Greenpoint's New Calexico Carne Asada
Few food carts have been ballyhooed as much as Calexico's, which show up on a regular basis in Soho, Williamsburg, and Brookyn Bridge Park. In fact, they won a Vendy Award in 2008. Inevitably, these purveyors of California-style Mexican cuisine have moved into brick and mortar, including a first location in Red Hook, with a second promised in Greenpoint.
Well, the Greenpoint location recently opened at the quintessential corner of Bedford and Manhattan avenues, which my friends in the neighborhood had been eagerly anticipating. I went to find out what all the fuss was about, and discovered a big, airy bar with plenty of tables, high ceilings, and many square yards of exposed brick, a comfortable place that has apparently been thronged from the minute it opened.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the cocktails but was very disappointed with the food. The guacamole, at $10, is on the expensive side. What's more, some bright bulb in the kitchen substituted oregano for cilantro, which is an awful idea. Though chunky and freshly made, my date and I left most of it in the bowl.
The place is not knocking itself out, menu-wise, though maybe the bill of fare will be expanded eventually. For the time being, aside from a few salads and apps, the only things being offered are tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and the Mexican sandwiches called tortas.