el Restaurante magazine, April/May/June 2021 issue

Page 1



| YO U R S O U R C E F O R M E X I C A N A N D L AT I N F O O D S E R V I C E T R E N D S | w w w.elrestaurante.com |



elRestaurante | YO U R S O U R C E F O R M E X I C A N A N D L AT I N F O O D S E R V I C E T R E N D S | w w w.elrestaurante.c o m |

In This Issue 24




BUSINESS BASICS—Tackling Post-Covid Hiring Challenges

14 FROM THE FIELD—Rubio’s Emerges from Bankruptcy



COVER STORY—The Appeal of Asado (In English and Spanish) By Jacqueline Raposo


TRAVELOGUE—Mexico’s Street Foods


AT THE BAR—Patio-perfect Cocktails (In English and Spanish)



BREW NEWS—Mexican Craft Beer Trends (In English and Spanish)

MARKETING—Restaurant Week Promotions (In English and Spanish)




MY FAVORITE RECIPE— El Cruce + 241 Ceviche de Pescado




ON WEBWEB AT www.elrestaurante.com ONTHE THE AT www.elrestaurante.com

Want more great recipes? Visit elrestaurante.com/recipes to find something for every section of your menu! 28

31 APR/MAY/JUN 2021

| el restaurante


editor’s note

elRestaurante | w w w.elrestaurante.com |

Fully vaccinated. I never imagined that those two words would fill me with such relief. But relief is exactly what I felt as soon as that needle filled with Pfizer vaccine #2 hit my arm in mid-April. With everyone in our immediate family and our close circle of friends vaccinated, too, Publisher Ed Avis and I are enjoying Kathleen Furore, editor

small, unmasked get togethers (although masks remain a must when we’re out and about). We’re eagerly anticipating a summer that more closely resembles those pre-pandemic summers that seem so long ago—a summer we plan to spend dining out at our favorite Mexican restaurants in Chicago, of course! We hope all of you are experiencing a sense of relief for your businesses, too. It’s hard to image that one year ago, we were debating if publishing el Restaurante was wise—or doable at all. Restaurants were closed, vendors weren’t selling…and we wondered if anyone would be around to support the publication. Thanks to our loyal readers and advertisers we forged ahead. We can’t express how grateful we are to all of you. We hope those small issues of 2020 offered some guidance as you weathered the pandemic’s challenges…and we hope this issue offers insights you can use as you return to businessalmost-as-usual for the spring and summer seasons. New contributing writer Jacqueline Raposo has crafted an information-packed cover story about asado cooking that explores ways Mexican and Latin-themed restaurants are embracing the concept. You’ll find tips on wood-fired cooking and on how to find wood-fired ovens for your establishment on the story that starts on page 16. Street foods are the topic Mexico-based writer Joseph Sorrentino tackled for this issue. Turn to page 28 to discover what he discovered during his self-guided tour of food stands and markets in Puebla, Xochimilco and Milpa Alta. We also cover your bar twice in this issue with stories about patio-perfect cocktails and Mexican craft beer trends. On the business side, we delve into today’s hiring challenges and the benefits of Restaurant Week promotions. Happy reading!


el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

Ed Avis PUBLISHER Kathleen Furore EDITOR Ala Ennes ART DIRECTOR Maya Dollarhide, Elyse Glickman, Jacqueline Raposo, Joseph Sorrentino CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MAIN OFFICE phone: 708.267.0023 PRESS RELEASES TO: kfurore@restmex.com MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 13347 Chicago, IL 60613 SHIPPING ADDRESS 1317 W. Belden Ave. Chicago, IL 60614 AD SALES/ENGLISH Ed Avis 708.218.7755 edavis@restmex.com Suzanne Bernhardt 678.880.9282 suzanne@restmex.com AD SALES/ESPAÑOL Alfredo Espinola alfredo@elrestaurante.com Published by Maiden Name Press, LLC Volume 24, Number 2

el Restaurante (formerly el Restaurante Mexicano) (ISSN 1091-5885) is published five times a year by Maiden Name Press, LLC 1317 W. Belden Ave., Chicago, IL 60614 el Restaurante is distributed by subscription at the cost of $40. All contents copyright© 2021 Maiden Name Press, LLC. Nothing in this issue may be reproduced in any form without publisher’s consent.

©2021 MegaMex Foods, LLC


Say adios to slicing and scooping avocados by hand. WHOLLY® AVOCADO is ready to use right away. With 100% real Hass avocados and no preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors, you can quickly give your best with ours. Try it yourself. Request a sample. megamexfoodservice.com/sample | 1.817.509.0626

Scan the code to learn more.






TRADE SHOWS RETURN IN 2021 The trade show world came to a screeching halt when COVID-19 hit in early 2020, and some restaurant and hospitality shows remained closed in 2021. The National Restaurant Show, for example, has been canceled two years running. However, three restaurant shows with sizable Latin attendance are still planned for this year.

TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION MARKETPLACE July 10-12 Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center San Antonio, Texas

The association is expanding its educational offerings for the 2021 show, with a slate of pre-conference educational sessions including Digital Marketing, Digital Tools & Collaboration, and Leadership. www.tramarketplace.com



August 22-24 Anaheim Convention Center Anaheim, California

October 4-5 Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California

Dubbed “A Reinvented Event for a Refocused Foodservice Industry,” this show—which will be co-located with Coffee Fest and Healthy Food Expo—will include five “educational summits” designed to help different types of businesses: Independent Restaurant; Small- to Mid-Size Chain; Business & Institutional Foodservice; Retail Operation; and Technology. www.westernfoodexpo.com

Calling All Mixologists! Jarritos, el Restaurante Partner on

COCKTAIL RECIPE CONTEST COCKTAILS ARE A MAJOR PART OF THE EXPERIENCE in many Mexican/Latin restaurants. A new contest co-sponsored by Jarritos and el Restaurante magazine is designed to encourage creativity among mixologists.


el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

This new Latin-focused show will feature exhibitors that “represent a wide range of companies, with products that include everything from tequila, chicharones, soda and juices, michelada and wine to hot sauces, tortillas, cheeses, bakery items, nuts and snacks, parchment paper and agave products,” says show director Eric Jurado. “In addition, we have received contracts for exhibit space from food truck manufacturers, retail services such as POS and insurance, as well as kitchen equipment businesses.” Show organizers have developed an 8-step safety process to minimize COVID risk, Jurado stresses. The steps range from enhanced cleaning to non-contact registration to attendee screening. “We couldn’t be more excited to see again how quickly the Latin foodservice industry has embraced the 2021 show so far,” Jurado says. “We moved the 2021 CSTE to late fall to make sure this Expo has the greatest opportunity for success.” www.cocinaexpo.com

The top five finalists in the Jarritos/ el Restaurante Cocktail Contest will receive cash prizes of $3,000, $2,000, $1,000, $500 and $250 respectively; handsome trophies; recognition in el Restaurante and via Jarritos social media; and a supply of Jarritos soda. To enter, mixologists may submit any original cocktail recipe they’ve created, as long as at least one ingredient is Jarritos soda (any flavor). The winning recipes will

be published in el Restaurante’s print issue and online. There is no cost to enter. “Jarritos plays a big role in Mexican/Latin bars, and we can’t wait to see the creative cocktails mixologists will develop using Jarritos as an ingredient,” says Eric Delamare, Jarritos marketing director. The contest officially begins May 1 and winners will be announced in September. To submit your recipe, visit elrestaurante.com/ Cocktail-Recipe-Contest.


LA VICTORIA® salsas are here to make prepping your signature dishes a whole lot easier. Get creative without sacrificing flavor or quality. Our salsas are consistent and versatile — the perfect ingredients that make any application more delicious. And, for a limited time, you can get a $10 per case rebate*. Order now and make your meal prepping easier and cost-efficient-er.*

©2021 MegaMex Foods, LLC


See all the solutions at megamexfoodservice.com or call 1-817-509-0626 with rebate form, up to $500 value





If not, it’s something you might want to

events planned

consider, according to a new survey that

for 2021 are expected

shows pandemic-weary customers are

to be held in person. Private

planning events that will need catered

restaurant space was one of the

food this summer.

top venues respondents said they would

According to data from the survey

have those events catered at home, which presents

consider for hosting their events—and

of 1,000 consumers by Tripleseat (a

just under 50 percent of those planning

another opportunity for restaurants to

web-based sales and event manage-

an event said they would host their event

generate income.

ment platform for restaurants, hotels,


and unique venues) and SevenRooms (a

That means restaurants “should begin

In addition, one in three respondents

promoting these offerings through their

data-driven guest experience platform for

shared that they plan to host their event

marketing and social channels,” a release

the hospitality industry), 72 percent of

at home, and 51 percent said they will

about the survey said.

MORE HELP ON THE WAY: The Restaurant Revitalization Fund On March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 created the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRFG) to provide grants for restaurants sustaining financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is administering the program, and will be issuing the necessary federal rules, regulations, and applications before grant funds are distributed. The National Restaurant Association has created a frequently asked questions (FAQ) resource, which will be updated as the SBA releases additional information on the RRFG program. Here are just a few of the questions and answers currently available: • Who is an “eligible entity” for Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants (RRFG)? Entities that own a place of business where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of


being served food or drink can apply. • What disqualifies an entity from RRFG eligibility? As of March 13, 2020, an entity that owns or operates (together with any affili-

el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

ated business) more than 20 locations, regardless of whether those locations do business under the same or multiple names, would not be eligible for a grant. • Is an entity that applied for and received a first draw and second draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan eligible to apply for an RRFG? Yes. However, the RRFG will be reduced by the total amount of PPP loans. • What documents might an eligible entity need to prepare to apply for a

RRFG? An application form and the IRS Form 4506-T, as well as gross receipts documentation. • Will banks, local lenders, or community development financial institutions be involved in RRFG? No. The RRFG program is administered through the SBA. • How much can an eligible entity receive? An entity can receive a tax-free federal grant equal to the amount of its pandemicrelated revenue loss, subtracted by the total amount it received in all PPP loans. For more information visit sba.gov or restaurant.org.

business basics


for the summer season.

Craigslist, or we talk to our

7 openings each. Nearly 93

has presented countless chal-

“It’s been a nightmare,” says

staff and see if they have

percent of respondents said

lenges to Mexican/Latin restau-

Danny Sandoval, owner of

friends who want a job. But

they have openings for serv-

rants, but a new one is emerg-

Sandoval’s Café & Cantina in

that’s not working now. I don’t

ers and other front-of-house

ing: Many are having trouble

Portland, Oregon. “We usually

know where they’re going.”

staff, and 85 percent are

hiring enough staff to gear up

have pretty good luck using

Sandoval is not alone.

looking for cooks. About 63

According to an el Res-

percent are trying to hire dish-

taurante survey sent out the

washers and busers, and 22

week of April 12, 89 percent of

percent are seeking managers.

Mexican/Latin restaurant owners report that they are not


getting enough applications

Why are so many restaurant

for their openings. The survey

openings going unfilled?

respondents average

Sandoval says local landscap-

“It’s been a nightmare. We usually have pretty good luck using Craigslist, or we talk to our staff and see if they have friends who want a job. But that’s not working now. I don’t know where they’re going.” Danny and Kathy Sandoval

–DANNY SANDOVAL, Sandoval’s Café & Cantina, Portland, Oregon

your gateway to latin food & beverage buyers No matter what equipment, ingredients, beverages or restaurant and grocery store supplies you offer, you’ll connect with a booming market of buyers at Cocina Sabrosa Trade Expo. At the only U.S. trade expo and wholesale market dedicated to the Latin Food and Beverage Industry, you’ll meet in-person with the industry’s most influential foodservice distributors, retail stores, chefs, restaurants, taquerías, bars, panaderías, carnicerías and local grocers. Don’t miss your best opportunity to build lasting relationships with restauranteurs with more than $45 billion in buying power, who are responsible for the fastest-growing restaurant segment in the nation.

book your booth! | cocinaexpo.com @CocinaSabrosaExpo


update basics business

Hiring Situation


Have openings for servers/other front-of-house staff


Looking for cooks


Hiring dishwashers and busers


Seeking managers


Not getting enough applications for openings


(average 7 openings each) —Source: el Restaurante reader survey, April 2021

“I am preparing to run a restaurant with as [few] people as possible and I’m ready to introduce technology into this family-owned restaurant… With our new POS I will encourage customers to place their order online and I will eventually stop taking orders via phone.” –EL RESTAURANTE SURVEY RESPONDENT

ing companies are hiring many

less reason to return,” one

restaurant workers don’t want

back-of-house workers that he

respondent wrote. “There are

to come back because they


previously counted on.

not as many people actively in

fear that restaurants will close

some respondents think people

Respondents to the el Res-

labor pool is small.

the industry due to transition

again, leaving them suddenly

just don’t want to work in res-

taurante survey offered other

or supplemental assistance,”

unemployed. “Perhaps they are

taurants anymore. “Americans


another wrote.

afraid of getting hired by a res-

do not want to work nights and


FEAR OF COVID: Several survey

taurant and getting shut down

weekends, which are the busy

than half the survey respon-

respondents speculated that

again,” wrote one respondent.

hours in a restaurant,” one

dents blamed the situation

workers are afraid to come

COMPETITION: As always, bigger

respondent wrote. “Let’s get

at least partly on generous

back to a high-touch business

restaurants and chains typi-

the new immigrants and … put

government unemployment

like restaurants until COVID is

cally pay more than indepen-

them to work as they see these

benefits. “Those who lost jobs

fully under control.

dent restaurants, and that’s

jobs as an opportunity to make

and are on unemployment have

ONCE BURNED: Others think

especially important when the

money and get ahead.”

12 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

THE REMEDIES So what are restaurateurs struggling with hiring doing? INCREASING PAY. Mexican/Latin restaurant owners are digging

deeper into their pockets to attract staff, according to the survey. Nearly 78 percent said they have raised their pay rates. “I have given my entire kitchen staff raises to keep what I have,” wrote one respondent. “I have to continue raising prices, which concerns me because it will start to inhibit people from eating out as often.” OFFERING FLEXIBLE SCHEDULES. Over 70 percent of respondents say

they are trying that strategy to keep staff happy. PAYING INCENTIVES. When it comes to recruiting, nearly half of the

survey respondents said they are paying bonuses to current staffers who bring in new employees. About 19 percent said they have resorted to poaching employees from other restaurants. MAKING DO WITH CURRENT STAFF. Restaurant owners who can’t

hire enough staff are struggling to maintain the quality of service their customers expect, but some are getting clever. For example, one respondent to the survey is leaning into technology to pick up the slack. “I am preparing to run a restaurant with as [few] people as possible and I’m ready to introduce technology into this family-owned restaurant,” the respondent wrote. “With our new POS I will encourage customers to place their order online and I will eventually stop taking orders via phone. I have also purchased a wait list app. We don’t have enough staff currently to have a host so with our wait list app we just take the name and when we are ready for the customer, we ping them. I will also be ordering a kiosk to allow customers to order on site.” PERSONALLY PICKING UP THE SLACK. It’s some-

thing owners have always had to do at one time or another—it’s just a more urgent, ongoing situation this time around. Sandoval, for example, takes orders, picks up supplies, helps prepare to-go orders, and anything else that needs to get done. But he says there’s a silver lining to all that extra work. “If anything good has come out of it, it has forced me to reconnect to my obligation as a restaurateur,” he says. “People want to see the owner. My wife and I are there every day that we’re open. I open every morning and close every night.” Ed Avis is the publisher of el Restaurante.

from the field

ER: You recently pulled out

of Florida and reduced your presence in other states. Was COVID to blame or were there other problems? RR: It was probably half and

half. We were challenged in Florida because we were too spread out. Denver and Salt Lake were always challenging


Emerging from Bankruptcy with Lessons Learned EDITOR’S NOTE: When Ralph Rubio opened his first restaurant in San Diego in 1983, his plan was simple: to offer the kind of fish tacos he’d discovered during a college trip with friends. Rubio’s Coastal Grill (originally Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill) eventually grew to 200+ locations; but too-rapid expansion and COVID-19’s impact forced the company into bankruptcy in 2020. el Restaurante Publisher Ed Avis spoke with Rubio (no longer president but still involved in many decisions) about the downside of rapid growth, and how lessons learned will help the company move forward as it emerges from bankruptcy.

tomer base. The food culture

operationally and from a rev-

in Denver is very different than

enue point of view, but we were

in the Southwest. You have

making some ground, especial-

to know that—especially in a

ly in Denver. Then COVID came

business that features a fish

and gave us the impetus to

taco as a signature product.

retreat. We figured, let’s retreat

People in new markets don’t

now and live to fight another

have any clue what a fish

day. As we start to grow again,

taco is, so they think it’s really

we can look to enter one, two


or three of those markets.

ER: How did the Initial Public

ER: Rubio’s is emerging

Offering (IPO) in 1999 affect

from bankruptcy with about

your growth?

150 locations. How will things

RR: Going public gave us capi-

be different?

tal to really grow the business.

RR: That’s a tough question be-

But the key thing is you have

cause we’re still in the midst of

to consistently grow quarter

it. What about our salsa bars?

after quarter, and that’s hard

Can we bring them back? Is

to do. Post-IPO, we were grow-

there going to be such a thing

ing at a 30 to 50 percent clip in

as a buffet anymore? Or a salad

year-over-year units—that was

bar? There are more questions

way too fast. We were growing

than answers in terms of what

beyond our ability to operate.

the future looks like. On the


going. But as we got into the

ER: Was it difficult to profit in

positive side, we introduced

about how Rubio’s grew in

late ‘90s and started to use the

new markets?

an Impossible Taco Salad. It’s

the early days.

money we’d raised privately

RR: It was hard because we

done pretty well, so we’re going

RALPH RUBIO: There was a

to grow from 11 restaurants to

didn’t have the brand equity.

to keep Impossible in the res-

point very early on where I

63, I started to realize, “Gosh,

In Denver or Salt Lake City,

taurants. We did a partnership

was very happy with where

this could be a national chain.”

for example, there were a lot

with Top Chef judge Richard

we were and where we were

I came to find out that’s a lot

of homegrown competitors,

Blais on a line of street tacos

easier said than done.

along with chains of scale like

we’re going to roll out this sum-

14 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

ER: What mistakes did the com-

Chipotle and Panera that are

mer. Also, when COVID came

pany make in its growth plans?

ubiquitous, so people knew

we pivoted to digital ordering

RR: Growing continuously

who they were. When someone

because we were geared to do

geographically was a mistake

was looking for a job, they

that. We’re going to continue to

because there’s a socio-demo-

weren’t sure what Rubio’s was.

grow revenue digitally [as we

graphic aspect to your cus-

It was daunting.

move ahead].


Harvest Fresh™ Avocados Guacamole: Always ripe. No pitting, peeling or preservatives.

©2021 J.R. Simplot Company

RoastWorks® Flame-Roasted Corn & Black Bean Fiesta Blend: No shucking required.

Request a FREE sample at simplotfoods.com/latininspiration, and see how these products can help you serve bright Latin flavors more consistently and profitably.

potatoes | avocados | fruits | vegetables | grains



Chefs embrace the theater and flavor wood-fired cooking imparts


flames around 1.8 million

With a recent focus on all

years ago, and they credit

things safety, it can be hard

this revelation for why we

to remember the thrill of

evolved as we did: cooked

interactive hospitality.

foods are easier to digest than

“Every cooking method

raw foods and create surplus

has its place, and all can be

energy. Over time, this helped

enjoyable,” says Greg Denton,

our brains become almost

co-chef-owner with his wife,

double in size to those of

Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton,

our primate cousins. As our

of the Argentinian-inspired

societal bonds deepened, the

Ox restaurant in Portland,

hunting and gathering of food

Oregon. During the COVID-19

evolved into gathering around

pandemic, the Dentons have

fire to cook and eat it, too.

offered everything from out-

In following centuries,

door dining to to-go barbecue

roaming tribes made and

boxes. But diners miss out on

remade spit-roasts for meat

the theater of their wood-fired

and clay ovens for fish. Staid

grill. “Everyone loves the look

farmers and fishers smoked

and feel of the fire as they

proteins and baked grains in

enter our restaurant,” Denton

crude closed “fire chambers.”

continues. “It’s exciting in

Then came indoor cooking

The wood-fired oven at La Vecina Restaurante

the same way that a roller

hearths so tall you could

by wood until coal became

coaster is—so much fun, but

stand in them. In the mid-16th

the post-Civil War norm, and

with a hint of danger.”

century, Argentina’s gauchos

the 20th century brought gas

dotted the plains with open-

and then electricity into the

history among Mexican and

fire grills, cooking large slabs

slim, colorful ranges that

Latino cuisines, cooking over

of meat on makeshift paril-

soon entirely replaced those

wood fire fell out of fashion

las to define asado cooking.

iron klunkers.

in U.S. kitchens when cleaner

Styles in Brazil, Uruguay,

fuels inspired compact

Peru, and Mexico followed.

for millions of years, open-fire

By the mid-1700s, profes-

cooking became almost obso-

While asado has a beloved

setups and faster lines. But

The sole means of cooking

as diners pine for the thrill

sional kitchens in the United

lete within a century. It’s still

of shared experiences once

States swapped out those

beloved for backyard cookouts

again, supermarket and chef

massive cooking hearths for

and barbecue restaurants. But

trends suggest a return to

enclosed “fireboxes” built

as anyone working the smoker

grilling with a heavy interest

into chimneyed walls where,

can tell you, cooking with

in spiced meats.

for the first time, cooks could

wood takes work.

Which means it’s time to

somewhat control the heat

bring the fire back where it

as it twisted to a series of

belongs: everywhere.

cooking chambers. The iron boom of the early 1800s then


AND YET… WE ALWAYS RETURN TO THE HEARTH “This is how we all started


inspired massive cast iron

to cook,” says chef Justin

cooking stoves complete with

Bazdarich of Oxomoco, a

Scientists estimate homo

ranges, ovens, broilers, and

Mexican restaurant in Brook-

sapiens first threw meat onto

hoods. Ovens were still fueled

lyn, New York. “It’s sort of in APR/MAY/JUN 2021

| el restaurante




our DNA to be enjoying this

For over five years now, Chris

in its primality.” Because

and Idie Hastings have relied

of its history, it’s almost

on open-fire cooking to marry

sacrilegious to call open-

southern ingredients with the

fire cooking a trend. But as

cooking traditions of Spain,

diners seek restaurants that

Portugal, Argentina, and

comfort and entertain, chefs

Uruguay at their Birmingham,

lean into cuisines that fire

Alabama Ovenbird. After

them up, too. Literally.

selling one of his two Mexico

Coralville, Iowa’s new La Vecina Restaurante creates

Clasico Grill locations in Rockford, Illinois, Chef Jose

wood-fired Oaxacan fare, fea-

Chaves renamed his sole lo-

turing grilled proteins folded

cation El Fuego Grill to make

into heirloom masa tortillas.

sure guests know he has a Cilantro and green onion add flavor to Oxomoco’s Brazino, as Sasso Chicken hangs in the background PHOTO BY LOUISE CECILIA PALMBERG

Family owned and operated for almost 50 years! The Rovey brand has been a trusted source of non-gmo and organic food grade grains and ingredients. *non-gmo & organic white, yellow, blue, red and other food grade grains.

particularly hot offering. And

points out that ingredients

the Dentons’ Argentinian

like chiles and masa already

cuisine would not be com-

have or pair well with inher-

plete without it: “We knew

ently earthy, smoky flavors.

our first restaurant would

It only made sense to give

feature wood-fire cooking

two wood-burning grills focus

because we love the smoky,

at Oxomoco, too. “I took all

charred flavors that this kind

my favorite dishes and put a

of grilling imparts,” Denton

wood-fired twist to them,” he

says assuredly.

says of that menu.

Bazdarich got hooked on wood-fired cooking at


his first restaurant, too. “I

Of course, folding wood-fire

wanted everything to be

cooking into a professional

wood-fired,” he remembers

kitchen isn’t as simple as

of the first dishes coming out

firing up a Weber or Big

of his wood-burning ovens at

Green Egg.

Speedy Romeo in Manhattan.

WWW.ROVEYSEED.COM • (217) 227-4541 18 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

For decades, even the

“I wanted wood-fired tacos,

toughest commercial grills

wood-fired steak frites…”

came with expensive upkeep

Having traveled throughout

and lacked finesse. Then

Mexico since high school, he

designers like Ben Eisen-


drath hit the scene. Eisendrath’s

hardwood for those grills isn’t an

Grillworks grills replicate the

issue. But wood isn’t the friendli-

asado technique with angled

est fuel to cook with. “The biggest

grates, rotisseries, mesh surfaces,

challenge is the physical nature

and planchas that move by crank

of it,” says Denton, whose chefs

wheels over adjustable fireboxes

continually load and unload heavy

so that chefs get the precise

fuel, and regularly risk dehydra-

steam or char

tion and heat rashes from stand-

they desire. They’re dubbed the

ing for hours at the fire.

“gold standard of wood-burning

wood is more expensive to

and the Dentons are among those

purchase and store than gas or

who praise their custom-made

electricity, too, and that unlike

setups. La Vecina’s stacked setup

those other fuels, it’s an ingredi-

comes from Grills by Demant,

ent: “It also adds flavor to the

an Atlanta-based company that

dish,” he says. While he’s never

customizes stainless-steel grills

figured wood into his menu costs,

for regional chefs. Texas compa-

he points out the expense should

nies Champion Tuff Grills and

be reflected there. There are expenditures related

handle that heat. Such getups

to state environmental regula-

make for expensive startup costs

tions, too. New York City now

but are worth the long-term

requires a “smog hog” to mist


smoke particulates out of exhaust

Sourcing natural, kiln-dried

Immersion Blenders #1 Selling

Bazdarich points out that

grills” by The New York Times,

M Grills also make grills that

Soups, sauces and salsa !

20 models available :

· Removable stainless steel blade and bell for perfect sanitation · Multipurpose : blade and whisk · Powerful motor for great performance · Compact and easy to handle appliance · Patented Easy Plug system making it far easier to replace the power cord for MP Models during after-sales servicing

systems before it clears the roof.

Ovenbird’s Paella on the Patio

Book a free demonstration in your kitchen on www.robot-coupe.com Robot-Coupe USA., Inc., info@robotcoupeusa.com All Robot Coupe Immersion Blenders have 1 Year «No Hassle» one time replacement Warranty. U.S.A & CANADA


In Portland, Oregon, a wood-

fish fillets, tiny spring onions,

fired hearth requires a sepa-

and sweet seasonal melons

rate hood system entirely.

all benefit. The collagen of

These are costly to build out,

skin and bones in whole

clean, and maintain. “I under-

animals and large chops

stand it. But the expense is

meld to turn out incredibly

exhausting,” Bazdarich says.

tender and juicy results, too, cutting down ingredient


waste at the same time. “It

Even with all those things

can bring a concentration

considered, wood-fire cook-

of flavor that other cooking

ing transforms ingredients so

methods may not be able

fully as it cooks, crisps, and

to,” he points out.

caramelizes that there’s no

the grill into most dish com-

substitute for it. “There are very few things La Vecina Restaurante’s wood oven-roasted Plátanos

Bazdarich incorporates ponents at Oxomoco, even

that are not fitting for the

grilling ingredients before

wood fire,” Denton says of its

chilling them for marinades

versatility, citing how tender

and salsas. But his Sasso




20 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021





Chicken—which he brines

While an incredibly versa-

and cooks in a low oven be-

tile a cooking method, eaters

fore hanging over the grill to

know dining by an open fire

slow smoke and then fries to

remains a rarity, and noses

finish—wouldn’t be the same

perk wherever sweet smoke

without it. “We wouldn’t be

wafts. As food only gets tast-

able to get that same level

ier when touched by flame,

of smoke flavor that’s so

asado is an antique technique

subtle and nice and juicy and

that well deserves trending.

tender,” he says of how other

Ready to take the torch?

barbecue methods would overpower the particular hen’s subtle, tender fat and flavor. Even meatless, tortillabased dishes like his Spring Pea Tlayuda with salsa cruda, mint puree, quesillo, serrano and scallions get the wood-fire treatment.

Jacqueline Raposo is a food writer and podcast producer based in New York City. First generation Azorean American, her mouth waters for fresh fish grilled over open flames and playing fútbol with family 0while waiting on churrasco. See recipe for Oxomoco’s wood-fired roasted Spring Pea Tlayuda on page 54.

Oxomoco’s Spring Pea Tlayuda



| el restaurante



Los chefs apuestan por el teatro y el sabor que proporciona la cocina de leña

22 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021


Lo que significa que ha

Con el énfasis actual en

llegado el momento de

todo lo relacionado con la

devolver el fuego a donde

seguridad, puede ser difícil

debe estar: en todas partes.

recordar la emoción de la hospitalidad interactiva. “Cada método de cocina


tiene su lugar, y todos pueden

Los científicos estiman que el

ser agradables”, dice Greg

homo sapiens echó por prim-

Denton, copropietario con su

era vez carne al fuego hace

esposa, Gabrielle Quiñónez

unos 1.8 millones de años, y

Denton, del restaurante Ox,

atribuyen a esta revelación

de inspiración argentina, en

la razón por la que evolucio-

Portland, Oregón. Durante

namos como lo hicimos: los

la pandemia de Covid-19, los

alimentos cocinados son más

Denton han ofrecido desde

fáciles de digerir que los cru-

carne en parillas improvisa-

cenas al aire libre hasta cajas

dos y crean un excedente de

das para definir la cocina del

de barbacoa para llevar. Pero

energía. Con el tiempo, esto

asado. Le siguieron estilos

los comensales se pierden el

ayudó a que nuestros cere-

en Brasil, Uruguay, Perú y

teatro de su parrilla de leña.

bros tuvieran casi el doble de


“A todo el mundo le encanta

tamaño que los de nuestros

A mediados del siglo XVII,

el aspecto y la sensación del

primos primates. A medida

las cocinas profesionales de

fuego al entrar en nuestro res-

que nuestros lazos sociales

Estados Unidos cambiaron

taurante”, continúa Denton.

se profundizaban, la caza y la

esos enormes fogones por

“Es emocionante, igual que

recolección de alimentos evo-

“cajas de fuego” cerradas

lo es una montaña rusa: muy

lucionaron hacia la reunión en

construidas en paredes con

divertido, pero con una pizca

torno al fuego para cocinarlos

chimeneas en las que, por

de peligro”.

y también para comerlos.

primera vez, los cocineros

Aunque el asado tiene una

En los siglos siguientes, las

El horno en La Vecina Restaurante


podían controlar en cierto

historia muy querida entre

tribus itinerantes hicieron y

modo el calor al girar hacia

las cocinas mexicana y latina,

rehicieron asadores para la

una serie de cámaras de coc-

cocinar con fuego de leña

carne y hornos de barro para

ción. El auge del hierro a prin-

pasó de moda en las cocinas

el pescado. Los agricultores

cipios del siglo XIX inspiró

estadounidenses, cuando los

y pescadores sedentarios

entonces las enormes cocinas

combustibles más limpios

ahumaban las proteínas y

de hierro fundido completas

inspiraron montajes compac-

horneaban los granos en

con fogones, hornos, parril-

tos y mayor rapidez en las

toscas “cámaras de fuego”

las y campanas. Todavía con

filas. Pero a medida que los

cerradas. Luego llegaron los

leña como combustible, hasta

comensales vuelven a anhelar

fogones interiores, tan altos

que el carbón se impuso

la emoción de las experiencias

que se podía estar de pie en

después de la Guerra Civil, el

compartidas, las tendencias

ellos. A mediados del siglo

siglo XX trajo el gas y luego la

de los supermercados y de los

XVI, los gauchos argentinos

electricidad a las esbeltas y

chefs sugieren una vuelta a la

salpicaron las llanuras con

coloridas cocinas que pronto

parrilla, con un gran interés

parrillas de fuego abierto,

sustituyeron por completo a

por las carnes especiadas.

cocinando grandes trozos de

esos aparatos de hierro.

– GREG DENTON, chef copropietario del restaurante Ox


| el restaurante




Paella de Ovenbird

Como única manera de

puro”. Debido a su historia, es

mingham, Alabama, Ovenbird.

favoritos y les di un toque de

cocinar durante millones

casi un sacrilegio decir que la

Después de vender uno de sus

leña”, dice sobre ese menú.

de años, la cocina de fuego

cocina a fuego abierto es una

dos locales de México Clásico

abierto quedó casi obsoleta

moda. Pero a medida que los

Grill en Rockford, Illinois, el


en un siglo. Sigue siendo muy

comensales buscan restauran-

chef José Chaves rebautizó su

Por supuesto, incorporar la

apreciada en las comidas al

tes que los reconforten y en-

único local con el nombre de

cocina de leña a una cocina

aire libre en los patios y en

tretengan, los chefs se inclinan

El Fuego Grill para que los

profesional no es tan sencillo

los restaurantes de barbacoa.

por cocinas que también los

comensales sepan que tiene

como encender una Weber o

Pero como puede contarle

enciendan. Literalmente.

una oferta especialmente

un Big Green Egg.

cualquiera que trabaje con un

El nuevo restaurante La

ardiente. Y la cocina argen-

Durante décadas, incluso

ahumador, cocinar con leña

Vecina de Coralville, Iowa,

tina de los Denton no estaría

las parrillas comerciales más

implica mucho trabajo.

crea comida oaxaqueña a la

completa sin ella: “Sabíamos

resistentes tenían un manten-

leña, con proteínas a la parrilla

que nuestro primer restau-

imiento costoso y carecían de


dobladas en tortillas de masa

rante contaría con cocina de

delicadeza alguna. Entonces

tradicionales. Desde hace más

leña porque nos encantan los

entraron en escena diseña-

“Así es como todos empeza-

de cinco años, Chris e Idie

sabores ahumados y carbon-

dores como Ben Eisendrath.

mos a cocinar”, dice el chef

Hastings confían en la cocina

izados que ofrece este tipo

Las parrillas Grillworks de

Justin Bazdarich de Oxomoco,

a fuego abierto para combinar

de parrilla”, dice Denton con

Eisendrath reproducen la

un restaurante mexicano de

los ingredientes sureños con


técnica del asado con rejillas

Brooklyn, Nueva York. “Está en

las tradiciones culinarias de

cierto modo en nuestro ADN

España, Portugal, Argentina

fascinado por la cocina de

cies de malla y planchas que

disfrutar de esto en estado

y Uruguay en su local de Bir-

leña en su primer restaurante.

se mueven mediante ruedas

“Quería que todo fuera a la

con manivela sobre las cajas

leña”, recuerda de los prim-

de fuego ajustables para que

eros platos que salían de sus

los chefs logren el vapor o

hornos de leña en el Speedy

el carbonizado preciso que

Romeo de Manhattan. “Quería

desean. El New York Times

tacos a la leña, bistecs fritos a

las ha calificado como el

la leña...” Al haber viajado por

“patrón a seguir de las par-

todo México desde el insti-

rillas de leña”, y los Denton

tuto, señala que ingredientes

están entre los que alaban

como los chiles y la masa ya

sus montajes a medida. La

tienen o combinan bien con

configuración apilada de La

sabores inherentemente ter-

Vecina proviene de Grills by

rosos y ahumados. Era lógico

Demant, una empresa con

que en Oxomoco también se

sede en Atlanta que per-

centraran en dos parrillas de

sonaliza parrillas de acero

leña. “Agarré todos mis platos

inoxidable para los chefs de

Brazino y pollo de Oxomoco

Bazdarich también quedó

angulares, asadores, superfi-



Plátanos de La Vecina Restaurante

obtener resultados increíble-

sobre cómo otros métodos

mente tiernos y jugosos, re-

de barbacoa dominarían la

duciendo al mismo tiempo el

grasa y el sabor sutil y tierno

desperdicio de ingredientes.

de la gallina en particular.

“Puede aportar una concen-

Aunque se trata de un

la región. Las empresas de

medioambiental estatal. La

tración de sabor imposible de

método de cocción increíble-

Texas Champion Tuff Grills

ciudad de Nueva York ahora

conseguir con otros métodos

mente versátil, los comen-

y M Grills también fabrican

exige un “filtro de aire” para

de cocina”, señala.

sales saben que cenar junto

parrillas que soportan ese

nebulizar las partículas de

calor. Estas parrillas suponen

humo de los sistemas de

parrilla a la mayoría de los

siendo algo poco frecuente,

unos costos iniciales eleva-

escape antes de que lleg-

componentes de los platos

y los olfatos se agudizan

dos, pero la inversión a largo

uen al techo. En Portland

en Oxomoco, incluso asando

allí donde el humo dulce se

plazo merece la pena.

(Oregón), una chimenea de

los ingredientes antes de en-

difunde. Como la comida solo

Bazdarich incorpora la

a un fuego abierto sigue

leña requiere un sistema de

friarlos para los escabeches

se vuelve más sabrosa al con-

natural y secada al horno

campana totalmente indepen-

y las salsas. Pero su Pollo

tacto con la llama, el asado

para esas parrillas no es un

diente. Estos son costosos de

Sasso—que pone en salm-

es una técnica antigua que

problema. Pero la madera

construir, limpiar y mantener.

uera y cocina en un horno

bien merece estar de moda.

no es el combustible más

“Lo entiendo. Pero el gasto es

a baja temperatura antes

agradable para cocinar. “El

desorbitado”, dice Bazdarich.

de colgarlo sobre la parrilla

Conseguir madera dura

para ahumarlo lentamente

mayor reto es su naturaleza física”, dice Denton, cuyos


y freírlo para terminar—no

cocineros cargan y descargan

Incluso teniendo en cuenta

sería lo mismo sin ella. “No

continuamente el pesado

todas esas cosas, la co-

podríamos conseguir ese

combustible, y se arries-

cina de leña transforma los

mismo nivel de sabor ahu-

gan con frecuencia a sufrir

ingredientes por completo a

mado que es tan sutil, agrad-

deshidratación y erupciones

medida que los cocina, los

able, jugoso y tierno”, dice

cutáneas por estar de pie

vuelve crujientes y los cara-

durante horas junto al fuego.

meliza, de modo que no hay

Bazdarich señala que la

nada que la sustituya. “Hay muy pocas cosas que

madera es más cara de comprar y almacenar que el gas

no sean adecuadas para el

o la electricidad, también, y

fuego de leña”, dice Denton

que a diferencia de esos otros

sobre su versatilidad, y men-

combustibles, es un ingredi-

ciona cómo se benefician de

ente: “También añade sabor al

ella los tiernos lomos de pes-

plato”, dice. Aunque nunca ha

cado, las diminutas cebollas

incluido la madera en los cos-

cambray y los dulces melones

tos de su menú, señala que el

de temporada. El colágeno

gasto debería reflejarse ahí.

de la piel y los huesos de los

También hay gastos relacionados con la normativa

animales enteros y las chuletas grandes se funden para

26 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

¿Listos para tomar el relevo? Jacqueline Raposo es una escritora gastronómica y productora de podcasts afincada en la ciudad de Nueva York. Americana de primera generación de las Azores, se le hace la boca agua con el pescado fresco asado al fuego y jugando al fútbol con la familia mientras espera el churrasco. Spring Pea Tlayuda de Oxomoco; ver receta en la página 54


| el restaurante



Masa-based foods cooking on a comal


EXPLORING THE STREET FOODS OF MEXICO EDITOR’S NOTE: A few months ago, I read about a tour that took visitors on a culinary journey to explore the street foods of Puebla. Since el Restaurante contributing writer Joseph Sorrentino is our resident writer in Mexico, I tapped him to explore the topic by taking his own personally designed tour. Here, he shares a “menu” of his discoveries from Chipilo, Atlixco, San Pedro Cholula and Santa Maria Tonantzintla, all in the state of Puebla; San Gregorio Atlapulco and Santa Cruz Acalpixca in Xochimilco; and Villa Milpa Alta in Milpa Alta. (Xochimilco and Milpa Alta are municipios or boroughs of Mexico City).

at 20 different locations and, happily, have no horror stories to regale you with. Here’s some of what we enjoyed:


stands, taquerías, and hole-

TAMALES In the early morn-

in-the-wall restaurants. Street

ing, heavy three-wheeled

food is really just home-made

bicycles loaded with silver

food that’s extremely inex-

containers jammed with

pensive and very tasty. Many

tamales appear on corners in

items served in Antojitos

virtually every Mexican city

Mexicanos (tiny restaurants,

and pueblo. Most stands offer

someone’s front room or

several types, including rajas

a large tent) typically are

(queso fresco, and strips of

cooked on a comal, a large

chiles, typically poblanos,

metal griddle and start with a

that have been cooked with

cook taking a handful of masa,

tomatoes); dulce (a sweet, red

passing it through a tortilla

tamale made with strawber-

press to flatten it and then

ries, raisins and vanilla); mole


to them or someone they knew

shaping it into circles, ovals

(some type of mole, chipotle

writing from Mexico | I avoided

when they ate food sold on the

or other shapes depending on

and pork); verde (tomatillos,

street food during my first

street. I took their warnings to

what’s been ordered.

cilantro, chile, pork or chick-

couple of trips to Mexico

heart. What a mistake. I missed

mainly because whenever I

out on a lot. People across Mexico sell

was heading there, some friend

There’s an almost infinite

en). Although tamales may

variety of street food options,

be eaten any time, they’re

and each location has its

typically sold as a breakfast

would inevitably tell me a hor-

food from baskets attached

own take on Mexican favor-

food on the street and carts

ror story about what happened

to their bicycles, carts, small

ites. I and a companion ate

disappear by mid-morning.

28 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

TACOS They’re sold from

a tlacoyo filled with any kind

bikes, stands and in ta-

of meat. Once cooked, they’re

querías…and if you hear

often topped with nopales

someone calling out “Tacos...

and grated cojita.

tacos de la canasta,” head on

QUESADILLAS You can order

over. In Cholula, these are

these large tortillas filled with

often small tacos sold from

whatever your heart desires.

a basket attached to a bike.

Be sure to ask for quesillo

They can be filled with meat,

(queso Oaxaca)—you won’t

beans or potatoes and topped

regret it. A popular quesadilla

with salsa. An order is four

in Milpa Alta is filled with

tacos and since they’re small

seso (brains), onions, jalape-

and tasty, two orders may be

ños and epazote (that one

required. Other types include

isn’t cooked on a comal—it’s

tacos dorados, tacos that have


been fried to a crispy, golden

GORDITAS In Mexico City, gor-

brown, and tacos camioneros,

ditas are usually large, thick

soft tacos piled high with

and round. Cooks slice these

meat, onions, peppers and

in half and stuff them with the

french fries. One order will

customer’s choice of fillings.

almost certainly suffice. At

Chicharron is added whether

outside taquerías, you’ll often

you’ve asked for it or not. But

find marinated pork cooking

in Puebla, gorditas look like

on a trompo, a vertical rotis-

quesadillas that have been

serie. The pork is layered on

filled with refritos.

the trompo, slow-cooked, and

MOLOTES A cross between

then thinly sliced to make

fried dough and a calzone,

tacos al pastor, or taco árabes.

molotes are found mainly in

Both are made with pork

Puebla. The ones I ate were

cooked on a trompo but the

made from dough that’s a

marinades differ.

mix of flour and corn and

TLACOYOS These are tradi-

pressed until paper-thin. A

tionally oblong or triangular.

generous amount of filling is

Refritos, cheese or mashed

added, along with thin slices

potatoes are added to the

of jalapeño and some epazote.

masa, which is worked

The dough is folded over

slightly and then shaped.

and deep-fried resulting in a

Surprisingly, I’ve never seen

surprisingly soft molote. TORTAS On my second trip to


Mexico—way back in 1999—I spied a stand advertising tortas. My Spanish wasn’t very good—in fact, it was almost non-existent—and I figured a torta was a small tortilla.

The Optimal Automatics Autodoner is ideal for preparing cones of al pastor and other stacked meats. Comes in many sizes and models, including natural gas, electric, and LP.

Se habla espanol Se habla espanol 847-439-9110 847-439-9110 www.optimalautomatics.com www.optimalautomatics.com


Cacahuates and Chapulines


A steet tortas stand

Makes sense, right? So, I went



masa with water and boiling

in and ordered two. Big mis-

ESQUITES Made from fresh

JUGOS Stands sell fruit and

that mixture with corn ker-

take. Turns out tortas are large

corn kernels, this is a simple

vegetable juices (fruit juices are

nels, chile (usually serrano)

sandwiches. Although torta is

but delicious snack that’s ei-

called aguas frescas). They’ll

and epazote. Some cooks

a generic name for any kind

ther fried (with poblano chile,

often also sell horchata (a sweet

add radish leaves. This green,

of sandwich, in Mexico City

epazote and salt) or boiled

rice drink) and jamaica (made

spicy drink is really good

there are torta stands every-

(no chile). Both are tradition-

from hibiscus flowers).

during the colder months.

where selling tortas filled with

ally served topped with cojita

TEPACHE Also called pineapple

ATOLE Often sold at tamale

meat, cheese, avocado, onion,

cheese, chile powder, mayon-

wine, it’s a slightly alcoholic

stands, this sweet drink is made

refritos and mayonnaise. My

naise and lime.

(about 2 percent) drink made

with masa, milk, piloncillo (raw

favorite is torta suisa, which


from pineapple peels. The

sugar) and cinnamon. There’s

is made with three kinds

Vendors called itinerantes

peels are placed in water, along

also a chocolate version.

of melted cheese. Adding

carry buckets of peanuts and

with sugar and cinnamon and

CACAO Known as tejate in Oaxa-

chipotle takes it to whole

fried grasshoppers through

allowed to ferment for two or

ca and chilate in Guerrero, this

‘nother level.

the streets of cities and

three days. The result is a deep

cold, delicious chocolate drink

CEMITAS A sandwich found

pueblos. I’m really fond of

reddish-brown drink that’s

is simply known as cacao in

only in Puebla, it’s made with a

the peanuts but have yet to

somehow able to taste sweet

Santa Maria Tonantzintla, Puebla

roll called a cemita and gener-

try the chapulines. I’m told

and vinegary at the same time.

where it’s made with cacao,

ally has meat, queso Oaxaca,

they taste like peanuts, so

It’s traditionally served ice-cold.

toasted corn, amaranto and cin-

avocado and onions—but each

I’ve decided to stick to the

PULQUE Another fermented,

namon. The drink is stirred with

stand has its own version.


slightly alcoholic drink (around

a special, elaborately carved

BARBACOA Meat is tradition-

CHICHARRÓNES Deep-fried pork

4 percent) that’s made from

stick called a molinillo which is

ally, but not always, placed

skins…need I say more?


spun between a person’s hands

on top of charcoal in a hole in


CHILE ATOLE One of my favorite

to give the cacao its froth.

the ground and covered with

and water ice made fresh in

drinks, this is made by mixing

See a recipe for Barbacoa on page 54.

maguey leaves. It cooks for

buckets at stands that line

8 to 12 hours and, at least for

many streets.

estilo Hidalgo (Hidalgo-style)

PAPAS Once you’ve eaten

preparations, is served with

fresh-cooked potato chips,

a soup made with the meat

you’ll never buy bagged chips

drippings, rice, garbanzos and

again. Potatoes are sliced into

carrots. I was told the soup

hot oil, cooked for about three

was “90 percent vegetarian.”

minutes, drained, cooled and

Unlike barbecue in the U.S.,

bagged. Adding salsa, lime

no sauce is added.

and salt is a must.

30 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021



at the bar

| BY ELYSE GLICKMAN | After 2020’s unprecedented dry spell, bar business is heating up, as vaccinations coincide with summertime weather. And that begs the question: What are some cocktail trends heating up the bar scene as we cautiously move out of COVID-19 and into the summertime drinking and dining season? “This has been a hot-button topic for the past year. It’s really hard to say as the whole world stood still, and while creativity wasn’t halted, trends definitely slowed down,” says Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Illinois Mixologist Daniel DeOliveira. “One thing we did see was bars and bartenders using spirits that may have just been collecting dust in a liquor room—flavored vodkas, odd liqueurs, free stock—and turning those spirits that were otherwise overlooked into something delicious. I think it really caused people to get creative as bars were not bringing in new products and being very conscious of the COVID climate, thus using what they had on hand.” A creative approach that took safety into account has also affected cocktail trends, according to Saul Moise, commercial director for ZIGNUM Mezcal.

La Duni’s Paloma Francesa

For example, one-time outdoor staples such as the big cocktail bowl or giant margarita that customers could share are out, while “deconstructed cocktails” are poised for a comeback, Moise says. “Consumers became accustomed to to-go cocktails as well as home mixology, so will feel both safe and comfortable when presented with ingredients and tools allowing them to mix their own cocktails at their own tables.” “Speed of service will be even more important than before, as you don’t want crowds hovering at a bar waiting for

PATIO-PERFECT COCKTAILS Light, fresh and fruit-forward define summertime libations


| el restaurante


at the bar

drinks,” Moise adds. “Eyes will be on the high-energy bars, making sure they are implementing sanitary processes.”

LIGHTER DRINKS FOR A LIGHTER SEASON Coming out of the COVID lockdown, Moise projects consumers will lean toward lighter, cleaner, not-too-sweet flavor profiles. Melissa Scroger, beverage director at Mas Amor Cantina in Hickory, North Carolina, is applying some of those principals by using fresh herbs to mellow out flavor profiles in specialty cocktails once defined by intense sweetness. “We are incorporating daily freshsqueezed juices and herbs muddled into our signature drinks,” she says. The La Madrugada cocktail

“Our Mojito Margarita is a great take on two classic summertime cocktails,

A New Take on Tiki?

Trends for 2021” weighed in on the sub-

juice, and only a touch of simple syrup

Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s “10 Drinks

with muddled mint, fresh squeezed lime


ject last December, too: “Tiki bars are out;

shaken into a black smoked salt rimmed

fruity, umbrella-accented “Tiki” cocktails

tropical and nautical bars, in…While the

glass with guests’ choice of tequila. Our

have been popular for decades. But as

desire for colorful, rum-soaked drinks will

Pineapple-Cilantro Margarita is curated

concerns about cultural appropriation

continue, don’t call the bars that serve

with our house-made cilantro simple

gain steam, there’s debate about whether

them ‘tiki bars.’”

syrup, pineapple puree, fresh squeezed

or not the term is the right one to use in restaurant and bar settings. Consider this assessment from “8 Trends

Daniel DeOliveira, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Illinois Mixologist, has a slightly different take on the topic.

lime juice, shaken with guests’ choice tequila into a Tajin-rimmed glass.” Daniel Guillen, beverage director at

That Will Define How We Drink in 2020,” a

“I do know a lot of places are not nec-

story at Liquor. com: “While the canon of

essarily shying away from using the term

Tiki drinks will live on, Tiki bars, as we know

‘tiki’ but are more or less losing some of

them, are fast on their way to extinction as

the glassware and imagery that is disre-

ket will accept or will trigger for summer

the industry continues to recognize Tiki’s

spectful to other cultures—and there is a

2021, I personally think pink grapefruit

problematic history and misuse of Indig-

lot of it,” DeOliveira says. “The tiki craze is

and mint or black pepper are beauti-

enous iconography and language.”

definitely here to stay, but there is a way

ful combinations and could have legs

to have and honor it while being respect-

this year,” Guillen says. “Citrus-forward

ful of the cultures it draws upon.”

tonic highballs with clear spirits like

San Francisco’s Sobre Mesa and Chicago’s 14 Parish, for example, serve what once might have been labeled “Tiki” cocktails, but are doing so through the lens of what liquor.com calls “the Black and Caribbean diaspora,” the story notes.

La Duni in Dallas, sees a trend toward lighter libations featuring fruit, too. “While I am not sure of what the mar-

Pisco, meanwhile, could become a thirst Thoughts on the subject? We’d love to hear them! Email Editor Kathleen Furore at kfurore@restmex.com and we’ll share the comments in our next issue.

quencher on summer afternoons. Hibiscus is also a ‘thing,’ growing more and more in Latin menus, coming in strong as hibiscus margaritas, mojitos or sours.”

32 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

at the bar

“We are incorporating daily fresh-squeezed juices and herbs muddled into our signature drinks. Our Mojito Margarita is a great take on two classic summertime cocktails, with muddled mint, fresh squeezed lime juice, and only a touch of simple syrup shaken into a black smoked salt rimmed glass with guests’ choice of tequila. Our Pineapple-Cilantro Margarita is curated with our house-made cilantro simple syrup, pineapple puree, fresh squeezed lime juice, shaken with guests’ choice tequila into a Tajin-rimmed glass.”—MELISSA SCROGER, Mas Amor Cantina Mas Amor Cantina’s Pineapple-Cilantro Margarita PHOTO BY BLAKE POPE

La Duni’s Ica Press cocktail

A few La Duni favorites include the Chamoyada made with mango puree, the Clementina Margarita shaken with fresh clementines, and the Ica Press made with green apples and grapes pressed in a cold press juicer. “We’re also seeing things like alcoholic popsicles, different types of hard seltzers that are becoming more and more crafty and seasonal, grapefruit spritzers with clear spirits and (beer-based) Micheladas of all kind,” Guillen adds. Keeping it fresh should remain the focus, DeOliveira stresses. “When it comes down to it, it’s all about the ingredients. Are you using fresh lime juice in your margaritas and other cocktails? If the answer is no, you will never serve a great cocktail, period. There are quality mixers out there, like Liquid Alchemist that just launched their Peach and Blood Orange syrups, that are real products with real ingredients. They may cost a bit more than some of their competitors, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Sure, this other syrup/puree might taste delicious and be half the cost, but if it can be stored once opened at room temperature for over six months, what chemicals are they using to preserve it? I don’t want/ care to know.”

34 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

at the bar

The No- and Low-Alcohol Trend With summer calling for lighter cocktails, no- and low-alcohol options are things to consider—at least based on a 2021 study from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. “While 2020 was a challenging year for beverage alcohol, consumer demand for no- and low alcohol beer, wine, spirits, and ready-to-drink (RTD) products continues

“Passionfruit and mezcal is a combination to look out for. [Passionfruit] is a sexy fruit with Latin mystique and citrusy flavor.” – MARCELLO COPPOLA, ZIGNUM Mezcal

to increase,” the No- and Low-Alcohol Strategic Study 2021 says. “The buoyant no/ low category gained share within the total beverage alcohol market last year to 3 percent, and total volume is forecasted to grow by +31 percent by 2024.” When it comes to where these no- and low-alcohol beverages are trending, some markets are proving more resilient than others. According to the study, the U.S. “is currently the most dynamic, with the no/low segment registering over +30 percent increase in 2020 despite the enormity of the challenges faced by the industry.”

TEQUILA ALTERNATIVES While tequila always will be prevalent behind the bar, especially in Mexican establishments, other liquors are taking hold in Mexican- and Latin-inspired cocktails. Mas Amor’s Scoger, for example, is turning to brown spirits in place of familiar tequila in

Summer cocktails get a fresh twist with watermelon and mint

some cocktails. “To wet the whistle of any summertime whiskey fan, we’ve got the Blood Orange Bourbon Smash, shaken with Heaven Hill Bourbon, blood orange puree, fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice and finished with Angostura orange bitters and a slice of blood orange. Our Horchata is made from scratch daily with shaved almonds, white rice, Melipone genuine Mexican Vanilla, and cinnamon, then shaken with our Dark Goslings Rum and Sambroso coffee liqueur.” MARCELLO COPPOLA, East Regional manager for

ZIGNUM Mezcal, says “Tiki” is still big, but with strong brown spirits, along with mezcal, replacing sweeter rums and tequilas. “Passionfruit and mezcal is a combination to look out for. [Passionfruit] is a sexy fruit with Latin mystique and citrusy flavor,” Coppola says. (See sidebar about Tiki on page 32.) “Mezcal, like tequila, is very versatile, as you can essentially replace any white spirit with it to enhance the cocktail and give it an entirely new flavor profile,” interjects Moise. “Another example is the Paloma, which normally is tequila-based. However, if you switch it with a mezcal, you give it an earthy, peppery, more agave-forward flavor profile.” See cocktail recipes on page 54. Elyse Glickman is the At the Bar columnist for el Restaurante.

1½ oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka ½ oz orange liqueur 1½ oz fresh lemon juice 1½ oz fresh lime juice ½ oz simple syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass over ice or into a martini glass. For a spicy kick, add three jalapeño slices to the shaker. Garnish with a lime slice. Pro-Tip: If you like it salty, use a glass with a salted rim.

For more cool cocktails, visit titosvodka.com

en el bar

COCTELES PERFECTOS PARA DISFRUTAR EN LA TERRAZA Lo ligero, fresco y frutal caracteriza las bebidas del verano

| POR ELYSE GLICKMAN | Tras un periodo inédito de escasez en 2020, el negocio de los bares está retomando fuerza debido a que la vacunación coincide con la temporada veraniega. Esto nos lleva a la pregunta: ¿cuáles son algunas de las tendencias cocteleras que están mejorando el panorama de los bares a medida que nos alejamos cautelosamente de la COVID-19 y nos adentramos en la temporada de comida y bebida estival?

“Este tema dio mucho de qué hablar el año pasado. Es difícil saber, ya que el mundo entero se detuvo y aunque no se frenó la creatividad, las tendencias definitivamente se ralentizaron”, comenta Daniel DeOliveira, mixólogo de Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Illinois. “Algo que sí notamos es que los bares y cantineros usaron bebidas alcohólicas que podrían haber estado acumulando

38 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

polvo en el almacén (vodkas con sabor, licores poco comunes, existencias gratis) y convirtieron estas bebidas, que de otro modo habrían pasado desapercibidas, en algo delicioso. Creo que esto realmente contribuyó a estimular la creatividad de la gente, pues, como los bares dejaron de traer nuevos productos y estaban muy conscientes de la situación de la COVID, usaban lo que tenían a mano”. De acuerdo con Saul Moise, director comercial de ZIGNUM Mezcal, un enfoque creativo que tomó en cuenta la seguridad también ha afectado las tendencias de los cocteles. Por ejemplo, las bebidas alcohólicas de una sola vez para tomar al aire libre, como el recipiente grande para cocteles o la margarita gigante que los clientes podían compartir ya no se consumen, mientras que los “cocteles deconstruidos” se están preparando para su regreso, dice Moise. “Los consumidores se acostumbraron a los cocteles para llevar y a la mixología casera, por lo que se sentirán seguros y cómodos cuando se les proporcionen los ingredientes y las herramientas que les permitan mezclar sus propios cocteles en sus propias mesas”.

“La velocidad del servicio será aún más importante que antes, pues querrán evitar las acumulaciones de gente esperando sus bebidas en un bar”, agrega Moise. “La atención se centrará en los bares con mayor actividad, asegurándose de que estén implementando los procedimientos sanitarios”.

BEBIDAS MÁS LIGERAS PARA UNA TEMPORADA MÁS LIGERA Al terminar el confinamiento de la COVID, Moise predice que los consumidores preferirán perfiles de sabor más ligeros, puros y no demasiado dulces. MELISSA SCROGER, directora de bebidas de

Mas Amor Cantina en Hickory, Carolina del Norte, está aplicando algunos de esos principios mediante el uso de hierbas frescas para suavizar los perfiles de sabor en cocteles especiales que alguna vez se caracterizaron por su dulzura intensa. “Incorporamos diariamente jugos recién exprimidos y hierbas mezcladas en nuestras bebidas exclusivas”, dice. “Nuestro Mojito Margarita es una excelente versión de dos cocteles clásicos de verano, con una mezcla de menta, jugo de limón recién exprimido y solo un toque de jarabe simple mezclado con el tequila que de elección del cliente en un




el Restaurante

MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD Sponsored by Jarritos

NOMINATE YOUR BEST MANAGERS TODAY! Every manager nominated will receive a certificate honoring the nomination and will be named in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2021 issue of el Restaurante. Award winners will receive cash prizes and be profiled in el Restaurante. There is no cost to nominate a manager. FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO ENTER: Visit www.elrestaurante.com/ 2021-manager-contest/


| el restaurante


en el bar

¿Una nueva versión de Tiki? vaso con sal ahumada negra en el borde.

dice Guillén. “Por su parte, los jaiboles


Nuestra margarita de piña y cilantro está

tónicos de cítricos con bebidas claras

cocteles “tiki” coloridos, afrutados y

curada con nuestro jarabe simple de

como el pisco podrían ayudar a calmar

adornados con sombrillas han gozado

cilantro casero, puré de piña y jugo de

la sed en las tardes de verano. El hibisco

de popularidad durante décadas. Sin

limón recién exprimido agitados con el

también es un ‘elemento’ cada vez más

embargo, a medida que aumenta la

tequila que prefiera el cliente en un vaso

común en los menús latinos, con una

preocupación sobre la apropiación

con Tajín en el borde”.

fuerte presencia en forma de margaritas,

cultural, existe un debate sobre si el

DANIEL GUILLÉN, director de bebidas de

mojitos o cocteles tipo Sour de hibisco”.

uso de este término es adecuado para

La Duni en Dallas, también observa una tendencia hacia bebidas más ligeras con

Algunos de los favoritos de La Duni in-

restaurantes y bares.

cluyen la chamoyada hecha con puré de

Considere esta evaluación de “8

mango, la Margarita clementina agitada

tendencias que definirán la manera en

con clementinas frescas y la Ica Press,

que bebemos en 2020”, una historia

tará o fomentará el mercado para el ve-

elaborada con manzanas verdes y uvas

en Liquor.com: “Si bien el canon de las

rano de 2021, mi opinión personal es que

exprimidas en un exprimidor de presión

bebidas tiki seguirá vigente, los bares

la toronja rosa y la menta o la pimienta

en frío.

tiki como los conocemos en la actuali-

contenido frutal. “Aunque no sé con certeza qué acep-

negra son combinaciones espléndidas y podrían ser relevantes este año”,

40 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

“También estamos viendo cosas como paletas heladas alcohólicas, diferentes

dad van rápidamente en camino hacia la extinción a medida que la industria con-

tinúa reconociendo la problemática

Daniel DeOliveira, mixólogo de South-

historia de los tiki y el uso indebido de

ern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

la iconografía y el lenguaje indígenas”.

Illinois, tiene una visión ligeramente

Por ejemplo, Sobre Mesa de San

diferente del tema.

Francisco y 14 Parish de Chicago

“Sé que muchos lugares no nece-

sirven lo que alguna vez se llamó

sariamente evitan el uso del término

cocteles “tiki”, pero lo hacen desde

“tiki”, pero en cierta medida están

la perspectiva de lo que liquor.com

dejando de usar parte de la cristalería

llama “la diáspora negra y caribeña”,

y las imágenes que son irrespetuosas

señala la historia.

para otras culturas, y esto es algo

La revista Wine Enthusiast también

La Madrugada

bastante significativo”, dice DeOliveira.

abordó el tema en su artículo “10

“La fiebre del tiki definitivamente llegó

tendencias de bebidas para 2021” el

para quedarse, pero existe una manera

pasado mes de diciembre: “Los bares

de conservarla y honrarla sin dejar de

tiki están en desuso, mientras que

respetar las culturas en las que se basa”.

los bares tropicales y náuticos son lo de hoy... Aunque la gente continuará

¿Tiene algo que decir sobre el tema? ¡Nos

buscando las bebidas coloridas e im-

encantaría leer sus comentarios! Envíe un correo electrónico a la editora Kathleen Furore a kfurore@restmex.com y compartiremos los comentarios en nuestra próxima edición.

pregnadas de ron, no debe llamar a los bares que las sirven ‘bares tiki’.”


| el restaurante


en el bar

“Incorporamos diariamente jugos recién exprimidos y hierbas mezcladas en nuestras bebidas exclusivas. Nuestro Mojito Margarita es una excelente versión de dos cocteles clásicos de verano, con una mezcla de menta, jugo de limón recién exprimido y solo un toque de jarabe simple mezclado con el tequila que de elección del cliente en un vaso con sal ahumada negra en el borde. Nuestra margarita de piña y cilantro está curada con nuestro jarabe simple de cilantro casero, puré de piña y jugo de limón recién exprimido, agitados con el tequila que escoja el cliente en un vaso con Tajín en el borde”.—MELISSA SCROGER, Mas Amor Cantina

Pineapple-Cilantro Margarita PHOTO BY BLAKE POPE

tipos de Hard Seltzer que se están volvi-

de limón fresco en sus margaritas y

Hill Bourbon, puré de naranja roja, limón

endo cada vez más ingeniosos y de tem-

otros cocteles? Si la respuesta es no,

recién exprimido y jugo de lima y con un

porada, spritzers de toronja con licores

simplemente nunca servirá un gran

acabado de Amargo de Angostura naranja

claros y micheladas (a base de cerveza)

coctel. Hay mezcladores de calidad,

y una rodaja de naranja roja. Nuestra

de todo tipo”, agrega Guillén.

como Liquid Alchemist, que acaba de

horchata se elabora cada día desde cero

Mantener la frescura debe seguir

lanzar sus jarabes de durazno y naranja

con almendras rayadas, arroz blanco, vai-

siendo la prioridad, recalca DeOliveira.

roja, que son productos de verdad con

nilla mexicana genuina Melipone y canela,

ingredientes de verdad. Pueden costar

y luego se agita con nuestro ron Dark Gos-

un poco más que los de algunos de

lings y licor de café Sambroso”.

“A la hora de la verdad, todo depende de los ingredientes. ¿Está usando jugo

sus competidores, pero al final del día, La Duni’s Ica Press cocktail

Marcello Coppola, gerente de la

obtienes lo que pagas. Por supuesto

Región este de ZIGNUM Mezcal, dice que

que este otro jarabe/puré puede tener

los “tiki” continúan teniendo una fuerte

un sabor delicioso y costar la mitad,

presencia, pero con un licor fuerte de

pero, si se puede almacenar una vez

color oscuro junto con mezcal, que re-

abierto a temperatura ambiente durante

emplaza los rones y tequilas más dulces.

más de seis meses, ¿qué productos

“Maracuyá y el mezcal ofrecen una com-

químicos están usando para conservarlo?

binación que hay que tener en la mira. El

Prefiero no saberlo”.

“Maracuyá es una fruta sensual con mística latina y sabor cítrico”, dice Coppola. (Ver

ALTERNATIVAS AL TEQUILA Si bien el tequila siempre estará presente

el recuadro sobre Tiki en la página 40). “Al igual que el tequila, el mezcal es

detrás de la barra, especialmente en

muy versátil, ya que esencialmente pu-

los negocios mexicanos, otros licores

edes reemplazar cualquier licor de color

se están apoderando de los cocteles de

claro con el mismo para realzar el coctel

inspiración mexicana y latina.

y darle un perfil de sabor completamente

Scoger de Mas Amor, por ejemplo,

nuevo”, opina Moise. “Otro ejemplo es

está utilizando licores de color oscuro

la Paloma, que normalmente se elabora

en lugar del tequila habitual en algunos

a base de tequila, pero al cambiarse con


un mezcal se obtiene un perfil de sabor

“Para complacer a cualquier aficionado

terroso, picante y más cercano a agave.

al whisky en verano, tenemos el Blood Orange Bourbon Smash, agitado con Heaven

Ver recetas de cócteles en p. 54.

brew news

Equis. Instead, they can choose


from a wide selection of craft

–LUIS RAMIREZ, Los Dos Potrillos

| BY ED AVIS | When customers at Los Dos Potrillos want a beer to go with their Pollo Ranchero or Chuletas de Puerco, they’re not limited to the usual selection of Corona, Modelo and Dos

beers with a Mexican/Latin twist, ranging from Mexican

fruit essence, for example—

Amber Lager to Prickly Pear

that makes them suitable for

Saison to Los Dos APA.

pairing with Latin cuisine.

The owners of Los Dos

Naturally, there is good craft

Potrillos, which has four loca-

beer coming from Mexico, too,

tions in the Denver metro area,

though much of that produc-

are exceptional among Mexi-

tion stays in-country. This

can restaurant proprietors

article focuses on craft beers

in that they brew their own

made in the United States.

beer. Brothers Daniel and Luis

Each brewery below has some

Ramirez launched their beer

level of distribution to restau-

line in 2018, shortly after open-

rants, either self-distribution

ing a new location in a building

or through a distributor.

that had previously housed a sports bar that brewed its


own beer.


“Offering our own beer really has enhanced the customer experience,” Luis Ramirez says. “Our philosophy is that we will always pick the best ingredients, best quality, and we will never sacrifice that to make a profit. We brought that same philosophy to our beer.” Brewing beer is a big undertaking and may not be in your


in kegs to other restaurants and retailers in the Denver

Fruit and fruit essences enliven brews with a Latin twist

area, and Ramirez says that they plan to start canning beer in 2021. Their bestsellers currently are their lager, amber, and Agua Fresca, which Ramirez describes as a light lager. But they recently hired a new brewmaster and plan some more exotic brews.

plans—but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your customers

“We’re going to be doing a


multiple breweries that focus

lot of barrel-aged beers spe-

on Latin craft beer.

cifically with tequila barrels,”

a superior selection of Latin-

The list of Mexican/Latin

themed brews. Adding a few

craft beers has grown substan-

craft beers to your menu could

tially over the past few years,

distinguish a Latin craft beer

CHELUNA, another Denver-area

attract a different customer

especially in urban areas. Los

from a regular craft beer, but

craft brewer, was founded in

demographic and, at the very

Angeles, Chicago, Miami and

in general the breweries listed

2017 and consistently offers

least, will give your beer-loving

other large cities with growing

below add some element to

four craft beers: Lowrider Mexi-

clients a broader choice.

Latinx populations each have

their beers—fruit or pieces of

can Lager, Lupita IPA, Chilango

Ramirez says.

Sometimes it’s hard to


| el restaurante


brew news

SouthNorte’s award-winning Agavamente Hibiscus Lager

Veza Sur’s new South Coast IPA

distributed by Windy City Dis-

Mexican-style lagers includ-

tribution in the Chicago area.

ing Chihuahua El Primero, an

New on the Windy City’s

international pale lager with a

Latin-themed brewery scene

clean and lightly sweet finish;


Chihuahua Limón, a lager

founded by brothers Javier

with a lime spritz and a pinch

and Jose Lopez in 2019. The

of salt; Chihuahua Guava-

Hefeweizen, and Coco-Xoco

taste, according to Rhett

beers are decidedly Mexican

Lime, a low-cal lager brewed

Porter—all featuring some

Dougherty, the company’s

and include Maizal, a Mexi-

with guava and a hint of lime;

type of Latin essence. Coco-

head brewer. “South Coast IPA

can-style lager with a touch

and Chihuahua Rico, a full-

Xoco Porter, for example, is

is perfect for letting the bue-

of corn; Nopali, a farmhouse

flavored lager with a touch of

flavored with cacao, coconut

nas vibras roll all year long,”

ale with prickly pear; and

malt flavor. Chihuahua beers

and vanilla. The beers are

Dougherty says.

Media Naranja, a pale ale with

are distributed in Southern

distributed to a small number

Another Miami brewer with

orange peel. The brothers

California and Texas.

of restaurants and retailers in

some Latin-themed beers is

also collaborated with the

SOUTHNORTE, founded in 2016,

the Denver area.


Big Mich Michelada Company

brews a line of Latin-themed

pany offers El Farito, an IPA

to create two canned miche-

beers that regularly win


with citrus and tropical notes;

ladas, Pa’ La Casa Pepino

medals in beer competitions.


La Finca, a wheat saison; and

Michelada with cucumber and

Among its most popular brews

been offering a selection craft

La Playita, a pils with a floral,

lime; and Pa’ La Casa Tamarin-

are Sea Señor Mex Lager,

beers since 2017. The brewery

spicy taste. The brewery

do Michelada. The company

which won a gold medal in the

sells the beer from its own

distributes to bars, restau-

distributes throughout the

Cream Ale-style category at

brew pub, but also distrib-

rants and retailers from the

greater Chicagoland area.

the 2019 Great American Beer

utes to bars and restaurants

southern tip of the state to as

throughout Florida.

far north as Orlando.

“Our two main priorities

Festival; and Agavamente Hi-


biscus Lager, which is brewed

Dallas is home to FOUR COR-

with hibiscus and agave and

and best-sellers for the year


NERS BREWING CO., whose beers

earned a silver medal in the

are Mangolandia and our

CRUZ BLANCA is among the

are distributed in Texas by

Specialty Beer category in that

newest release, South Coast

better-known craft beers in the

Glazers. The company, founded

contest. SouthNorte beers are

IPA,” says Thais Venturini, the

Chicago area. Created in part

in 2009, offers a lineup that in-

distributed throughout south-

company’s brand manager.

by famed chef Rick Bayless

cludes Four Corners El Chingon

ern California.

(who is no longer with the com-

IPA; Four Corners El Grito, a

ale flavored with mango—and

pany), Cruz Blanca-branded

lager; Local Buzz, a honey-rye

supplies your area? The good

it’s been a favorite of Veza Sur

beers include Palm Shade, an

golden ale; and Heart O’ Texas

news is that Latin-themed

drinkers for the past several

IPA with hints of orange, mango

Red Ale.

breweries seem to emerge

years. South Coast IPA, which

and pineapple; Barba Negra, a

debuted in February 2021, has

porter flavored with Mexican


If you can’t find a Latin craft

a relatively high ABV of 7.5

chocolate and coconut; and 3

Founded in Newport Beach,

brew in your area, ask your

percent, like many IPAs, but

Kings, a double IPA inspired by

California in 2017, CHIHUA-

distributor for some options.

with a more tropical, citrusy

Mexican ponche. The beers are

HUA CERVEZA offers a line of

Your customers will thank you!

Mangolandia is a blonde

44 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

Don’t see a brewery that

with regularity these days.

brew news


| POR ED AVIS | Cuando los clientes de Los Dos Potrillos quieren una cerveza para acompañar su pollo ranchero o sus chuletas de puerco, no se limitan a la selección habitual de Corona, Modelo y Dos Eq-

–LUIS RAMIREZ, Los Dos Potrillos

uis. Más bien, pueden elegir entre una amplia variedad de

una cerveza artesanal normal,

cervezas artesanales con un

pero en general, las cerveceras

toque mexicano o latino, que

que se enumeran a continu-

van desde la mexicana Amber

ación agregan algún ingre-

Lager hasta la Prickly Pear

diente extra a sus cervezas

Saison y Los Dos APA.

(trozos o esencias de frutas,

Los dueños de Los Dos

por ejemplo) que las convierte

Potrillos, que cuentan con

en un complemento ideal para

cuatro sucursales en el área

la cocina latina. Por supuesto que en México

metropolitana de Denver, son un caso fuera de serie entre los

también se elaboran buenas

propietarios de restaurantes

cervezas artesanales, aunque

mexicanos porque elaboran su

gran parte de esa producción

propia cerveza. Los hermanos

se queda en ese país. Así que

Daniel y Luis Ramírez lanzaron

este artículo se centra en las

su línea de cervezas en 2018,

cervezas artesanales que se

poco después de abrir una

elaboran en Estados Unidos.

nueva sucursal en un edificio

Cada una de las cerveceras que

que anteriormente albergaba un bar deportivo que elaboraba su propia cerveza. “Ofrecer nuestra propia cerveza realmente ha mejorado la experiencia del cliente”, dice Luis Ramírez. “Nuestra filosofía es que siempre elegiremos los mejores ingredientes, la mejor


se mencionan a continuación tiene algún nivel de distribu-

Las frutas y las esencias de frutas dan vida a las cervezas con un toque latino.

ción en restaurantes, ya sea de manera directa o a través de un distribuidor.


veza en barriles a otros restaurantes y comercios del área de

calidad, y nunca sacrificaremos eso para obtener ganancias.

cervezas artesanales a tu menú

sustancialmente en los últimos

Denver, y Ramírez dice que pla-

Aplicamos esa misma filosofía

podría atraer a un grupo de-

años, especialmente en zonas

nean comenzar a envasar cer-

a nuestra cerveza”.

mográfico de clientes diferente

urbanas. Los Ángeles, Chicago,

veza en 2021. Actualmente sus

y, al menos, les ofrecerá a tus

Miami y otras grandes ciu-

productos con más demanda

un gran compromiso y puede

clientes amantes de la cerveza

dades con poblaciones latinas

son la lager, la ámbar y la Agua

que no esté en tus planes, pero

una gama más amplia.

en crecimiento tienen múltiples

Fresca, que Ramírez describe

cerveceras que se especializan

como una lager ligera. Pero

en la cerveza artesanal latina.

recientemente contrataron a un nuevo maestro cervecero

Elaborar cerveza conlleva

eso no significa que no puedas ofrecerles a tus clientes una se-


lección superior de cervezas de

La lista de cervezas artesanales

A veces es difícil distinguir

temática latina. Agregar algunas

mexicanas o latinas ha crecido

una cerveza artesanal latina de

y tienen planeadas algunas


| el restaurante


brew news

Agavamente Hibiscus Lager de SouthNorte Nuevo South Coast IPA de Veza Sur

Negra, una porter con sabor a

CERVEZA ofrece una línea de la-

chocolate mexicano y coco; y

gers de estilo mexicano que in-

la 3 Reyes, una doble IPA inspi-

cluye la Chihuahua El Primero,

rada en el ponche mexicano.

una lager pálida internacional

Las cervezas son distribuidas

con un acabado limpio y lig-

por Windy City Distribution en

eramente dulce; la Chihuahua

el área de Chicago.

Limón, una lager con unas go-

Una novedad en la escena

tas de lima y una pizca de sal;

cervezas más exóticas. “Vamos

favoritas de los consumidores

cervecera de temática latina de

la Chihuahua Guava-Lime, una

a elaborar muchas cervezas

de Veza Sur durante los últimos

Windy City es CASA HUMILDE

lager baja en calorías elaborada

de barril específicamente con

años. La South Coast IPA, que

CERVECERIA, fundada por los

con guayaba y un toque de

barriles para tequila”, dijo

debutó en febrero de 2021,

hermanos Javier y José López

lima; y la Chihuahua Rico, una


tiene una graduación alcohólica

en 2019. Las cervezas son

lager de intenso sabor con un

CHELUNA, otra cervecera arte-

relativamente alta de 7.5 por

decididamente mexicanas e

toque de malta. Las cervezas

sanal del área de Denver, abrió

ciento, al igual que muchas IPA,

incluyen la Maizal, una lager al

Chihuahua se distribuyen en

sus puertas en 2017 y siempre

pero con un sabor cítrico más

estilo mexicano con un toque

el sur de California y Texas.

ha ofrecido cuatro cervezas

tropical, según Rhett Dough-

de maíz; la Nopali, una cerveza

SOUTHNORTE, fundada en

artesanales: Lowrider Mexican

erty, cervecero principal de la

de granja de tuna; y la Media

2016, elabora una línea de

Lager, Lupita IPA, Chilango

compañía. “La South Coast IPA

Naranja, una pale ale con cás-

cervezas de temática latina

Hefeweizen y Coco-Xoco Porter,

es perfecta para dejar que las

cara de naranja. Los hermanos

que constantemente se llevan

todas con algún tipo de esencia

buenas vibras fluyan durante

también colaboraron con la

las medallas en concursos de

latina. A la Coco-Xoco Porter,

todo el año”, dijo Dougherty.

Big Mich Michelada Company

cerveza. Entre sus cervezas

por ejemplo, se le da sabor

Otra cervecera de Miami con al-

para crear dos micheladas

más populares se encuentran

con cacao, coco y vainilla. Las

gunas cervezas de temática la-

enlatadas: Pa’ La Casa Pepino

la Sea Señor Mex Lager, que

cervezas se distribuyen entre

tina es THE TANK BREWING. Esta

Michelada, con pepino y lima,

ganó la medalla de oro en la

unos cuantos restaurantes y

compañía ofrece El Farito, una

y Pa’ La Casa Tamarindo Mi-

categoría estilo cream ale en el

comercios del área de Denver.

IPA con notas cítricas y tropi-

chelada. La empresa distribuye

Great American Beer Festival

cales; La Finca, una saison de

sus cervezas en toda el área

de 2019, y la Agavamente

metropolitana de Chicago.

Hibiscus Lager, que se elabora


trigo; y La Playita, una pilsener


con sabor floral y especiado.

ofreciendo una selección de cer-

La cervecera surte a bares,


medalla de plata en la categoría

vezas artesanales desde 2017.

restaurantes y comercios desde

Dallas es el hogar de FOUR

de cervezas especiales del

Esta cervecera vende la cerveza

el extremo sur del estado hasta


mismo concurso. Las cervezas

en su propia cantina, pero tam-

el norte de Orlando.

cervezas son distribuidas en

de SouthNorte se distribuyen

Texas por Glazers. Esta com-

por todo el sur de California.

bién la distribuye en bares y restaurantes de toda Florida.

con hibisco y agave y ganó la


pañía, fundada en 2009, ofrece

¿No ves ninguna cervecera

CRUZ BLANCA se encuentra en-

una línea que incluye la Four

que distribuya sus productos

cipales y con mayor demanda

tre las marcas de cervezas arte-

Corners El Chingon IPA; la Four

en tu región? La buena noticia

durante el año son la Mangolan-

sanales más conocidas del área

Corners El Grito, una lager;

es que las cerveceras de temáti-

dia y, nuestro lanzamiento más

de Chicago. Creadas en parte

la Local Buzz, una cerveza

ca latina parecen surgir con

reciente, la South Coast IPA”,

por el famoso chef Rick Bayless

dorada de miel y centeno; y

regularidad en estos días. Si no

dijo Thais Venturini, director

(quien ya no está en la compa-

la Heart O’ Texas Red Ale.

puedes encontrar una cerveza

de marca de la compañía.

ñía), las cervezas de la marca

“Nuestros dos productos prin-

artesanal latina en tu región,

La Mangolandia es una

Cruz Blanca incluyen la Palm


pregúntale a tu proveedor si

cerveza rubia con sabor a

Shade, una IPA con toques de

Fundada en Newport Beach,

tiene algunas opciones. ¡Tus

mango y ha sido una de las

naranja, mango y piña; la Barba

California en 2017, CHIHUAHUA

clientes te lo agradecerán! APR/MAY/JUN 2021

| el restaurante




marketing organization Choose

“Restaurant Week” events are

Chicago runs Chicago Res-

common across the United

taurant Week every spring. In

States. Food lovers enjoy

Beaumont, Texas, the Beaumont

the opportunity to try new

Convention & Visitors Bureau

restaurants at a good price,

runs #EATBMT Restaurant

and restaurants often benefit

Week, while the job of organiz-

by attracting new customers.

ing Restaurant Week in Placen-

But overall, are these events

tia, California falls to that city’s

worth your while?

Chamber of Commerce. Regional

Many restaurant owners think so. “Restaurant Weeks bring new

Turning the “BUZZ ” into business

like the LRA handle planning in some locales. And local media

customers in and create a buzz

sometimes take over planning:

with the regulars. Everybody

Restaurant Week in New York’s

loves a special night, a treat, and

Hudson Valley is the purview of

showing the newbies what to or-

the Valley Table magazine.

der,” says Dora Herrera, co-own-


or local restaurant associations

Belonging to or partnering

er of California’s Yuca’s Pasadena

with the sponsoring organiza-

and Yuca’s Hut Los Feliz. Her

tions or associations often is the

family—with matriarch Socorro

only requirement to participate;

Herrera at the helm—has been

in the case of the Hudson Valley

cooking award-winning Yucatan-

event, however, restaurants pay

inspired dishes since 1976.

$800 to be part of the event.

Both locations participated in this year’s Dine Latino Restau-


rant Week in April, which was

Multi-course lunch and dinner

sponsored by the non-profit

specials are the most common

Latino Restaurant Association

offering found on Restaurant

(LRA) and focused on promoting

Week menus. Sometimes the

Mexican and Latin restaurants

dishes are from the regular

in the greater Los Angeles area.

menu, sometimes they’re new creations a chef or owner might


want to try. In most cases, event

Many different organizations

organizers set rules participating

plan and sponsor Restaurant

restaurants must follow.

Week events throughout the

For example, restaurants par-

country, which typically take

ticipating in Austin Restaurant

place during spring and fall.

Week—which will return this

In Chicago, the destination

August in Austin, Texas after a

“Restaurant Weeks bring new customers in and create a buzz with the regulars. Everybody loves a special night, a treat, and showing the newbies what to order.” –DORA HERRERA, Yuca’s Pasadena and Yuca’s Hut Los Feliz

48 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

2020 hiatus—will be required

simple,” says Herrera, who

to offer $20 prix fixe meals for

suggests first-time Restaurant

lunch or brunch and $35 or $50

Week participants in particular

options for dinner.

keep it simple, too. “The ser-

Choose Chicago instructs

vice, especially during restau-

restaurants to offer multi-course

rant week, is important. You

meals priced at $25 for brunch

want to treat every diner as a

or lunch, and $39 and/or

favorite VIP, and I recommend

$55 for dinner (excluding bever-

that restaurants, especially

ages, tax, gratuity, and delivery

during Restaurant Week, offer

fees). This year, diners had the

a tasty loss leader.”

flexibility to experience Chicago Restaurant Week, which ran


from March 19 through April

Successful Restaurant Weeks

4, through indoor and outdoor

are not only the result of

Dine Latino, but we help them

dining, or at home with delivery

restaurants’ participation; pro-

with the marketing to advertise

and takeout options.

motion is an essential part of

the good work they are doing.

purchased during Restaurant

a winning event, too. The good

We promote all types of Latino

Week helped the Central Texas

flexible about the meal pricing,

news is that most organiza-

cuisine, and our job is to help

Food Bank’s programs that

but all recommend that the

tions that sponsor the events

get people out there to enjoy

serve nearly 50,000 people

restaurant offer some kind

handle much of the PR.

Other organizers are more

“deal” to attract diners.

press coverage. In Austin, each meal or drink

it. We want this week to help

each week. And in Chicago,

The Valley Table promotes

Latino restaurants get back on

Choose Chicago partnered with

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week

their feet, as Latino owners are

the Shedd Aquarium to bring

are three basic “rules of the

with promotions in the New

facing critical needs.”

attention to plastic pollution,

Restaurant Week road”: The

York Times, the Poughkeepsie

meals should represent a good

Journal and other local publica-

the Dine Latino event planned

across the globe. In the lead-up

value, showcase the kind of

tions, as well as on social media.

in conjunction with Latin Heri-

to the 2021 Restaurant Week,

quality cuisine your restau-

That promotion pays off: Orga-

tage Month and scheduled for

three of the aquarium’s Magel-

rant is known for, and still be

nizers report that 92 percent of

September 28 - October 3.

lanic penguins visited Shaw’s

priced in a way that adds a few

participating restaurants see

Some Restaurant Week,

Crab House, one of several Res-

dollars to your bottom line.

an average of 25 percent more

events also include charitable

taurant Week participants that

sales during the week.

contributions and co-promo-

have committed to reducing

tions that can help boost

their single-use plastic foot-

Whatever the choices, there

Other tips? Include at least one vegetarian or vegan dish so diners on special diets have an option. And don’t make things too

The LRA heavily promotes “We wanted to give restaurants as much support as possible for April’s Dine

who offered machaca, cochi-

Latino, so we created national

nita pibil, and milanesa de res

and local press releases, plus

on Yuca Pasadena’s spring

social media, of course,” LRA

Dine Latino menu, then threw

co-founder Lilly Rocha says. “In

in free house-made guacamole

addition, we gave all participat-

and chips for every customer

ing restaurants a kit with all the

who bought a plate and a drink

graphics and logos to use. We

during the promotion.

leave planning the specials and menus up to the restaurants for

which impacts aquatic animals

print via Shedd’s Let’s Shedd

Dine Latino, as well.

complicated, says Herrera,

“We try to keep things

Promotions will continue with

A CONCEPT IS BORN The marketing concept behind Restaurant Week started as a New York Citybased promotional event in 1992 by Tim Zagat of the famous Zagat’s Guides. Its success swept across most of the U.S., providing an opportunity for diners to enjoy specially priced dishes from their favorite restaurants and also to find new spots to patronize.

Plastic program for restaurants. But don’t leave all the promotion up to the organizers. Be sure to promote your restaurant’s specials on your own social media and advertising and consider making a teaser video to show off what you’re going to offer. Maya Dollarhide is a New York-based freelance writer.

el restaurante


marketplace/el mercado

Botrista DrinkBot. This automated, contactless drink solution for restaurants and foodservice providers helps ensure guest safety while letting you enhance your drink menu and drive revenue by adding specialty beverages like fruit tea blends, fusion lemonades, mocktails, cocktails, and more—all with minimal labor. The small, 5-sq-ft. footprint makes it perfect for any size establishment. 650-797-0851; botrista.co DrinkBot de Botrista. Esta solución de bebida automática y sin contacto para restaurantes y proveedores de alimentos ayuda a garantizar la seguridad de los visitantes mientras le permite realzar su menú de bebidas e impulsar sus ingresos agregando bebidas especiales como mezclas con tés de fruta, fusiones de limonada, mocktails (cocteles sin alcohol), cocteles y más: todas con poco trabajo. El reducido tamaño de 5 pies cuadrados la vuelve perfecta para cualquier establecimiento, sin importar su tamaño. 650-797-0851; botrista.co Folcklor Latino Restaurant Furniture. The images of Mexican culture all can be found in the hand-made tables, chairs, booths, carts and other furniture made by craftsmen at Folcklor Latino in Tonalá, Mexico. “People love the changes they’ve seen in my restaurant since Folcklor Latino crafted our new furniture,” says Manuel Hernández, owner of Monte de Rey Mexican Restaurant in Clemmons, N.C. “They all say how beautiful it is and how fascinated they are by the details.” 210-374-7445; contacto@folcklorlatino.com; folcklorlatino.com Muebles para restaurantes de Folcklor Latino. Las imágenes de la cultura mexicana pueden hallarse en las mesas, sillas, puestos, cestas y otros muebles hechos a mano por artesanos de Folcklor Latino en Tonalá, México. “A la gente le encantan los cambios que han visto en mi restaurante desde que Folcklor Latino fabricó nuestro mobiliario”, dice Manuel Hernández, propietario de Monte de Rey Mexican Restaurant en Clemmons, N.C. “Todos mencionan lo hermoso que es y lo fascinados que están por los detalles”. 210-374-7445; contacto@folcklorlatino.com; folcklorlatino.com

50 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

Simplot Harvest Fresh™ Avocados. Everything Mexican restaurants need to meet their operational needs! Products include avocado pulp, which offers a great labor-saving head start on making guacamole, sauces, toppings and dips; five flavors of ready-toserve prepared guacamole; and avocado slices and dices (including avocado halves), popular for salads, sandwiches and more. All products available fresh chilled or frozen. simplotfoods.com

Aguacates de Simplot Harvest Fresh™. ¡Todo restaurante mexicano necesita satisfacer sus necesidades de operación! Entre los productos se incluyen la pulpa de aguacate, la cual ofrece una excelente ventaja para ahorrar tiempo al preparar guacamole, purés, complementos y dips; cinco sabores de guacamole preparado y listo para servir; y rebanadas y cubitos (incluyendo mitades de aguacate), popular para ensaladas, sándwiches y más. Todos los productos disponibles están frescos, refrigerados o congelados. simplotfoods.com

La Pinta Tequila liqueur. This bright red liqueur brings together the unparalleled smoothness of Clase Azul silver tequila with the crisp taste of pomegranate to produce a delicious blend and unique flavor. Perfect served on its own, chilled and straight, and as a base for a fresh, premium cocktail. lapinta.mx

Licor de tequila de La Pinta. Este licor de un color rojo brillante reúne la suavidad incomparable del tequila blanco de Clase Azul con el sabor fresco de la granada para producir una mezcla deliciosa y sabor único, servido perfectamente por su cuenta, enfriado y directo, y como una base para un coctel fresco y de primera calidad. lapinta.mx

Estrella Jalisco Tropical Chamoy Michelada. This refreshing new lager is a fruity spin on the Mexican brunch staple—and it’s here just in time for the outdoor dining season. Featuring a 3.5% ABV, the traditional lager packs a delicious punch, blending the sweet and tart taste of pineapple with a kick of heat from clamato and chamoy. EstrellaJalisco.com

Tropical Chamoy Michelada de Estrella Jalisco. Esta nueva cerveza clara refrescante es un giro frutal en los básicos para un brunch (almuerzo) mexicano; y está aquí justo a tiempo para la temporada de comedor al aire libre. Con un 3.5% de volumen de alcohol, la cerveza clara tradicional tiene un delicioso gran impacto, mezclando el sabor dulce y agrio de la piña con el toque cálido del clamato y el chamoy. EstrellaJalisco.com

MegaMex Foods TRES COCINAS Authentic Pepper Pastes. Simplify kitchen labor and expand flavor options with these pepper pastes that bring authentic Mexican flavors to any restaurant menu. They’re ideal for making sauces, salsas, side dishes, soups, stews, marinades, glazes and dressings, cocktails and desserts. Available in 3 gluten-free and Kosher varieties: Chipotle with Adobo, Guajillo, and Ancho & Pasilla. Each pepper paste comes in a convenient 7-ounce resealable pouch. Samples available on request. megamexfoodservice.com/brand/tres-cocinas

Auténticas pastas de chile TRES COCINAS de MegaMex Foods. Simplifique el trabajo en la cocina y amplíe las opciones de sabor con estas pastas de chile que llevan los auténticos sabores mexicanos al menú de cualquier restaurante. Son ideales para preparar purés, salsas, guarniciones, sopas, guisos, marinados, glaseados y aderezos, cocteles y postres. Disponible en 3 variedades sin gluten y kosher: chipotle con adobo, guajillo, y ancho y pasilla. Cada pasta de chile viene en una práctica bolsa resellable de 7 onzas. Muestras disponibles a solicitud. megamexfoodservice.com/brand/tres-cocinas

Phade Marine Biodegradable Straw. This new, sustainable straw was named a standout in the National Restaurant Association’s 2021 Innovation Awards for Foodservice in the Sustainable Solutions category. Made in the USA by WinCup, the straw meets consumers’ performance expectations but has substantially less environmental impact than standard plastic straws because it’s made from PHA, an earth-friendly material derived from canola oil. It’s marine and soil biodegradable, and home and industrial compostable, too. For use with cold drinks only. Free samples available on request. phadeproducts.com Popote biodegradable en el entorno marino de Phade. Este popote nuevo y sustentable sobresalió en la categoría de Soluciones Sustentables de los Premios de Innovación de Servicios Alimenticios de 2021 de la Asociación Natural de Restaurantes. Hechos por WinCup en los EE. UU., el popote cumple las expectativas de desempeño de los clientes, pero tiene un impacto ambiental considerablemente menor que los popotes plásticos normales porque están hechos de PHA, un material respetuoso con el medio ambiente derivado del aceite de canola. Es biodegradable en el entorno marino y en el suelo, y también puede usarse para abono en casa e industrial. Se usa solo con bebidas frías. Muestras disponibles a solicitud. phadeproducts.com APR/MAY/JUN 2021

| el restaurante


resource guide

52 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021



Sign up for el Restaurante’s Recipe of the weekemail! EMAIL Kathy Furore, kfurore@restmex.com, with ‘Recipe’ In the subject line

To subscribe quickly and easily online, visit www.elrestaurante.com to start your free subscription today. Or fill in all mailing information and answer the questions on the form below. PLEASE REMEMBER TO SIGN THE FORM. Mail it to el Restaurante PO Box 13347, Chicago, IL 60613, Or fax the form to 708-406-1609

FREE SUBSCRIPTION / SUSCRIPCIÓN GRATUITA ___NO, thanks. ___Address change only. ___YES! I wish to receive/continue to receive el Restaurante FREE of charge. ___Also send Emex, our FREE email newsletter. Email Address:____________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Signature/Firma (REQUIRED/REQUERIDA) Date/Fecha _______________________________________________________________________________ Please Print Name Here / Nombre _______________________________________________________________________________ Company Name / Companía _______________________________________________________________________________ Street Address/P.O. Box/Dirección _______________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip/Ciudad/Estado/Zip Code _______________________________________________________________________________ Phone / Teléfono


1. My business is: ❏ Restaurant ❏ Caterer ❏ Institutional Foodservice ❏ Restaurant Headquarters ❏ Consultant ❏ Other_________________ 2. Do you serve liquor? ❏ Yes, a full bar ❏ Yes, beer and wine only ❏ No, we don’t serve any liquor 3. Our restaurant is: ❏ Quick Serve/Fast Food ❏ Fast Casual ❏ Sit-Down Family Dining ❏ Fine Dining 4. Do you make purchasing decisions ? ❏ Yes ❏ No


Spring Pea Tlayuda

Recipe courtesy of Justin Bazdarich, Oxomoco, New York

Tlayudas Pea Mash (recipe below) Salsa Cruda (recipe below) Mint Puree (recipe below) Quesillo Grill herb oil Serranos, sliced thin Scallions, sliced thin Mint leaves, picked Cilantro leaves Olive oil drizzle Lime juice Sea salt The Salsa Cruda: 800g tomatillo 170g white onion 150g serrano 420g lime juice 2 bunch cilantro 3 ea. avocados Salt, to taste Puree all in Robot Coupe until smooth. Reserve chilled in quarts. The Pea Mash: 4576 g peas frozen (4 bags) 400 g spring onion, greens and whites sliced thin 50 g garlic, sliced thin 100 g epazote, picked leaves cut rough 500 g olive oil 4 T salt Place oil in a shallow rondeau and bring to a shimmer on medium heat. Add onion, garlic and salt and cook on medium until tender and translucent. Add chopped epazote and wilt quickly. Add peas and stir to coat in oil on medium heat until peas are not cold and just warmed through. Take off heat and place two pints in the Robot Coupe. Process for about a minute wiping sides of bowl occasionally. Mash should still be chunky. The Mint Puree: 6 bunch mint, rough chop right off the bunch, discard bottom two inches of the bunch (it is ok to have stems in with the leaves). 40 g serrano 1 T salt

900 g canola Place medium size pot of water to boil. At boil, add mint and stir into the pot. Pour off into a chinois and then run cold water over mint to stop the cooking. Squeeze excess water from the mint and then lay on a flat clean side towel. Roll towel and twist to eliminate all water from mint. Place mint in the blender and add salt and oil. Blend on high speed for 5 minutes. While blending put ice in a medium bowl. Cover ice with a sprinkle of kosher salt. Place a bowl on ice. Pour mint puree in cold bold. Stir till cold and place in squeeze bottle.

slow cooker. In the bowl of a food processor add orange juice and remaining ingredients. Pulse until blended and a smooth consistency. Pour mixture on top of roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 6 to 8 hours. Carefully remove beef from the cooker. Shred beef and return to the cooker. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on high to absorb additional liquid. Serve with warmed tortillas and desired toppings.


Recipe courtesy of La Duni, Dallas Makes 1 cocktail

To Plate: Top each tlayuda with 1 cup pea mash and spread unevenly to edge with the spoon. Top with cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Place on grill over wood fire and cook until cheese is melted and tlayuda is crispy on the bottom. Cut into three pieces. Plate on round plate. Top with Salsa Cruda, Mint Puree, serranos, scallions, mint, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, sea salt

2 oz. silver tequila 1.5 oz. “Canoa” mango puree 1 oz. lime juice 0.5 oz. simple syrup 1.5 oz. chamoy de barrio of El Cantinero

Everyday Beef Barbacoa

Clementina Margarita

Recipe courtesy of Cattlemen’s Beef Board and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (beefitswhatsfordinner.com) Makes 10 servings

3-5 lbs. Beef Chuck Roast or Beef Cheek 2 Tbsp. olive oil ⅓ cup orange juice ¼ cup lime juice 1 cup beef broth 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped ¼ cup light brown sugar 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar 2 tsp. Kosher salt 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 onion, chopped 1 Tbsp. cumin 2 tsp. oregano Tortillas (optional) Cilantro (optional) Onion (optional) Lime wedges (optional) Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Sear roast on each side until brown; about 4-5 minutes; transfer to

54 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

Shake first 4 ingredients with rocks ice and strain into a chile salt rimmed tumbler glass with crushed ice. Layer the chamoy on top and garnish with a lime wedge.

Recipe courtesy of La Duni, Dallas Makes 1 cocktail

2 oz. Tesoro silver tequila 2 oz. fresh clementines 1 oz. El Cantinero “La Chingona Mix” Chile fruit seasoning rim Shake first 3 ingredients with rocks ice. Single strain into a chile fruit seasoning-rimmed tumbler glass with cracked ice. Garnish with clementine segments.

Ica Press

Recipe courtesy of La Duni, Dallas Makes 1 cocktail

4 oz. vodka 2 oz. fresh ginger 2 oz. Caravedo Pisco mosto verde 1 green apple 12 green grapes 0.75 oz. fresh lime 1 oz. agave syrup 2 dashes ginger tincture In a cold press juicer, juice 1 green apple and 12 green grapes.

Strain juice and set aside. In a small blender add 4 oz of high-proof vodka or everclear and 2 oz. of fresh ginger. Blend and double strain; set aside for 1 day and its ready for use. In a shaker add remaining ingredients with rocks ice and shake well. Double strain into a rocks glass with a clear ice cube. Garnish with green grapes.

Paloma a la Francesa

Recipe courtesy of La Duni, Dallas Makes 1 cocktail 1.5 oz Avion Reposado Tequila

0.5 oz. Dubonnet Rouge 1.5 oz. El Cantinero Artizan grapefruit cordial 3 oz. mineral water 1/8 t. cracked black pepper In a white wine glass, add fresh cracked black pepper, tequila and grapefruit cordial. Add rocks ice and top with mineral water. Stir to combine and top with ice. Gently layer the Dubonnet Rouge and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Pineapple-Cilantro Margarita Recipe courtesy of Mas Amor Cantina, Hickory, North Carolina Makes 1 cocktail

2 oz. blanco tequila ¾ oz. house made cilantro simple syrup ¾ oz. caramelized pineapple purée ½ oz. fresh juiced lime Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well mixed; strain over ice into a Tajin rimmed glass. Garnish with fresh cut pineapple.

La Madrugada Recipe courtesy of Elis Carriero, Esotico Miami, Miami, Florida

1½ oz ZIGNUM Mezcal Reposado 1 oz. Martini Fiero 1 oz. citrus mix 2 oz. pineapple juice 2 bar spoons of grenadine Sprig of mint for garnish Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake well and pour into a Catalina glass.

2021 Our 25,000+ readers want information about your products!





VICE TRE NDS | ww w.e lre

sta ura nte

.co m |

The Appeal of ASADO

Our powerful combination of print and web ads plus email promotions can deliver business-building benefits for your company!




• COVER STORY: Tortilla Trends—Beyond the Basics

• OUR ANNUAL BUYER’S GUIDE, with Special Offers for Advertisers!

• AT THE BAR: Rethinking Sangria

• COVER STORY: Mole Magic


• SPECIAL REPORT: 7th Annual Independent Mexican Restaurant Report


• AD CLOSE: October 28 MATERIALS DUE: November 2

• COVER STORY: The Queso Connection— Hispanic Cheese on the Menu • AT THE BAR: Mezcal • AD CLOSE: August 25 MATERIALS DUE: September 6

AND IN EVERY ISSUE…Hotline, Marketplace, My Favorite Recipe and more!

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT ADVERTISING, call publisher Ed Avis at 708-218-7755 or email edavis@elrestaurante.com


my favorite recipe


El Cruce + 241 WITH A PASSION FOR THE VIBRANT CULTURE OF BAJA, owners Collin Corrigan, Galen Rogers

and Pamela Rogers recently debuted El Cruce + 241 along Chula Vista’s historic Third Avenue in October of 2020. The Baja inspired destination is South San Diego County’s first wholly devoted Baja taproom, wine bar

Ceviche de Pescado Makes 2 to 4 servings

1 avocado

2 c. largely diced fish loin

1 bunch cilantro

½ c. medium diced fresh tomatillo

⅓ c. peeled garlic cloves

¾ c. thinly sliced shallot

Juice of 3 limes

1 T. minced chile serrano

Grill all of the ingredients except the avocado and cilantro. Once all ingredients are charred, blend and add in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.

and kitchen committed to sourcing auténtico

⅓ c. thinly sliced chile güero

Baja specialties in San Diego’s South County.

¼ c. rough chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)

The menu showcases its ode to Baja flavors with noteworthy seafood selections including the Ceviche Campechano, fresh oysters, and the signature Ceviche de Pescado—the latter each owner’s favorite dish. The menu was developed by acclaimed Ensenada-based chef Sano Hussong, while Executive Chef Charleen Sandoval helms the kitchen, bringing the thoughtfully curated dishes and flavors to life. The fact that the ceviche embodies Baja and showcases flavors from Ensenada is why Corrigan so enthusiastically embraces the dish. “The blend of tomatillo and chile güero give it just enough spice while still keeping the flavors of the seasonal fresh fish that is used,” Corrigan says. “It is a dish where ‘por el centro’ is the best way to enjoy.”

56 el restaurante | APR/MAY/JUN 2021

Juice of 1-2 fresh limes Salt and black pepper to taste Soy sauce to taste ⅓ c. charred Tomatillo Salsa (recipe below) Combine all ingredients thoroughly and scoop desired amount into a serving bowl or dish. Top with extra cilantro for garnish and enjoy with tostadas or chips of choice. The Tomatillo Salsa: 7 c. husked, washed tomatillos 5 c. white onion 1 c. chile jalapeño

Salt to taste

R J H X ) njfco.com (800) 291-3862

Now Serve Delicious Authentic Tacos EVERY DAY!

Call today for samples of our authentic Al Pastor, Pollo Adobo and Carne Asada. Available in Trompos (hand-stacked cones) and cooked-to-order IQF Strips that provide maximum flavor, yield and portion control.

Ask your favorite distributor for Mega Sabor products.