NOTE: Since this review, the name Mexigo was changed to Mex-to-Go. This due to a company in Texas claiming they had rights to the name first. As you read this review, know that Mexigo is now Mex-to-Go. Looks like they now have to change the menu, all signage and t-shirts. Guess this goes to show the value of doing a name search before opening the doors for business.
325 S Riverside Ave
Croton On Hudson, NY 10520-2924
Open 7 days, Noon to 10PM
This is a cute little space very close to its parent restaurant, Umami by owners Craig Purdy and Jonathan Pratt (also of Peter Pratt’s Inn in Yorktown Heights). Mexigo quietly opened a few weeks ago. The buzz around town is, “Have you tried it?” Most people I know have not yet ventured in and were awaiting somebody else to have the first experience. Mexigo is small, brightly colored with a large chalk-wall painted above the kitchen where the menu can be seen. Mexigo is primarily take-out. The store has a few stools by the windows along a small counter, so eating there is a possibility if you and a friend are on the run or to quickly throw a taco back before zipping to your next destination. Parking on the street is scarce. There is parking at the nail salon next door which you might be able to utilize without hassle. Don’t let them know I told you that.
My first experience was disappointing. The menu items were not all available and the price on the menu for guacamole was one-dollar less than the price charged at the register. I didn’t complain but when one of the owners, Craig Purdy arrived, I mentioned it to him. He indicated that it was opening week and everything was a work in progress. Not a good first impression. When the food arrived at home it lacked seasoning. The guacamole was very pricey for the tiny portion (yes, I know avocados are expensive, but this was a bit skimpy to be sure). I decided I’d give them a couple of weeks to work through the kinks.
The second I walked in the door I was immediately greeted and asked what could be done for me. They had just finished selling a whole roasted chicken to the gentleman before me. Mexigo sells spit-roasted chickens after 5PM daily. They charge $8 for a whole chicken – - about 2 ½ pounds, and $4 for a half-chicken. The whole chicken was very crisp and browned on the exterior and very tender and juicy on the inside. They put the chicken into an insulated to-go bag which definitely kept the chicken hot as I prepared a salad at home to accompany it.
A much improved experience in ordering smaller items for take-out than Tasting 1.0. I was greeted at the counter by two happy shining faces. I believe the young lady was training the young guy on register. Very smooth operation and the smiles couldn’t be wiped of their faces. The chef Olin Moran was taking a small break reading a NY Times article about the current drama in the Middle East. When ordering tacos, you choose the filling and then a salsa to spice things up. The tacos come unassembled in an aluminum tin with a plastic cover. The cover has a white label where kitchen staff check-off what you ordered – - which is handy when ordering for more than yourself to move things along at home. The label has three columns. The first column shows what was ordered. For example, it lists taco, burrito, quesadilla, or salad. The next column indicates the filling – - pork, beef, spiced chicken, steamed fish, or vegetables. The final column indicates the salsa selection.The taco’s tortilla is soft corn and is approximately 6 inches in diameter. There is a slice of lime along with the filling and some shredded lettuce, the smallest amount of diced tomato and always one small sprig of cilantro.
Taco: The Tinga (spiced chicken) is just slightly spiced. The flavor is nice, a bit earthy and the chicken is shredded. Generally a Tinga is sautéed in oil along with onion and chopped chilies. This Tinga has slight heat but it is very subtle. The meat is reddish in color which could be from the addition of tomato or annatto seed.
Salsa Verde: Hints of citrus, nice heat, touch of vinegar, very fresh.
Taco: Carnitas (shredded pork) is appropriately salted with a smoky essence. The standard accompaniments for building the taco are the same as before including the miniature lime slice which doesn’t offer more than a drop of juice.
The salsa selection I made for this taco is what they consider to be their house specialty. It is called Salsa Manolo which claims three chilis (sic per menu) with garlic and sesame. The color is incredibly terra and earthy. It is smoky on the nose and reflects chipotle (smoked jalapeno). The texture is thick and the heat is present but not overwhelming. The flavor combination of this salsa and the pork tastes authentically Mexican – - earthy and rich. The menu offers other sides such as chips and salsa and platanos and fries either by potato or yucca. The children may especially enjoy the raspados (shaved ices made right up-front on the counter) with a variety of colored syrups.A nice addition to the Croton community.
Eats – Good
Drinks – Soft drinks. Would be nice to see an eventual offering of interesting authentic Mexican beers
Wait Staff – “Counter Staff” would be more to the point: Young, bouncy and happy to be there
Buzz – Customers waiting curbside talking on cell phones anxiously anxious to get to their next destination (however important that may or may not be in reality)
Award: Concept! Quick and to-go. An idea that needed to become reality in this town
Todd Alan is Westchester Eat’s critic for all things to stuff into your mouth, gadgetry to play with in the kitchen, and all things food. We make him eat crap so you don’t have to.