Test Driving Mexicue’s Brand New Midtown Take Out Counter
Upon hearing of Mexicue’s plans to bring a new location around the corner from my office, it didn’t take long for the excitement to grow. A lunch place that blends together Mexican and BBQ, how could that possibly go wrong? I started browsing their menu, planning my attack, months before it ever opened. I know they have a truck, and a location further downtown, but I wanted my first Mexicue experience to be at this location. So finally, after weeks of checking their social media accounts, and one failed attempt early last week, I finally got to give Mexicue a try.
Located at a rather deceiving address, 1440 Broadway, the Mexicue storefront is actually situated on 40th between 6th Ave and Broadway. When I first arrived, I was a bit surprised by the layout. As I mentioned before, it’s clear that Mexicue’s goal with this location isn’t so much about churning out as many burritos in a lunch hour as possible, but rather about turning Mexicue into a more, dare I say, formal engagement. Whether you think it’ll work or not, the to-go area of Mexicue is by no means the focus of the restaurant. There’s a decent amount of seating, and a nice bar area as well.
Accompanied by my coworker, and trusty Grand Central MetroCard, we were able to try a number of things on the menu. First, we started with an order of their Green Chili Queso Nachos (green chili queso, burnt ends chili, lime crema, jalapeños, pico). It was at this point I learned a valuable lesson, do not order nachos to-go. Mexicue made a valiant effort packing them up, but the toppings were ultimately flattened by the top of the container.
Regardless, this was a large container of nachos, and at $8, I thought it was a pretty good deal. The “burnt ends chili” was delicious, and there was plenty of it available. It was packed with jalapeños and I thought these were among some of the best tortilla chips I’ve had the pleasure of eating. They were crispy and salty, exactly how I like them. Furthermore, I used my fork to mix things up a little, and the nachos began to take a more recognizable form.
At this point, I gave my Smoked Chicken Burrito (smoked chicken, creamy chipotle sauce, lettuce, pico de gallo, white cheddar cheese) a try. I had heard some rumors about the portions at Mexicue being a little small, but I didn’t find this to be an issue.
The burrito was a good size. I don’t think it’s nearly as packed with ingredients as a burrito from Chipotle, but at $8.50, I had no complaints. The first thing that stands out with the burrito is the chicken. There is a strong, smokey flavor that ties in with the creamy chipotle sauce very well. In the picture, it may appear like the chicken-to-rice ratio is a little off balance, but I didn’t find it to be a problem.
Moving on, we were also able to try some of their BBQ Brisket Buns (2 cheddar biscuits, 16-hour hickory smoked brisket, spicy slaw, signature mexican bbq sauce).
Looking at the container, it didn’t seem like a lot of food, but these buns were loaded up. The brisket was nothing amazing, with a similar smokey flavor to the chicken, but it served its duty with honor. The spicy slaw and Mexican BBQ sauce added the necessary flavor to the brisket, and it all worked together nicely. I couldn’t exactly figure out what made these “cheddar biscuits”, but they held the sandwich together admirably. At $10, I was pleased with the size of this dish.
Finally, after trying to order the Blackened Brussels Sprouts and Fresh Cornbread, only to discover they were out of both, I ended up ordering the Charred Green Beans and charred they most certainly were.
There wasn’t much to say about the green beans, they weren’t bad, but at $4, I might opt for a different side order next time. It felt like they had been sitting in a container for most of the day, and I would have to imagine that a fresh batch might improve these dramatically.
Overall, I would have to say that Mexicue lived up to my expectations. I’m a bit worried that their to-go area won’t be able to handle the type of traffic they’ll get, but who am I to make those kinds of assessments? Either way, I was excited to have another option when looking for a burrito, and Mexicue fits that bill.
I can’t think of a single place in Midtown that offers up similar dishes at these reasonable prices (although I’m sure some Midtown Lunchers can, and will, name a few). There are a number of items on the Mexicue menu that are over the $10 ML limit, but there are plenty that are not. Additionally, there are a few menu items I was unable to try, such as their market plates, tacos, and bowls.
It’s refreshing to have a place like Mexicue nearby, a restaurant that stands out for all the right reasons – creative dishes, quality ingredients, and reasonable prices. As with any Midtown lunch establishment, I urge everyone to give it a try and see for themselves. Mexicue, welcome to the neighborhood.
Mexicue, 1440 Broadway (40th btw Broadway & 6th Ave)