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Vendy Award Winner Opens South Slope Mexican Restaurant

By Leslie Albrecht | January 30, 2013 8:22am

PARK SLOPE — A Mexican food business that got its start selling tacos from a grill in Red Hook has opened a brick and mortar restaurant in the South Slope.

Country Boys, headed by husband and wife team Fernando and Yolanda Martinez, opened up earlier this month at 568 Fourth Ave. near 16th Street.

The Martinez's daughter, Pamela, said her parents chose the South Slope location because it's near familiar territory in Red Hook, where they got their start alongside several other outdoor vendors at the Red Hook Ball Fields.

Country Boys distinguished itself with tasty tacos, quesadillas and huaraches, and won the 2009 Vendy's Cup — the first of the Red Hook Park vendors to do so, according to Effed in Park Slope, which first reported the vendor's move to the neighborhood.

Country Boys made a foray into the restaurant business years ago in Sunset Park, but the location didn't really take off, and it closed, Pamela Martinez said. In recent years the vendor has become a popular presence at the Brooklyn Flea outdoor market and at the Mister Sunday outdoor dance party in Gowanus.

Foodies are drawn to Country Boys because it's "all handmade and it's all fresh," Martinez said.

Customers can sometimes wait in lines for up to half an hour at Country Boys' outdoor stand, so the restaurant, which delivers, should be a welcome change for hungry diners, Martinez said.

Country Boys has expanded the menu at the restaurant beyond the tacos, quesadillas and huaraches that have won them a loyal following. The line-up includes breakfast dishes like chilaquiles ($7), sandwiches like tortas and cemitas ($6 each), and meat-focused dinner platters served with rice and beans. The pernil (roasted pork) won praise from food blog Blondie and Brownie for its "tender and juicy" meat "with some nice crispy, fatty skin bits mixed in."

Country Boys is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and offers free delivery ($10 minimum.)