Southern Brooklyn

Top Soft Taco: Chicken Burrito – The Bite


Friends, it’s getting harder and harder to do The Bite each week. In my search for great food, I think I’ve hit everywhere in Sheepshead Bay that I can afford and some that I can’t. The Bite’s goal has always been to highlight an outstanding dish at our local eateries and not to retrace our steps. I don’t want to do the same joint twice. It may come to that. Help me avoid that. Send me some recommendations for your favorite Bites of Sheepshead Bay. – Robert

This week, the Bite takes on the Chicken Burrito ($5.75) from Top Soft Taco. Or is it Top China? Who knows. The restaurant sure doesn’t. Located at 1654 Sheepshead Bay Road, Top Soft Taco is another of those Chinese/Mexican restaurants that try to do everything, but seem to do nothing particularly well.

This burrito is stuffed with grilled chicken, black beans, a couple of chunks of tomatoes, shredded lettuce and a huge amount of white rice. Guacamole is usually included, but I prefer it left out. A container of a very strange “hot” sauce, that’s not very spicy, and a dollop of sour cream complete the meal. The hot sauce is a strange concoction of what may be a cheap version of Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce and oil with a few pepper seeds thrown in for appearance.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I get a burrito, it’s contents are usually fully contained in the tortilla. Not at Top Soft Taco. Here they throw so much food into the tortilla, the edges don’t meet. The outer wrapping of tin foil is all that holds this waste of money together.

Rubber tasteless chicken, wilted shredded iceberg lettuce, flavorless rice and some cheap texture-less black beans. Ugh. Not even a visit to my spice rack could redeem this.

I should have known better. I’ve never had Mexican food I liked from one of these Chinese/Mexican joints.

Top Soft Taco, 1654 Sheepshead Bay Road, (718) 934-7751.

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

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  1. You should try cactus next to silver star on nostrand Ave its great the Mexican and Chinese is equally good if I can recommend a dish get the steak enchilada lunch special

  2. lalezar probably has the WORST turkish/inspired food i know – take this from a Turk.  WAIT.  didnt they sell their place to “kavkazkiy dvorik”?   You are talking about a place on ave U, near E 28th?   Robert, that;’s the place you should visit, if you did not do so already.

    Equally, try Nargiz on coney island and Z, better yet, start with AZIZA 7 on east 21s and Z – some outstanding shish kebab, real pilaf (plov), etc.  Owners and cooks/operators are 1st generation true Uzbek family – not those russian-owned establishments pumping out uzbek food (not that their food isnt great – much of it is), but just for the record.

  3. I recently noticed that Robert’s Meat Market on Jerome Ave put up a lunch special. I think it was something like $8 for soup and shish kebab. I usually get all of my raw marinated meat for the grill from Robert and its always really good. Would be interesting to see what its like when he cooks it too. I haven’t checked out the lunch special yet, but you might want to try it. Robert is always a really nice and friendly guy as well. 

  4. Stay tuned for that one. Ate there the other day. It’s $8.95 for soup, salad, 2 kebabs, rice, fries or mashed potatoes. I couldn’t finish it all. 

  5. speedy you, can’t keep up with you.

    OK, have you tried Vanka vstanka on nostrand bet Y and Z?
    How about chinese on voorhies and East 24th ( or in-between)  MUST try their white meat chicken dumplings.  Supposedly the owner makes them from scratch, vs/ frozen at many other chinese food establishments.  Dough is paper thin and very good ( for my taste anyway).  Try them pan fried.

  6. Cactus is the only place I order Chinese food from.  Their food is excellent and they deliver within 15 minutes.  Incredible!

  7. Memo’s is what Sahara used to be 15 years ago as far as quality vs price is concerned. I’m hoping that the owners don’t get greedy and ruin the place.

  8. You’re not afraid to buy pre-marinated meat?  I would be, as it may have been laying around for a while.  I am kind of a germaphobe though.

  9. Memo Shish Kebab, 1821 Kings Highway is a great place for Mediterranean cuisine.  I ate there on Sunday and the food is excellent.  Give them a try.

  10. try the other chinese/mexican restaurant a bit further up Sheepshead Bay road by the subway station. it tastes good

  11. What about ordering from Bassetts on Ave X and East 15th St?  A new pizza place opened on CIA between Ave W & Ave X.  BTW, since i’m typing at ya, i would suggest you re-consider the ‘Gourmet Deli’? on Nostrand Ave by Ave W.  You said you brought home a so called ‘cutlet’ and microwaved it and found it very lacking.  I really enjoy the take-out from their self serve area. It’s very reasonably priced (30% discount after 10:30pm) tasty soups, cutlets (more like croquettes) are tasty and not filled with breading.  Heat them up, as they deserve, in the oven. I believe that most foods should not be nuked.  Add some spices and enjoy.  The chicken with dill and the chicken with mushroom ‘croquettes’ are very tasty and their beef dishes are good, too.  Go and reconsider.

  12. You’re much too hard on the place.  Their portions are very large, and their food is no worse than the quality of other similar places. Which granted isn’t that good either, so comparatively speaking, this place keeps up.

    Plus, there’s decent room to sit in there. To be sure, I wouldn’t make it my daily meal, but I’ve eaten both the Mexican and Chinese food in there, and it’s quite satisfactory to me.

  13.  weird.  that kavkaz place kept Lalezar’s number i’m sure, and trying to lure previous lalezar customers.

  14. Try Taci Beyti on Coney Island Ave. is a fav of ours decor is awful, as it the lighting but the food is always spot on.
     Last night we ate at Aladdin on Sheepshead Bay Road , we were just walking by and decided to stop in. We were seated at the smallest table imaginable which was really hard to eat at. We did request a larger table and was told they had reservations. Sure enough the place filled except for a 5 top table that remained empty during our entire three hour stay. Our salads, bread, apps came out an plates were atop plates- no room to eat- took over 15 minutes to finally get something to drink AFTER the food came- ordered as we sat-one server for entire place which should have been ok but she just couldn’t keep up. Over an hour for kebobs to arrive and the potatoes with mushrooms were 1/2 done some still crunchy in the middle! The lamb rib kebobs were really good, beef overly dry- and chicken and lamb were both very good as well. Warning this place has no ice and serves pretty warm water- so if you BYOB here bring your own ice! Will we return- yes when the patio is open- but sitting inside and having a table sat right behind you leaves NO moving room- and NO table room for food. We actually had to combine salads just to be able to eat.Service is slow even for the typical Euro service.


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