A month after opening, Calexico Carne Asada has finally installed its centerpiece, a blown-up photo that partner Jesse Vendley took near the border of Mexicali and Calexico, where he and his co-owner brothers grew up. When we visited the store to photograph it along with the light boxes that are now being used as shrine-like dioramas (customers are welcome to add their own trinkets), Vendley told us that in addition to the menu he’s currently serving (which you can see in our slideshow), he’ll soon serve fish tacos, gazpacho, and the Mexican-style grilled corn that used to be available at the carts. He also recently added Anson Mills grits with pork or shrimp, and he’s jiggering with the “tofu asada,” since (go figure) an early review called it bland. Below, some more early assessments. Hours are currently Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. till 10 p.m., but they’ll soon expand (as will the hours of the carts!), and the delivery program is also expected to grow.
“Food was excellent — we ordered the pulled pork burrito, chicken taco, special beef brisket in poblano-cream sauce taco, and pulled pork grits (which were goopy and excellent).” —Chowhounder
“I had a couple tacos to go, just to try the place out. Carne asada (beef) and pulled pork. The tacos were made on double-wrapped soft corn tortillas and were light and fresh-tasting. Really liked the carne asada. I’d probably need at least four to make a meal, and that would get a bit pricey at $3 or $4 a pop.” —Chowhounder
“As California-style Mexican, Calexico is pretty great. You’re not going to get the dizzying flavor punch that you do at an authentic, down-home Mexican taqueria, but it’s clear that a lot of care goes into the layers of fresh, zesty ingredients deployed here.” —Fork in the Road
“On the West Coast, they would be merely great tacos, but New York City being bizarrely inadequate in the burrito and taco (nay entire Mexican food) category, Calexico achieves mind-blowing status.” —A Brooklyn Life
122 Union St., nr. Columbia St.; 718-488-8226