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Breaking: Calexico Coming to Blue Ribbon Space on Fifth

Some big news to report coming out of the long weekend: Calexico, the incredibly well-respected mini-chain of California-inspired Tex-Mex food carts and, more recently, brick-and-mortar restaurants, will be opening up a location in the space that was last occupied by Blue Ribbon Sushi, on Fifth Avenue between First and Garfield.

Since opening with a single cart in SoHo about five years ago, the brothers Vendley (Jesse, Brian, and Dave), along with friend Peter Oleyer, have established their Cal-Mex food as some of the city's finest, winning multiple Vendy awards and becoming the object of many an obsession. Since then, they've added a second cart in Worth Square near Madison Square Park, a full-service restaurant in Greenpoint, and a taqueria in Red Hook. This location will be far and away the largest in the burgeoning franchise.

Calexico is no-frills Mexican deliciousness as its finest: tacos, burritos, and quesadillas are their claim to fame, stuffed with carne asada, pollo asado, or chipotle pork, browned on the flat top and served alongside their addictive chipotle "crack sauce." The menu in Greenpoint is expanded to include tortas, salads, enchiladas, and brunch, and is probably very similar to what we can expect for this location.

There will be a hearing at 6:30 PM on May 30th at 65 Sixth Avenue, when the owners will submit a liquor license proposal to CB6. And for those of you keeping track: when all is said and done, Terroir, Blue Ribbon, Calexico, Bonnie's Grill, and Naruto Ramen will all be right next door to each other.

Here's the letter from the owners that was posted on the door, introducting themselves to the neighborhood; looks like they'll be offering a kids' menu and will be open until midnight during the week and until 2 AM on the weekends:

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Reader Comments (21)

Dear friend Diddles,

Please accept this bitchin' carne asada in lieu of the burrito you mention in your prayers every night. Nice pajamas, by the way. The lord works in mysterious ways sometimes.

May 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Christ

Indded a proud day for Billy Diddles-and much deserved. Congrats!

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Great news. Another great addition to 5th avenue. Can't wait.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbob

Well-done letter. Good luck to them!

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMe(h)

Fantastic news. Welcome, welcome!

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSloper

Love the SoHo cart. This is great news.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Any news on what's happening with Terroir wine bar?

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkimberly

woot, sounds good to me!

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

Gonna have to offer some veggie options if they want to attract the east of Seventh Ave. crowd.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Kimberly -
The NYC DOB website shows that their renovation plans were just approved today! It should not be long before we see some action there.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSloper


Did you even look at their menu before posting this? It has one of the more veggie friendly menus around for a Mex joint.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

A great victory has been won this fine day! A victory for Park Slope, yes, but more than just Park Slope, this a victory for all of humanity. We prayed to God and to the Universe and to all sorts of spiritual and culinary entities, and our prayers have finally been answered. And no, I haven't actually tasted a Calexico burrito so how can I be certain that they are, in fact, the answer to our prayers? Well, I can't, but goddamnit I have a little thing called faith! Not in terms of God or religion or the meaning of life, but faith in the transformative power of burritos. To demonstrate my faith, I'll finally be going through with a surgery which will allow me to dislocate my jaw "snake-style" in the hopes of cramming more delicious burrito into my gaping maw. Will I be able to squeeze 2 burritos, side-by-side, down my throat? 3? 6? Hopefully they have an EMT on staff and a defibrillator close by, cause, just like our idyllic neighborhood of Park Slope, I'm seeking greatness.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Diddles

Kimberly -
Revised renovation plans for the Terrior space were just approved by the DOB today (they had previously been rejected for unknown reasons). I would expect construction to start any day now.

May 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSloper

Thanks Park Sloper for the great info!!

May 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkimberly

5th Avenue seems to be the hottest restaurant row in Brooklyn right now.

May 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersterling

They are fantastic. I am bummed I am no longer in this area every day, because I would be a regular.

May 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfrabjous

Ok, there ain't nothin "Tex-Mex" about it. That said, Calexico makes what may be the best burrito in town. Ole!

May 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterspnder


Don't worry, there are plenty of veggie options. I eat at the SoHo cart and I've been a vegetarian since the late 90s. The Bean Burrito is amazing.

May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Okay, this is very good news. It looks like they serve up some damn fine tacos. I think Oaxaca has gotten a little overwhelmed. The last time I ordered they showed up cold, limp and soggy. NOT appetizing.

May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Heres to hoping their margaritas are as good as their burritos! That's the big draw. Give me a reasonably priced margarita with fresh squeezed lime juice, 100% agave silver tequila and a decent orange liqueur and I will be forever yours.

May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRandymac88

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