Calexico: Cool Eats in Adliya

It was a perfect, lazy weekend day. The cold snap of previous weeks had faded and it was warm in the sunshine and cool in the shade. We wanted a place to lounge, to relax, to chat with friends, and luxuriate over drinks and delicious food.



It was my first time to visit the newest addition to Bahrain’s Mexican food scene. Calexico is a chain restaurant that specializes in the cuisine from the Mexican/California border and I’d heard good things from a SoCal friend of mine, so hopes were high.

The inside of the restaurant was lovely, but we couldn’t resist the chance to enjoy that gorgeous sunshine. We’d invited a few friends to join us so we took a spot on the patio and dove into the menu.

Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines so making a decision was not easy. The food menu isn’t overly extensive, there is just enough variety to keep all kinds of diners happy. But the drinks menu – wow! There is a lot to choose from there. To buy ourselves some more time to make our order, we ordered a pile of carne fries to share.

Beautifully light and crispy cilantro chile fries topped with caramelized onion, pico de gallo, sour cream, and juicy strips of steak. These aren’t just good, they are ridiculously good. I wanted the whole plate to myself!

We placed our orders and enjoyed watching the people wandering past the restaurant. Calexico has a perfect location, right in the heart of Adliya, and it makes for some great people watching.

Before long, our mains arrived and the table filled with gorgeous plates that each looked more amazing than the last.

Cody ordered the Baja fish tacos, which he said were delicious. I have to admit it was hard to resist snagging one for myself.

Luckily, I had ordered something that kept me totally occupied…

…the carne asada quesadilla! Deliciously tender steak, caramelized onion, and gooey cheese, all wrapped up in a crisp tortilla with chipotle salsa on the side. This was so good – highly recommend!

Our friends ordered chicken fajitas, a ‘wet’ carne asada burrito, and carne nachos. Everyone was happy.

I needed more french fries so I also got another round of cilantro chile fries – these things are addictive. A must if you visit!

The hours passed in a lazy sprawl of icy drinks, spicy food, and lots of laughter. Calexico has good food, a gorgeous setting, and a seriously laid back vibe that makes it the perfect place to while away an afternoon in a happy burrito/margarita-induced stupor. It was the perfect place for our perfectly lazy day.

Afterward, we poured ourselves out of the restaurant and decided to take a stroll through the streets of Adliya. This is such a popular spot in Bahrain and its easy to see why. Restaurants around every corner, art galleries, little shops, and a constantly changing rotation of street art, makes it a new place every time you visit.

There was even a little Think Local festival happening with local produce and arts and crafts. A fun find!

A bit sunburned, very happy, and totally relaxed after our perfectly lazy day, we said goodbye to Adliya and goodbye to Calexico. But with food that good, it won’t be long before we’re back.

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