Ladies!!!! If you're looking to hook up with an elderly man (or 12) wearing brand new orthopedic shoes, I've found the spot for you. No, I'm not talking about Walgreens or Babydolls, I'm talking about Mexicali Restaurant: This restaurant is total grandpa heaven. At 5:30 p.m., it's stunningly wrinkly. This is the kind of place where they open the door for you at the entrance—not because they're being nice, but because they're pretty sure you can't physically open it yourself. All your favorite geezer archetypes were there: Skinny Old Man Yelling At His Skinny Old Man Friend, Grandpa Overalls and Super Happy Old Dude With Crutches. Even Fuck You, I'll Glare At Whippersnappers If I Want I'm Probably 80 was there. I was so entertained, I can barely tell you what the inside of Mexicali looked like. I think there were chili peppers on the ceiling.
Did you know that old guys love enchiladas? I think on the night I went, Mexicali must have sold a thousand enchiladas. They were having a two enchiladas plus rice and beans for $4.95 special and the place was more full of enchiladas than I've ever seen El Fenix—even on Wednesday Enchilada Special Night. Oh, I see you judging me for knowing about the cheap enchilada Wednesdays at El Fenix. Do you see me flipping you the double bird?
Instead of enchiladas, I ordered the chicken chile relleno with rice and beans. It was $6.99, and it arrived at my table boiling-lava hot in about three seconds. Yay. Dear All Mexican Restaurants In General, please tell every other restaurant how to serve food at lightning speed. I don't care how you do it, just teach everyone else. Especially those dudes at Craft. I mean, seriously, Colicchio—how long does it take to braise a veal shank? At a Mexican restaurant, that shit would be cooked in four minutes, tops.
The chile relleno was good. It could have been spicier (but serving something more bland was probably smart based on their general clientele). I rate the Pepe & Mito's relleno higher, but Mexicali's was still tasty. And seeing 50 old men scarf down enchiladas and margaritas like there's no tomorrow because "Hey, maybe there's really no fuckin' tomorrow, right?" made it all so completely worth it.