Tuesday, May 5th, 2015
Tonight we celebrate our third anniversary! Hard to believe it’s already been three years… And right on its heels is Cinco de Mayo tomorrow night.
We have some treats in store to mark these two big occasions. Tonight and tomorrow night, chef Matt is will be featuring memelas with chapulines imported directly from Oaxaca. Chapulines are the native grasshopper of Oaxaca. Traditionally, these grasshoppers are toasted on a comal with lime, garlic, agave worm salt, and sometimes chiles – they are either eaten as a crunchy snack on their own or sprinkled on various other dishes to add crunch and flavor. We also just brought back a Comal favorite: grilled corn with chipotle aioli and cotija cheese, which will be on the menu for the coming months…
Bar manager Matthew Campbell has also twisted up a special cocktail for tonight and tomorrow night – La Bandera – made with spiced rum, rhubarb-infused mezcal, lemon, green apple, coriander, and passion fruit tea.
Cinco de Mayo will also feature an “all-Mexican” playlist from DJ Jose Ruiz, who will be making a special Tuesday night appearance in addition to his regular Thursday night slot.
Friday, April 24th, 2015
According to NationalMargaritaDay.com, February 22nd is set aside each year to celebrate America’s most consumed cocktail (interesting to note that Mexico’s is the Paloma). Despite my skepticism as to its origin as a nouveau-holiday, I said ‘sure’ when asked to create a cocktail for a brand-sponsored, national margarita day competition. The recipe came together in five minutes. I snapped a picture and forgot all about it – never submitted.
The Acapulco Gold is an unintended benefit of my own disorganization, as the idea evolved over time from a margarita derivation to a delicious beach beverage. We get calls all the time for mango margaritas, and it’s an ingredient we haven’t used outside our anejo sangrita. As the weather warmed up it seemed the perfect time to bring another tiki-style crushed ice cocktail onto the menu. Ancho Reyes was originally intended to act as an orange liquor substitute in a classic margarita format, but it works well with the mango and the spicy finish helps cut all that juice.
We were already dashing some angostura bitters when working on the recipe, as we do with most of our beach drinks, but the addition of cacao nibs helped dry it out even more and offers great aromatics to pair with the fruit. When our lead bartender Joanna asked me a half hour before service what the garnish would be, I had no idea but said ‘something with pineapple’. Chile arbol-salted pineapple chunks and a green ‘penca’ for color was where we landed, just short of a paper umbrella.
Matthew McKinley Campbell