Mon-Fri, 11:30am-3:30pm; Sat-Sun, closed
C, E at Spring St.; N, R at Prince St.
Calexico is closer to legit Mexican than many neighboring joints. The proof: Clusters of Spanish-speaking workers, on break from jobs at local businesses, congregate here for lunchtime plates of chuletas, fried pork chops in a fiery adobo sauce, and maybe a spot of football on the wall-mounted television. The dimly lit dining room, paneled in fake brick and decorated with a few neon beer signs and plastic hanging plants, isn’t a place you’d want to hang out even if the platter-size dishes take a while to finish. Skip the too-dry chorizo enchiladas, which come snowed under a heap of iceberg lettuce and dull diced tomato, in favor of the flautas: lightly fried tortilla rolls filled with shredded chicken and served with sour cream and an oniony guacamole. The meat dishes, such as broiled bistec ranchero—steak with cilantro and pickled jalapenos—can tend towards the greasy, but a heaping side order of red beans and rice (plus a bottle of Dos Equis) helps it all go down.