Calaveras open for the winter season
Just last week, the usually summer-only restaurant, Calaveras, opened for the Block Island winter season. Open Thursday through Monday, for lunch only, Julio Mendoza and his 18-year-old daughter, Julianne Mendoza, commute every morning from the mainland to the island by ferry to open at 11:30 a.m. Closing time varies from 2 to 3 p.m., depending on the ferry schedule. Therefore, if there are ferry cancellations the restaurant will be closed.
Starting in 2015, Calaveras has been a popular Mexican restaurant. Another Calaveras restaurant opened in 2017 for two years in Peacedale and moved to Narragansett for another two years. Julio Mendoza grew up in Mexico City, and Julianne Mendoza grew up in Connecticut until she was 14 years old when she moved to Rhode Island. Julianne has been working at Calaveras since she was 12 years old. “It’s comforting to feel like I have a purpose. Keeping the tradition of cooking alive,” Julianne said. “Working with family can be
challenging, but I wouldn’t have become the person I am today without it.”
Calaveras has come out with a new winter menu, consisting of a build-your-own bowl meal, burritos, and soups. Every day there is a different choice of protein including shrimp, pulled chicken, grilled chicken, slow-cooked shredded beef, or slow-cooked pork. Daily updates about the current day’s protein and soup will be shared on Calaveras’ social media platforms on Instagram @hellocalaveras and Calaveras on Facebook. Black bean soup is served every day along with either chicken tortilla soup or birra soup. Vegan and vegetarian options are still available every day, including beans and rice.
Calaveras is also selling clothes at this month’s Block Island Holiday Stroll on November 26 through the 28. Julio Mendoza and Julianne Mendoza have had the help of summer employee, and senior at Parsons School of Design, Duncan Williams. According to Julianne Mendoza there will be t-shirts, sweaters, and hats available at the stroll. “We want to try and turn it into a clothing line eventually. Right now it will just be Calaveras gear but slowly will turn into something else,” Julianne Mendoza said.