Tequila y Mezcal

So betrayed were we by dLeña last week that it was only natural we go to a restaurant that has the word “mezcal” right there in its name. They really aren’t mincing words, here, are they? Tequila y Mezcal knows exactly why you’re there. No heavy oak beams or leather-upholstered barstools in this place, it is not quite hole-in-the-wall level, but certainly simpler in appearance.

First and foremost: my jalapen-yo business (light spice, sweet-sour tamarind, boozy), my husband’s mezcal margarita (better and cheaper than the one he received last week), my FIL’s china poblana (dangerously like drinking straight passionfruit juice), and my MIL’s la catrina, which she ordered by calling it “that red drink” and pointing at one at the next table over.

I ordered three tacos from their large selection, and I tried to get crazy with the cochinita pibil, the al pastor, and the tinga poblana. I’m glad I did because my father-in-law ordered three more basic tacos and they were kinda dry, whereas mine were just delicious piles of braised, saucy meat. You can’t go wrong with these three, and especially the al pastor was super flavorful and had great sweetness from the pineapple.

My mother-in-law got the chicken fajitas, and I feel like they were on a slightly higher plane than stndard fajitas. First of all, the cast iron full of meat and veggies was enormous. Like, enough for three people probably. The chicken was also seasoned really well, and the beans were clearly cooked in-house and not just the sad pre-made ones you sometimes find at neighborhood taco joints. Overall, this was definitely a tasty yet simple dish.

My husband went straight for the house special sandwich: the torta de birria. Soft bread held generous slices of avocado and oaxaca cheese, along with chunks of steak. The plate came with a large ramekin of consomé for dipping. His biggest complaint was the unwieldiness of having to dip a sandwich in which the meat was in chunks. There were many beefy casualties in the consomé along the way. I still thought it was tasty, and it was big enough to take half home for the next day’s lunch.

Finally, the mezcal. I wish I had counted the number of different shots and flights they offer, but suffice it to say, it was a LOT. We asked the lovely waitress for her recommendation, and she pointed us to the Bozal flight. It came with three labeled samples (and no V8, thank god): barril mexicano, madrecuishe, and sacatoro. I still need to do my research on these and the brand in particular. Everyone had a favorite and nobody was disappointed. I think the madrecuishe was the general consensus best, though.

Price: $35 per person.

Bottom line: Kind, knowledgeable staff, simple food at reasonable prices, a homey atmosphere, and–best of all–actual mezcal!

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