One of Fork’s most favorite food trucks in New York is the bright yellow Calexico truck that can be found most days on the corner of Prince and Wooster Streets in Manhattan. How happy was Fork when Calexico opened a brick and mortar shop on the Columbia Street Waterfront. Yes, it’s taken Fork a while to get there, but the cutlery finally got there! Calexico Carne Asada is located on Union Street between the BQE and Columbia Street, which is on the border of the Carroll Gardens and Red Hook neighborhoods.
Bright and sunny, great staff, great decorating, Calexico is a wonderful place for a quick lunch, take-out or delivery when you’re too tired to cook! Sadly, Fork lives a smidge outside the delivery zone!
The food is incredible. The tacos are all on 6″ tortillas. The burritos are massive. The rolled quesadillas look wonderful, as do the tortas.
For this trip – and trust me, there will be MANY more – Fork and Knork decided to stick with the taco menu. You stand in front of the boards with so many choices and get overwhelmed with anticipation. Starting in a central category, makes everything seemingly so much simpler. Yes, we plan on eating our way through everything on this menu at some point, but you have to start somewhere!
While we were waiting for our order, Fork spied a salsa bar over in the corner. Fork quickly ordered a side of chips so all of the fresh salsas could be tried. The salsas were wonderful. Fresh, all green, varying degrees of heat and sweet. The chips, not so much. Sadly, they were really stale. But do not let this little, teeny, tiny fact, stop you from going here. The food is AMAZING!
All tacos are served on two 6″ soft corn tortillas with cabbage and pico de gallo.
Both Fork and Knork ordered the Carne Asada taco. Marinated skirt steak and an incredible avocado sauce are added on top of the cabbage in the warm soft tortillas. There was the house condiment pico de gallo, wonderfully fresh with a little kick too it. Fork added cotija cheese for just an extra layer of flavor. The skirt steak was amazing. Well cooked, nice bark on the outside, beautifully tender on the inside, and whatever they marinate it in is great! The pico de gallo gives it a pop of freshness. The avocado sauce was really interesting. Easier to deal with than chunks of avocado and just as fresh and delicious. The cotijo cheese just made it a perfect package with a little tang and saltiness. A squeeze of lime and you were good to go!
Knork ordered a Pulled Pork Taco. Slow roasted chipolte pork with sour cream and pickled red onions. The pulled pork was tender and flavorful. The chipolte added a nice smokiness to the pork. Again, warm 6″ tortillas, cabbage, topped with the tender pulled pork, runny sour cream and then topped with pickled onions. Every single bite gave you the greatest flavors.
And lastly, as a special of the day, were Carnita Tacos. Fork loves carnitas any which way you serve them. Carnitas are bits of pork that are braised and some bits fried. You have tender and succulent right next to crispy and flavorful. Totally amazing. Again, a generous portion of meat nestled inside 6″ tortillas, shredded cabbage. But, on top of this taco was an amazing cantaloupe salsa. THe sweetness of the cantaloupe was so refreshing and perfect against the carnitas. Lots of lime and cilantro and you were in taco heaven!
You can add lots of extras to top the tacos, burritos, tortas, etc., including ‘crack’ sauce. Which, true to its name is like crack – you just keep wanting more of it and trying to figure out what else you can put it on!
Fork keeps a menu for Calexico in the car – just in case we know we’ll be passing Calexico and want to make a quick stop for take out!