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Nobody seems too keen on this place. I guess Vera Cruz is the cooler Bedford Ave. Mexican choice. But I find the food to be more authentic (or maybe just in the style I prefer) than most places around town. It's not fast food (in fact, it's just about the slowest food in the world), but it's certainly not fancy either. Prices are great, food is better than average, it's open 24 hours…so what's the stumbling block? The service!

It's crazy. I've been when it's busy, the food came at a snail's pace, then I ran into a friend who was leaving without eating because they just couldn't take it anymore. The waitress always appears to be on her first day at the job. At first, I thought it might be a language barrier issue, but now I think she's just brain damaged (not that she isn't nice). Appetizers come after the main course, beers are forgotten, and all the while she looks confused and harried (even when there's only four customers in the entire place). The icing on the cake was when we gave her two twenties for a $25 meal and didn't realize til later she'd only given $4 in change. I know it's not the world's biggest crime, but it irked me, nonetheless.

The menu is better than decent and they offer many fresh squeezed juices and a kick-ass cafe con leche. I like what I've eaten like the al pastor and carnitas burritos and the little jalepeno potato croquette things, so I wish they would work out the kinks.

I don't know what's here now. The whole Bedford strip is in flux and I certainly wouldn't consider myself a regular in the neighborhood. (6/6/05)

Azteca * ? Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY

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