careful flair with south-of-the-border chow that neighborhood gringos savor with tropical drinks or one of more than a dozen cabana-style cervezas. Queso fundido—chorizo sausage smothered in Monterey Jack cheese—is wonderfully sloppy and satisfying, and fajitas showcase tender chicken that could fly solo. The kitchen fields steady orders for everyday-sounding nachos con carne, cheesy tortilla chips with meat. But here, the carne is no lame, tame ground beef. Instead, it’s skirt steak marinated for flavor, grilled to order, sliced rib-size, and heaped atop the chips. If God is in the details, here’s Dios in a dish.Extra
The restaurant is often thronged during peak dinner hours, but you can call ahead to put your name on the wait list.
Bar stays open until 4 a.m. daily
Queso fundido, $8; aguacate relleno, $12; nachos con carne, $12; burro jalapeño burger, $12