There isn’t much Oaxacan about Oaxaca, but Brooklyn Chowhounds aren’t really complaining. Most just seem delighted to have a go-to taqueria in a neighborhood short on decent Mexican food. The tacos are “really fantastic,” oolah reports, made with high-quality ingredients and well seasoned. lambretta76 loves the fish and shrimp tacos—“brilliant,” he declares, very fresh and nicely spiced. Fixings are a cut above those at bare-bones taco joints: a great garlicky sauce with the pork, pickled red onions, and first-rate salsas with everything.

Nehna compares Oaxaca to hound hangout Fast and Fresh a few blocks away. lambretta76 ranks it up with Tacos Nuevo Mexico and not far below Matamoros and Tehuitzingo, to name a few board favorites. “Is it the best Mexican in the city? No,” he writes. “Is it the best in the neighborhood? It’s heads and shoulders above the competition.”

Another welcome newcomer, already familiar to New Yorkers from its Manhattan street carts, is Calexico, which went brick-and-mortar last month in the old Schnack space on Union Street. Its Cal-Mex tacos and burritos—carne asada, chicken, chipotle pork—are winning new fans and drawing crowds.

The restaurant serves things the carts do not, including fish tacos, “tofu asada,” Southern-accented grits with pork or shrimp, and an occasional special of beef brisket in poblano cream sauce (tasty and moist, says fruitspam). Look for a longer menu as Calexico finds its land legs.

Oaxaca [Carroll Gardens]
251 Smith Street (between Degraw and Douglass streets), Brooklyn

Calexico [Carroll Gardens]
122 Union Street (between Columbia and Hicks streets), Brooklyn

Board Links: Oaxaca on Smith St.
Calexico in Brooklyn

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