If you’re wondering around New York City in search of great Mexican food, we’ve got just the place for you. They’re known as the 2008 Vendy Awards winner for best food cart in NYC. Here’s to Calexico Cart, a gem in the middle of Manhattan.
Are you planning to visit Manhattan’s Flatiron or SoHo neighborhoods? If so, be sure to stop by Calexico Cart, located at 25th Street and Broadway in Flatiron, and Prince and Wooster Streets in SoHo.
The two carts are around five days a week, and serve up a variety of Mexican classics including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, rice and beans, and tortilla chips. We’ve ventured over to Calexico Cart no less than a dozen times over the past year, and have not been disappointed. The guys working the Flatiron cart are very hardworking. They are around in all kinds of weather – be it rain or the extreme city heat of August. They are gracious and customer-friendly.
On a recent visit, it was a cold and wet day in the city when we approached the cart looking for some lunch. A co-worker and I ordered a variety of items from the cart. I ordered three tacos – a carne asada, pollo asado, and chipotle pork. He ordered the chipotle pork burrito. We both ordered some rice and beans on the side.
Calexico describes themselves as serving up “Gourmet Mexican Street Food.” It was clear upon the first bite that the folks at Calexico pay great attention to the quality of the ingredients used in their dishes. All three of the tacos we sampled used chicken and steak that was marinated to perfection, exploding with various smokey, chipotle flavors.
All three of our tacos were flavorful and juicy with every bite. The pollo asado taco was garnished with an avocado sauce and pico de gallo. The carne asada taco had similar garnishes. The garnishes perfectly balanced the chicken and steak’s smokey flavors.
The chipotle pork taco was garnished with pickled red onions and crema – a delicious combination for any dish. The pulled pork was perfectly marbled and slow-cooked to perfection. It’s not an exaggeration to say I could eat Calexico’s chipotle pork taco several times a week and never get tired of it. The chipotle pork burrito was similar, with black beans, rice, and cheese added.
Even the sides were delicious – the rice and beans were flavorful and not overly salty or bland. They accompanied the tacos perfectly, if not adding a little more mess to the experience.
For days in good or bad weather, busy or not, stop by either one of Calexico’s food carts in Manhattan. If you’re venturing into Brooklyn, they also have a full-service Mexican restaurant that’s received some attention and great reviews by Zagat in the past.
Gerard Boucher is the Editor of Livin’ Large NYC and a New York native.