February 7, 2020
The Wonders of Calexico Bar & Grill
It’s the 21st century and the new generation has decided that “it’s out with the old and in with the new”, and somehow, everything has to look modern and satisfy today’s youth. So where exactly can one find a restaurant that satisfies both the old and the new feel of life? Well, in 44 Stanley Ave in Johannesburg at the second entrance, there exists a place that does just that, called Calexico. Calexico is not just a bar and grill, but it also showcases live bands on a weekly basis. Imagine food, a bar and music all in one place.
As we took a walk down the 44 Stanley Avenue sidewalk, we were greeted by a short left leading to a call of vibrant music and jolly people. We were drawn into the restaurant by its vintage furniture and twinkle lights, which were wrapped around all the trees surrounding the restaurant.
As soon as we sat down, our waiter made a reference to cocktails we would most probably want to try seeing that they were not on the menu. We ordered a Mojito and a home-made lemonade with a hint of ginger while we waited for our food which didn’t even take 10 minutes to make. I was quite pleased with their service delivery at that point. To eat, we ordered an appetising Prawn Ceviche to start, which included chopped prawn, lime, ginger, red onions and corn. For our mains, we had enormous dishes of Nachos and Mexican fish cakes that could even feed a family of 4. The deliciously cheesy dressed Nachos included Pico de Gallo, 3 beans, a very well smashed avocado, cheddar, sour cream and jalapeños. The other dish, the Mexican fish cakes, came with smashed avocado as well as Pico de halo. It was my first time having something with Pico de “anything” on my plate but it did wonders to my stomach.
At this point we were quite full, but what’s a dinner date without any desert? Not a date, that’s for sure. So we ordered the mysterious James Brown to share, which was simply brownies with ice cream topped with fresh strawberries and that had to be the last dish we devour because we were “fully” satisfied (no pun intended) at the end of all 5 dishes.
The food was not the only special thing about the place, it was how the furniture made you feel like you’re in the comfort of your own home and let’s not forget how the waiter was nice enough to even offer taking pictures of us at our favourite spot in the restaurant. My favourite thing in the whole place, besides their amazing Nachos, was a beautiful retro canvas that read “Real Music Never gets old” and that’s exactly how I felt about the whole place itself. It can never get old because of their old vs new school environment.
It was our first time at the Calexico and there is no doubt in my mind that it won’t be our last.
A: 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf, Johannesburg, 2092
T: 011 482 5791
Written by Keketso Mthethwa for Luxuria Lifestyle South Africa