“The best margarita in the East Bay can be found at Comal in Berkeley. Designed by the Bon Vivants and honed by bar manager Matthew Campbell—a 2013 SF Chronicle Bar Star—Comal’s margarita features Cimarron Blanco, orange-scented agave, and lime juice.”
As the days get longer and the temperature rises, one question is asked of our servers more than any other, “When will Comal be bringing back the grilled corn on the cob?” Inspired by the street corn, or “elote” that is sold off of carts on street corners throughout Mexico, most notably in Oaxaca, our version uses sweet corn that is first blanched with butter and milk, and then grilled over coals and rolled in chipotle aioli and dusted with cotija cheese and cilantro.
Of course there is sweet corn grown in Mexico that is available year round, but out of respect for seasonality, I like to wait until the corn starts coming from California. The first corn arrives at market from the Imperial and Coachella valleys in the last week of April. By June, all of the corn that we use comes from the Central Valley.
We will be marking both Comal’s 4th Anniversary (on May 4th) and Cinco de Mayo with “The Return of The Elote” and it will continue to be available throughout the summer.
“Tortillas are made on the premises and familiar items are noticeably elevated, whether it’s vibrant guacamole or crisp tortilla chips that shatter in layers. Empanadas may be filled with chorizo and potato; enchiladas are plump with duck in guajillo salsa. The surprise in tamales may be chile-citrus braised brisket.”
Pozole is one of the most ancient of Mexican dishes that is still commonly eaten today. It has always been a celebratory dish in Mexico, dating as far back as the 1500’s, and is frequently served at quinceañeras, weddings, birthdays and New Year’s celebrations. All versions of pozole featured nixtimalized hominy in broth, typically pork broth. There are three common pozoles: blanco (white), verde (green) and rojo (red) – we’ll be offering pozole rojo.
It seems that I frequently cut out of work before the end of service, and crave a quick, delicious, and economical bite and a drink before I head home for the night, but there seemingly are very few options that fit the bill. That is the motivation behind adding “Late Night Pozole” to our nightly menu at Comal. After 9 pm every night, for $10 one can purchase a bowl of pozole rojo and a michelada or can of Tecate. The hearty pork and hominy stew which will come accompanied by a plate of goodies to add in, just like one might add bean sprouts and basil to a bowl of Vietnamese pho. Cabbage, tortilla strips, radishes, avocado, cilantro and lime, and an ice-cold spicy michelada to wash it all down – what more can one ask for? Of course, our regular a la carte menu will be available as well, if fish tacos are more to your liking.