Greenpoint's New Calexico Carne Asada

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Yikes! The bland guacamole tastes mainly of oregano, and it's expensive, too.


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.


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The build-out of the restaurant is spacious and comfortable, and the drinks are tasty, including a fine margarita, but the food disappoints.


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.



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5 comments
Ted
Ted

I can't believe this review. This person clearly came to Calexico with an agenda, looking to pick a fight. And what discredits EVERY aspect of this review is the mention of the black beans: he complains that there is too much bacon in them? The black beans are strictly vegetarian -- I know this for a fact. He's confusing spices and seasoning as pork flavor, he has to be ... or he's just crazy.

Greenpoint Gal
Greenpoint Gal

There was no oregano in my guac, and my fish tacos were superb. The neighborhood has been yearning for a good Mexican restaurant. It finally gets one, then you go and dis it in week one. Huh?

Sonbyrne
Sonbyrne

Wow, I had a completely different experience. There were a few things that weren't perfect but all in all a good dining experience. I was waiting to share my two cents until after they had their feet under them (I think they've been open for two weeks). Seems a bit premature to slam a restaurant before their telephone number is listed(I'm fiending for some delivery) but to each their own.

ijustsaid
ijustsaid

I found the place to be quite good, we went on NYE fortunately just before it got super crowded. The one thing we didn't really like were the fries - they were more like potato sticks - but the addition of spicy sprinkling somewhat redeemed them.

Kate
Kate

I thought the food was really great overall. The guacamole does need a little spicing up, even with just some more lemon/salt or something, and it is too pricey. But I would never compare this place to Taco Bell. The pulled pork quesadilla was amazing and the fish taco was delicious. My friends really enjoyed the carne asada taco and veggies burrito as well. The free plantain chips with peanut sauce were also really tasty.

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