Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lunch at Calexico

So, I had to try out Calexico (122 Union St., between Hicks St. & Columbia St., 718-488-8226) for myself, and I have to say, I was disappointed. Yes, the Crack Sauce is delicious, but the rest of the food just didn't cut it. On top of the mediocrity, the food delivery from Sysco & IBP in the middle of our meal really turned me off. Maybe it's left over from college cafeteria days, but mostly it's my knowledge of what these huge corporations mean in terms of food quality (low) and cost to the environment (high), not to mention how the animals on these "farms" are treated. There is so much good food available, it's a shame that this place isn't buying from a local butcher, or a local produce grower. Everybody seems to love this place, and maybe I'll get some flack, but I've gotta stick to my guns here.

I ordered a cheese & bean taco and a tofu quesadilla. The taco comes on two soft corn tortillas and was pretty good. Drizzled in crack sauce (a thick, creamy, spicy mayo concoction) and served with a wedge of lime, this might be the only thing I'll get here again. The tofu quesadilla had very firm chunks of tofu wrapped inside a crisp tortilla. Yes, you can dunk it in a big dish of the sauce, but that's all I ended up tasting.

My boyfriend got the Pulled Pork Quesadilla and a Tofu Torta (a sort of grilled sandwich/panini-type thing). The pulled pork was gross. Oily, not flavorful and did not go so well with the sauce. The Tofu Torta again was stuff with bland, hard chunks of tofu. I understand the point of this place is the meat, but I keep coming back to the source of that meat and my stomach turns. There was also air conditioner drip landing in a puddle on the table next to where we were sitting that didn't look like it was being addressed. What's up with that? Maybe they'll wise up and start buying better quality ingredients, but until then I'll take a pass on Calexico.


BestViewInBrooklyn said...

I'd only be repeating myself. :)

Thanks for the book! I heard and interview with the author a while ago on NPR. Can't wait to read it.

Christina said...

I agree with you--my husband and I went to Calexico for dinner with some friends and we were not impressed, especially after all the hype. The tacos and the rest of the food were simply ok. We'd rather go to the Red Hook ballfields anytime though--the food is better. We need to try the other new taco place on Smith, I've heard better things.

gordon said...

VASTLY over hyped. Glad to hear others feel the same way, I was beginning to wonder if I'd missed something.

Nomi Lubin said...

Huh. Finally went here the other night. I did have the meat -- pulled pork taco, husband had pulled pork burrito -- and I thought it was great. Now that I know meat quality, etc., that is a real downer. But still have to say it was delicious.

Anonymous said...

I thoght Sysco was cleaning and janatorial supplies not
food!!! Hmmm. This dose not sound like them now.
I love the carts. Sometimes the meat is too peppery but
the carne burritos and mole is good. Go back. It's much different.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

I would love it if they used pasture-raised, organic meat, but I don't think they do. Sysco is definitely a food distribution company that's very large, often they have contracts with schools and such. Maybe they also cover cleaning supplies. Not a good mix of businesses in my opinion. Thanks for the comment Anon.

Anonymous said...

IBP. Just reserached it. But those sunset park
places. How is one to know? Thanks for your info.
No more Calexico. And in this era of responsible hipster butchers they should step up.

Eat It Brooklyn said...

Totally re: hipster butchers. And yeah, sunset park places are probably not doing any better with meat quality.