Black Flamingo: The Hippest Haven for Veggie Tacos Ever?
A bright neon flamingo marks the elusive entrance of this hip hangout in South Williamsburg. It seems like I could get everything I wanted out of a night out, all in one place – good healthy food, well-crafted cocktails and a great night of dancing.
As a super picky, mostly vegetarian, mostly dairy-free eater who used to have a hard time scouring the late-night food trucks for healthy after-partying food options, I find it incredibly refreshing to see vegetarian dining soaring to the heights that Chef Soozee Nguyen, along with food creatives Andrea Lubrano and Ben Dawson (Leyanda) have taken Black Flamingo.
A "champagne room"-esque hang out space nestled within the hippest part of Williamsburg where you can chill with friends, listen to music, dance downstairs and eat vegetarian (or vegan if you prefer) tacos .... this is definitely the hippest veggie taco experience I've ever had....
Escalating the trendsetting heels of the kim chee taco trucks, the sophisticated palette of the menu at Black Flamingo takes vegetarian tacos to an entirely new level by putting together flavors that you normally think wouldn’t go well together... but once you take a bite, you realize that you are absolutely wrong for doubting in the first place.
We ordered every single taco on the menu x 2 (because they also come in a vegan version - without dairy as well as gluten free for the more sensitive souls and tummies out there)... Here's the final verdict.
My favorite gluten-free taco on earth - the Jam (I'm salivating just thinking of it). A taco stuffed with crispy potato latke, gruyere, guava jam, fried garlic, chive-dill crema, red onion escabeche, cotija (cotija is a hard cow's milk cheese from Mexico), scallion. The vegan version of this doesn't come with gruyere or cotija. I definitely loved the combination of textures and melting pot of flavors in my mouth.
I also really loved the Savory Shroom not just because I'm mushroom crazy, but this creative combo was really delicious - crispy herb mushroom croquette, brazilian collard, fried leek, truffle cashew crema, fresh pecorino and on the vegan version, almond parmesan instead of the pecorino.
They also do have more elaborate version of the kim chee taco called The Bibimbap - popcorn tofu with pickled watermelon radish, carrot, daikon, arugula, toasted black sesame seed, scallion, topped with a fried quail egg.
But the most mind-blowing combination of unexpected flavors had to be the special taco of the night - a taco stuffed with jackfruit, grilled pineapple, pico de gallo and avocado. I had no earthly idea how on earth what that would taste like but the sweetness from the jackfruit combined with the tart grilled pineapple, spicy pico del gallo and soothing avocado danced delightfully in my mouth.
Tacos aside, the rest of the Latin-influenced fare was superb. The House Made Chips with Guacamole are probably the best that I've tasted outside of Mexico.
The Esquites - fresh charred corn, habanero, aioli, lime, cilantro and cotija were also very delicious.
As for drinks, I found Permanent Vacation to be one of my favorites – a very drinkable, very refreshing take on a pisco cocktail – perfect for a summer day. And being a hard core Mezcal-lover, the Power of Nommos (mezcal, hum liquer, and shiso infused liquer) really made a strong impression on me.
If the food isn’t enough to draw you there, maybe the music and intimate basement dance cavern will. A collaborative idea between David Shapiro and Etan Fraiman of the hipster Jamaican Battery Harris alongside Eli Goldstein (Soul Clap), Philipp Jung (M.A.N.D.Y.), Gadi Mizrahi (Wolf & Lamb), and creative partner, Bryce David, they wanted to create a hang out alternative that was more intimate and sophisticated… and they definitely did. In a red lit underground cavern of a dance floor that could easily fit 500 people, DJs spin the nostalgic sounds of house, disco, and classic dance so you can keep dancing the night away.
Address: 168 Borinquen Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Subway: Metropolitan Ave G; Lorimer St L; Marcy JMZ; Hewes JMZ
Tuesday – Wednesday: 6PM – 2AM
Thursday – Saturday: 6PM – 4AM
Tuesday – Saturday: Kitchen Open 6PM – 11PM
Tuesday – Friday: Happy Hour 6PM-8PM