What happens when Southern barbecue meets Mexican fare? Mexicue, a food truck turned brick-and-mortar concept with a new Chelsea location where you’re guaranteed to find just as a delicious of a margarita as you will some tender brisket. Or as the eatery like to put it, “We smoke, braise, char, pickle, juice, mash, grind and create — in a way that is inspired by the Mexican tradition. All with a twist of the American South. We believe in authentic, down-home cooking techniques. Nothing fancy.”
Photography: R'el Dade + Marcus Lloyd
According to creator Thomas Kelly, the Mexicue concept was dreamt up back in 2010 after a trip to Los Angeles. “After a trip to LA in 2010, my partner (David Schillace) was inspired by all the creative well-branded food trucks there and realized there was an opportunity in New York. We sat down early in 2010 to discuss concepts and immediately pinpointed Mexican Barbecue as a prefect concept for a truck, and restaurants down the road. The food was basically what I was cooking at home all the time – taking slow and low barbecue and Southern comfort food, and blending it with the fresh bold flavors of Mexican cooking,” he tells The Culintro Blog.
Photography: R'el Dade + Marcus Lloyd | Mexicue
The result is a winning menu packed with unique fusions, including barbecue sauce spiked with chillies de arbol and smoky short-rib tacos with spicy red salsas. Meanwhile vegetarians can enjoy dishes such as barbequed beet tacos with goat cheese accented with a vinegary arbol-laden sauce. Poblano mac and cheese, grilled cornbread with chipotle butter and burnt end brisket chili with crispy tortilla chips and slow-simmered black beans are also some of the eatery’s most tempting Mexican meets down-home cooking options.
So does Kelly miss his food truck roots? Not so much. According to Kelly his foray into brick-and-mortar spaces, with Mexicue now boasting several locations throughout the city including venues in NoMad, Midtown, and Chelsea, as well as Stamford, Connecticut, has been a welcomed evolution for the brand. Kelly explains, “Operating a food truck was actually far more challenging than brick and mortar, in most respects. With a brick & mortar location we never had to worry about parking, weather, parking violations, generator problems, etc – all challenges that could prevent the food truck from opening. I think the most challenging aspect of moving into a brick and mortar location was translating the experience people loved at the truck.”
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