el Restaurante magazine Sep/Oct 2022

Page 40


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elRestaurante | YOUR SOURCE FOR MEXICAN AND LATIN FOODSERVICE TRENDS | www.elrestaurante.com | In This Issue 323916 ON THE WEB AT www.elrestaurante.com Hot News About Queso Queso Flameado is heating up restaurant menus. Find out how here: https://bit.ly/HotQueso 56 6 HOTLINE — America’s Most Popular Cocktails 16 COVER STORY — Salsa and Guacamole: Chefs Take Recipes Beyond the Basics 24 BUSINESS BASICS — Fine-tuning Food Safety (in English and Spanish) 32 SNAPSHOT — Taco Syndicate (in English and Spanish) 39 AT THE BAR – Liquid Luxury: Mexican Liqueurs (in English and Spanish) 49 MARKE TPLACE 53 RECIPES 56 MY FAVORITE RECIPE — Chef Miguel D eras, Mariel, Corn & Crab Arepitas


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AD SALES/ESPAÑOL Alfredo 52-55-7862-4491Espinola

Whenever we can squeeze in the time these days, Publisher Ed Avis and I have been watching The Bear — the new Hulu series about a chef from the fine dining world who returns to Chicago to run his family’s sandwich shop after the death of his brother.

MAIN OFFICE phone: 708.267.0023

Ed Avis PUBLISHER Kathleen Furore EDITOR Ala Ennes ART DIRECTOR ElyseAnneliseGlickman,Kelly

Since I started bingeing on The Bear, I’ve been wondering what staffs on the front lines think of the series. Here are a few reports I’ve read:

Published by Maiden Name Press, LLC Volume 25, Number 4

Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay, quoted in Parade: “There’s some tough love in there. But there’s lots of inspiration in the show, and that’s the part I’m really loving because I’m kind of tired of bad-restaurant shows.”

Chef Chad White of Zona Blanca, TT’s Old Iron Brewery and Barbecue, and Uno Más Taco Shop in Spokane, Washington, quoted in The Spokesman Review. “All of those characters are people I have worked with. I have worked with those exact people.”

I hope all of the content you find in this issue — and at elrestaurante.com — helps you meet some of the challenges, and tem per some of the drama, you might be expe riencing in your own restaurant kitchen.

AD SALES/ENGLISH Ed Avis 708.218.7755

It seems to do a good job (at least an entertaining one) of chronicling the challenges and the drama that plague restaurant kitchens. It’s also done something the producers and actors likely didn’t think about: It has beefed up Italian beef sandwich sales, not only in Chicago but across the country, too!

Chef Andrew Cisneros, Jalea, St. Charles, Missouri, quoted in St. Louis magazine: “I watched the first season and found it was pretty realistic. They did a great job show casing the underbelly of the culinary world. Very addicting to watch.”

Current: “One thing that I really liked is the fact that, when talking about traumas that happen in the kitchen, [the show conveyed] that it’s not one big thing — it’s usually an accumulation of little things… For somebody that is not familiar with the kitchen it’s fun and interesting to watch, and for those who are familiar, you know that that’s not what happens in a kitchen every day, but the representation, you know, is nice. [Chefs] can be so badly represented, so this was something fun and new, and it resonated with me.

We’re hooked.

editor’s note 2 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

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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

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Executive Chef Geronimo, Botika, San Antonio, quoted in the San Antonio

After reading those comments — which seem to indicate the show is a fairly ac curate portrayal of restaurant life — I thought about what all of you who read el Restaurante go through, day in and day out. I thought of everyone who has been in the trenches for years (and even decades), working to serve the best food possible and to elevate the profile of Mexican cui sine, often with limited funds and staff.

In fact, after watching the restaurant in The Bear get a C as the result of an inspection gone quite awry, I decided to do the story “Fine-tuning Food Safety” that’s in this issue.

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The New Mocktails Bible: All Occasion Guide to an Alcohol-Free, Zero-Proof, No-Regrets, Sober-Curious Lifestyle by the editors of Fox Chapel Publishing will be released this October 11. With sales of non-alcoholic beverages on the rise, now is a good time to consider adding some creative ones to your bar menu. The book features 250 recipes contributed by mixologists and industry leaders, as well as those involved in the sober curious movement. Available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other book stores nationwide.

What are these consumers ordering from the bar? In 2022, the Margarita is the top performer nationwide: it ranked

Have you ever wondered which cocktails customers are ordering most from coast to coast? Well, we have the answer, cour tesy of the Cocktail Index, a study on consumer preferences and trends in America conducted by market research firm Top Data Marketing Agency.

Other top-sellers include the Piña Colada, Martini, Bloody Mary, Old Fashioned, and Cosmopolitan. To find out the top performers in your state, visit report/popular-cocktails-in-america/.topagency.com/

A Look at America’s Favorite Cocktails

According to the study, there has been a significant increase in happy hour visits to bars, with a 54 percent increase in visits compared to pre-pandemic figures. July 2022 was especially “happy” — it had the highest number of happy hour visits in the last two years.

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See the winning recipes on pages 53 and 54.

Ben Diaz, executive chef of Leoness Cellars in Southern California; Claudette Zepeda, San Diego-based chef and culinary entrepreneur; and Barbara Alexander, California-based certified executive chef and culinary educator served as judges, who scored entries based on taste, innovation, and creative use of Hispanic-style cheeses and dairy products made with Real California

Dessert: Chef Marco Colin’s Winter Corn. Luscious ice cream made with a base of Real California Queso Fresco and served on a sweet corn cake topped with buttery caramel sauce.

The cook-off finals, which took place at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia in Napa, California, included six professional chefs selected from a group of culinary experts from throughout the U.S. who submitted recipes in the three categories.

The votes have been tallied… and the winners of the California Milk Advisory Board’s (CMAB’s) 2022 Cal-Mex Invitational have been announced.


“The competition demonstrated how Hispanic-style cheeses from California can be the centerpiece for standout dishes across multiple meal parts,” said Mike Gallagher, business and market development consultant for the CMAB.

cheese, eggplant, squash and corn with pops of fried Cotija cheese.

“The winning recipes displayed tremen dous innovation in the use of California dairy as ingredients and each chef’s take on the marriage of California and Mexican cuisine. We look forward to sharing these concepts and insights on the category with operators interested in tapping into the Cal-Mex trend.”

Entrée: Chef Claud Beltran’s Grilled Panela Eggplantand . Plantforward signature entrée featuring California Panela

CMAB ANNOUNCES 2022 Cal-Mex Invitational Win ners

Chef Chad Clevenger, owner of pop-up restaurant El Nido Del Buho in Atlanta, Georgia; Chef Claud Beltran, chef/co-owner at Claud & Co. Bacchus Kitchen in Pasadena, California; and Chef Marco Colin of La Luna Chicago each won $5,000 in cash, a trophy, and the distinction of being a Cal-Mex culinary pioneer.

hotline 8 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

The inaugural culinary competition was created to celebrate the emerging Cal-Mex foodservice trend, and to find the nation’s top recipes that incorpo rate Hispanic-style cheeses and dairy products from California with Mexican cuisine and California flavors.

WINNING RECIPES: Appetizer: Chef Chad Clevenger’s La Menonita en El Molcajete. Tortillacrusted, fried Real California Queso Menonita served with fresh salsa verde.

10 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Coffee on Your Menu? Think Mexican

For the past six years, Diaz’s company, Proyecto Diaz Coffee, headquartered near Oakland, California, has been importing cof fee grown on the family farm in Oaxaca, as well as coffee from several other farms in Mexico and other Latin American coun tries. The company sources its coffee only from small-scale pro ducers or co-ops, with the aim of helping those small producers remain sustainable.

Diaz reports that a number of well-known Mexican restau rants such as Mirame in Los Angeles, Comal in Berkeley, and

When COVID slammed the restaurant industry, many Mexican restaurants started selling meal kits that included all the fixings for a taco, burrito or enchilada dinner that patrons could make at home. Customers have returned to dining rooms, so most restaurants have let the kit idea go by the wayside.

New Restaurant Sells Taco Fillings BY THE POUND


Most Mexican/Latin restaurants serve coffee, but most probably offer the brand their distributor recommends. Fernando Diaz, whose grandfather owns a coffee farm in Oaxaca, thinks they should make the decision about what to menu more thoughtfully.

“Mexican cuisine is complex and varied from region to region, just as coffee is,” says Diaz. “A Mexican restaurant that’s work ing to have an authentic culinary experience should round out their beverage ingredients, such as coffee, to showcase the most authentic experience from plate to cup.”

But not all. In the early days of the pandemic, Portland, Oregon restaurateur Marco Frattaroli leased a vacant spot next to his Italian restaurant and launched a business with Mexican chef Fernando Aquilera to craft make-your-own taco kits. Customers loved the concept so much that in June 2022 the men launched Todo, a restaurant where customers can order taco fillings by the pound and make their tacos right in the restaurant instead of taking the kits home.

“We’re doing high-quality, traditional family-style Mexican food in a modern cantina environment,” Frattaroli says. “This is the way people often eat and drink in places like Mexico CustomersCity.”choose from chicken tinga, carne asada, vegan picadillo, flash-fried rockfish, and more. An order includes a stack of tortillas and a choice of accompaniments such as pico de gallo, crumbled cotija cheese, and the clas sic taco toppings of onion, cilantro, and lime. Sides of rice, beans, and guacamole, or salads like the nopalito, complete the meal. Prices are affordable considering that a meal serves three to four people: a tinga de pollo meal costs $25; birria costs $34; and carne asada costs $42.

Californios in San Francisco serve Proyecto Diaz coffee. Learn more at www.proyectodiazcoffee.com.

So, the next time you’re think ing about your beverage menu, don’t make coffee an afterthought. Mexican coffee might just be the per fect brew to complete a great meal.

Diaz’s Uncle Anselmo oversees the farm in Mexico.

Roasters Warehousing Trading Co. (RWTC), headquartered in Chiapas, Mexico, is another organization hop ing to convince restaurants to offer coffee from Mexican coffee farms. The company works with 30 Mexican coffee farmers and exports their beans to distribution hubs in the United States, Canada, France and China. Customers can order as little as 100 pounds at a time.

Want to see your coffee grower first-hand? RWTC says U.S. custom ers are welcome to visit any of the Mexican farms. Learn more at www. rwtc.mx.

Attendees will have the opportunity to see and sample products from exhibitors, who will be showcasing the leading food, beverage and equipment products and services in a professional trade show setting.

12 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

A new trade show serving the Latino foodservice, retail and street vendor industries is launching on May 9-10, 2023, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Los Angeles. The Antojo Industry Trade Expo was organized by Eric Jurado, who was behind the successful Cocina Sabrosa Trade Expo in Long Beach in 2021.

New Latino Foodservice Trade Show in May

For more information, visit www.antojoindustry.com.


In addition to the trade show, the event will include management seminars on how to operate business profitably and successfully.

The Antojo Industry Trade Expo is the perfect business trade event for our association members to come and network with food, beverage, service providers, and equipment manufacturers all in one place,” says Lilly Rocha, executive director of the Latino Restaurant Association.

V&V Supremo Foods, Inc., an awardwinning producer of authentic Mexican cheese, crema, chorizo, and maker of Chihuahua® Brand Quesadilla Cheese, has announced it is capitalizing on continued growth momentum with the acquisition of Mill Creek Cheese.

Mill Creek Cheese, a family-owned cheese plant, has been manufacturing cheese since 1891, making it the oldest operating cheese plant in Iowa County, Wisconsin. Mill Creek Cheese customers can expect to continue enjoying cheese products from V&V Supremo, another

V&V Supremo® Acquires Mill Creek Cheese

“This acquisition is a very impor tant step in our growth strategy. It will help us meet the growing demand for our products and expand our presence in key mar kets,” said Gilberto Villaseñor II, chief visionary officer of V&V Supremo Foods, Inc.

As V&V Supremo Foods, Inc. continues to grow, it is offering an expanded product catalog of cheeses and other Mexican specialty grocery products. To learn more visit www.vvsupremo.com.

The purchase of the new facility will allow V&V Supremo to increase production to meet the growing demand for its products, strengthening V&V Supremo’s portfolio of offerings for its distributors and their consumers.

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“Over the last five years, salsa trends have skewed to include more creamy, fruity flavors with a more savory, creamy, multinational salsa emerging, while the fresh, saucy, spiciness of classic red salsa seems to still be a staple on many menus,” says “What’s Trending in Salsa,” a 2020 report from In-Sight, an information platform operated by flavor and fragrance producer Symrise.

While salsa frequently takes center stage beside baskets of chips — commonly sharing the appetizer role with guacamole — salsa and guacamole both have important roles to play beyond the appetizer menu. They can take tacos, burritos, bowls and other dishes to a whole new level when crafted to complement the main event.

| BY ANNELISE KELLY | Salsa may be a critical component of Mexican cuisine, but it doesn’t have to conform to traditional recipes and styles. While familiar versions such as pico de gallo, salsa rojo and salsa verde are the bulk of salsas Mexican restaurants serve, creative chefs are innovating with imaginative versions spiked with unexpected ingredients.

Te Amo Tequila Bar’s Guacamole with JumboBlackenedShrimp

| COVER STORY | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 17

For a winning salsa game, she advises, “Go basic. Come up with three to five salsas, at least one green and one red, with varying heat levels. Cooked salsas

in Torrance, California, many years ago when a server had the idea to make tableside guac.”Today, six of its brands – El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, and Acapulco among them – have tableside guacamole on the menu. At Chevys Fresh Mex, one of the company’s more family-oriented brands, servers even offer the avocado pits to kids along with instructions to grow their own avocado tree.

Sharpe acknowledges that it does require more labor and training, but says the payoff is a “personalized experience that really allows us to provide great service to ourHisguests.”advice to operators?

Elizabeth Davis is the owner and founder of Xico, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Asked whether a good salsa program is critical to Latin restaurants, she replies, “I’d say it’s pretty important. Customers want a range of heat levels, and you have to


prepped ingredients is rolled to the customer’s table, where a member of the wait staff nimbly composes guacamole to order: extra hot, no lime, skip the onions. For many customers this value-added experience brings a deluxe Food Network flavor to the meal, as it delivers both a fresh-as-can-be appetizer and an opportunity for interaction between guests and staff.

18 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

At Guadalajara’s Grill and


According to Randy Sharpe, CEO of Xperience Restaurant Group (a company that owns and operates nine well-known restaurant brands including El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, and Acapulco),

Tableside Salsa and Guac Guacamole is a customer favorite at camole.bybenefitingresolvedguacamole?makethemostAndothersconsiderconsiderably.canthelistguacamolerestaurants.MexicanWhileclassichasafairlylimitedofingredients,varyingtextureandproportionsalterthefinishedproductSomefolksgarlicessential,callitanabomination.let’snotforgetthepolarizingherbonplanet,cilantro:DoesitorbreakyourperfectManyrestaurantshavethisissuewhilealsotheirbottomlineofferingtablesideguaAcartloadedwith

“Ensure you can provide a consistent offering before you launch. The Xperience group of restaurants sticks with tried-and-true guacamole, so it does not offer exotic guacamole add-ons like fruit or protein.”

Tequila Bar in Tucson, Arizona, trained salseras custom-craft both guacamole and salsa off the cart. Lizandra Antunez, manager at the original Broadway location, says the salsa is the most popular thing at the restaurant.

As In-Sight says, “…it’s up to operators to drive excitement with menu innovations that appeal to both consumers seeking comfort in the familiar and those who are looking for a twist on the classics.”

have those on deck in case a request for very hot salsa hits the kitchen! Always have some habanero, and a solid medium-spicy red salsa in good supply.”

Which is just what creative chefs at Mexican restaurants are doing.

“One principal thing – the salseras need to offer excellent customer service” says Antunez, who explains that it takes three days to train salseras, who prep ingredients for their own cart daily. “They are the first person at the table. We teach them how important it is to hear and pay attention to the customers.”

“The first tableside guacamo le happened at the El Torito

| COVER STORY | Salsa ingredientscart BarGrillGuadalajara’satandTequila

The interactive food prep experience is something guests at Rosa Mexicano, a small chain with three locations in New York City and four in surrounding states, have been enjoying for decades: Guacamole made tableside has been a feature at the Lincoln Center location since 1984. The classic recipe is served with roasted tomato salsa, and guests can fancy it up by having it topped with grilled pineapple pico de gallo, cotija cheese with applewood-smoked bacon, or lump crab meat a la Mexicana with tomato, onion, cilantro, serrano chile and fresh lime.


While some of those salsas appear

Xico’s Chips and Dip Platter

Xico definitely goes beyond the basics.“We have always used locally grown ingredients here. Seasonal ingredients from our farmers push us into creativ ity,” says Davis. “We use fruit, like husk cherries in the winter. And our most popular appetizer is a chips and dips platter, where we feature three salsas including sikil p’ak made with toasted pumpkin seeds, tomato, habanero and cilantro to give our guests a sense of the wide range of salsas out there.” The platter also includes salsa verde, salsa de muchos chiles served over crema Oaxaquena, and molcajete guacamole.

last longer, so try using dried chiles and canned tomatoes.”

20 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022



“Toasted chipotle salsa, which tastes a little like barbecue sauce, is really good with pork, but too thick and strong to eat with chips. Salsa verde cruda is great as a sauce, but too thin for a chip dip – the acid and color are great on a plate of tamales, or in ceviche.” Salsa albaniles, a chunky tomatillo-based salsa, shines in Xico’s signature flaming queso. Fish tacos are topped with apple and radish salsa fresco, and whole trout pozole is paired with tomatillo avocado salsa. And the bar even relies on two salsas to amp up cocktails.“Ourspicy green margarita contains our salsa verde for an herbaceous kick, and the spicy red contains our habanero salsa for a fruity, hot kick!” says Davis. “The salsas are added before the drink is shaken. These are super popular…We use high-quality canned tomatoes in some of our salsas, and canned chiles in adobo. I’m intrigued by the bulk mashed avocados I’ve seen in your magazine!”

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“We are sauce and salsa people, period.” With that, Todd Camburn, chef and owner of Barrio Star in S an Diego, California, sums up the restaurant’s salsa selection.“Every entree comes with some sort of sauce or salsa. Each different salsa/sauce is unique to the dish we pair it with. All the flavor profiles shine with each dish!” Camburn says. “Salsa is a huge Latin staple—it’s always important to have different kinds of


“Customers want a range of heat levels, and you have to have those on deck in case a re quest for very hot salsa hits the kitchen! Always have some habanero, and a solid medium-spicy red salsa in good supply…Go basic. Come up with three to five salsas, at least one green and one red, with varying heat levels. Cooked salsas last longer, so try using dried chiles and canned tomatoes.”

with other dishes, most menu items are paired with a customized salsa. Davis explains that not every salsa pairs well with chips.

The Optimal Automatics Autodoner is ideal for preparing cones of al pastor and other stacked meats.


Those salsas range from the familiar, such as the fresh pico de gallo served with the Tamal de Pollo and the Barrio Bowl, and the roasted tomatillo salsa spiked with smoky crunchy corn salsa topping the Tamal de Maiz. Bright, fruity mango salsa tops the Brazil Bowl, and pineapple jicama salsa — “our most creative one, so much flavor and balance” — garnishes the Salmon Tacos and panko-fried catch of the day. Committed condiment lovers might choose Barrio Star’s Surf and Turf bowl complemented by cilantro lime salsa, coco nut chili sauce, and diablo sauce.

| COVER STORY | 22 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

fresh salsas for everyone’s palate. Our salsas and sauces haven’t varied much since conception.”

Te Amo Tequila Bar in New Haven, Connecticut, is not shy about elevating its guacamole menu with high-fla vor, high-profile proteins. Purists can order traditional guacamole, but the restaurant also offers four deluxe options: pork belly; spicy shrimp and corn; blackened jumbo shrimp; and lobster guacamole. A guacamole trio featuring traditional, pork belly, and shrimp and corn offers a flight of flavors to curious customers.

Te Amo Tequila Bar’s Guacamole Trio

Barrio Star’s Brazil Bowl


See Barrio Star’s Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe on page 54.

off the path of an excellent simple guacamole recipe. We’ve done the numbers and nine out of ten tables order our delicious guacamole. I feel like so many restaurants out there in today’s world try to be just too creative — and that’s not neces sarily a bad thing. It’s just not my style. Stick to the basics, add your own flair and I’m certain it will be delicious.”

Barrio Star’s Camburn concurs. “I personally believe in leaving such a beautiful fruit as the avocado alone. Let the fruit speak for itself,” he says. “For the most part, at Bar rio Star we see people not veering

“Peoplewell. just want traditional guacamole,” she says of her custom ers in Portland. “We tried adding toppings like chicharron, toasted pepitas, and cherry tomato salsa, but no one ever ordered them, and they led to food waste.”

“Over the last five years, salsa trends have skewed to include more creamy, fruity flavors with a more savory, creamy, multinational salsa emerging, while the fresh, saucy, spiciness of classic red salsa seems to still be a staple on many menus.” – IN-SIGHT (in-sight.symrise.com)

Annelise Kelly is a Portland, Oregon-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to el Restaurante

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At Xico, Davis has given up on fancy guacamoles because they didn’t sell

ER: How do you make sure everyone in the restaurant understands all of the food safety protocols at Taco Mamacita? Is there a formal training program? Follow-up training from time to time?

| BY KATHLEEN FURORE | Restaurant inspections…


Tenley Brown: Yes, health inspections generally happen when we are busy and this one was during a lunch rush. The restaurant staff was extremely proud and excited to see their hard work and diligent efforts garner them a score of 100.

el Restaurante: Do you remember when the inspection took place — the one that garnered the perfect score? And what was the reaction from the restaurant’s staff?

TB: We work really hard every day with our team to keep the restaurant top notch and to make sure they are follow-

routine inspection in June, 2022. What does it take to land a perfect score? el Restaurante editor Kathleen Furore reached out to Tenley Brown, director of business operations for MF Restaurant Group — Taco Mamacita’s support office and “mother ship” — for the answer.

Might be pass/fail, a letter grade, a number…whatever the mark, it shouts out a very important message to your customers — and prospective ones: Is your establishment clean, well-run and a safe place to Accordingdine? to news reports from media outlets in cities around the country, often the answer, unfortunately, is “not so Theremuch.”wasthe Mexican restaurant in Georgia that scored 57 of 100 late last year after inspectors found raw hamburger dripping onto a container below, cooked food touching raw…the list in the local news report went on andButon.there are success stories, too. Taco Mamacita in Chattanooga, Tennessee earned a 100 of 100 during a

24 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 business basics

reservados. Algunos materiales se encuentran bajo licencia, con todos los

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follows the steps to ensure safe operation. Our kitchen managers have protocols for training and implementation that they follow, as well, with our front-of-house management team. ServeSafe classes/materials are also offered in Spanish, as well!

• Complete internal health inspections multiple times a day.

• S ervSafe Workplace This comprehensive suite of training programs focuses on creating and sustaining a safe and appropriate work environment for all employees.

ER: Had you ever been “dinged,” so to speak, on any food safety issues? If so, what were they and how did you make sure that didn’t happen again?

TB: These would be my top items to suggest:

• Maintain equipment and conditions in the kitchen and restaurant.

26 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

TB: We do have Spanish-speaking employees and we have bilingual employees, as well, who help us make sure everyone

ER: Do you have any advice for restaurants that might be struggling to keep up with food safety protocols in their establishments? Any suggestions for ways to get their restaurants organized and to get employees to make sure they follow food safety protocols?

ServSave is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association, and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Conference for Food Protection. Training and certification options include:

• S ervSafe Alcohol. Learn the essentials of respon sible alcohol service, and protect yourself and your operation from risks and liabilities.

TB: We have had points counted off before just like every other restaurant operation. It is hard to get a 100 and it is celebrated when it does happen. However, when points are taken off, we try to react and teach/learn from that the best we can! There are so many little things that can hurt your score — having a cutting board that needs to be replaced, for example. We have to be diligent daily in making sure our equipment, big and small, is all in great working condition, our kitchens are clean and clear of clutter, and our staff has the tools, knowledge and items needed to work in a safe and clean environment.

• S ervSafe Food Handler. Learn basic food safety practices for preparing and serving food.

ing all food safety protocols. We require our leaders in the store to all be ServSafe certified. They also go through our internal training, where we cover food safety again during their training. On a shift-by-shift basis, we also complete our own internal health inspections. These are done before we open, during service, and when we close.

• Never stop talking about health inspections. This is my biggest piece of advice! When I started in restaurants at 15, my first boss always talked about it. Every shift, every day. Literally drove the information and knowledge into our minds so often that it became second nature. Twenty-two years later, he and his wife — the owners of Taco Mamacita and the MF Restaurant Group — still talk about it daily.

business basics

If so, do you offer training in Spanish?

• Make sure staff members are ServeSafe certified.

• Pay attention to previous health inspections for repeat items that cause a violation.

• S ervSafe Food Manager. Learn about foodborne illness, how to prevent it and how to train employ ees in food sanitation. Choose from several online, classroom and language options.

• S ervSafe Allergens. The number of Americans af fected by food allergies is trending higher every year and studies indicate that half the fatal episodes from food allergens occur outside the home. ServSafe Al lergens offers a video that explains more about food allergens, and why you should train your staff.

For more information, visit servsafe.com.

ER: Do you have Spanish-speaking employees?

Pero también hay historias de éxito. Taco Mamacita en

ER: ¿Cómo te aseguras de que todos en el restaurante entien dan todos los protocolos de seguridad alimentaria en Taco Mamacita? ¿Existe un programa de capacitación formal?

Hubo un restaurante mexicano en Georgia que obtuvo una calificación de 57 de 100 a finales del año pasado, después de que los inspectores encontraron hamburguesas crudas goteando en un recipiente que había debajo, alimen tos cocidos tocando los crudos… y la lista en la prensa local seguía y seguía.

¿Capacitación de seguimiento de vez en cuando?

Tenley Brown: Sí, las inspecciones sanitarias generalmente ocurren cuando estamos ocupados y esta fue durante el ajetreo de la hora de la comida. El personal del restaurante estaba extremadamente orgulloso y emocionado de ver que su arduo trabajo y sus diligentes esfuerzos les otorgaron una puntuación de 100.

28 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Según informes de prensa de medios de comunicación en ciudades de todo el país, muchas veces, por desgracia, la respuesta es “no tanto”.

el Restaurante: ¿Recuerdas cuando se realizó la inspección, la que obtuvo la puntuación perfecta? ¿Y cuál fue la reacción del personal del restaurante?

TB: Tenemos empleados que hablan español y también empleados bilingües, que nos ayudan a asegurarnos de que todos sigan los pasos para garantizar una operación segura. Nuestros gerentes de cocina tienen protocolos de capacitación e implementación que siguen, así como con nuestro equipo de administración en el frente de la casa. ¡Las clases y los materiales de ServSafe tam bién se ofrecen en español!



(más en la página 30)

Puede ser aprobada/reprobada, una calificación con letras, un número… sea cual sea la marca, lanza un mensaje muy importante para tus clientes actuales (y potenciales):

business basics

¿Qué se necesita para lograr una puntuación perfecta? La editora de el Restaurante, Kathleen Furore se comunicó con Tenley Brown, directora de operaciones comerciales de MF Restaurant Group — la oficina de apoyo y nave nodriza de Taco Mamacita — para conocer la respuesta.

| POR KATHLEEN FURORE | Inspecciones en restaurantes…

TB: Trabajamos muy duro todos los días con nuestro equipo para hacer que el restaurante siga siendo de primera cat egoría y asegurarnos de que sigan todos los protocolos de se guridad alimentaria. Exigimos que todos nuestros líderes en la tienda tengan la certificación ServSafe. También pasan por nuestra capacitación interna, donde abordamos la seguridad alimentaria nuevamente durante su capacitación. Turno a turno, también realizamos nuestras propias inspecciones sanitarias internas. Estas se realizan antes de abrir, durante el servicio y cuando cerramos.

ER: ¿Tienen empleados que hablan español? Si es así, ¿se ofrece capacitación en español?

¿Tu establecimiento está limpio, bien administrado y es un lugar seguro para cenar?

Chattanooga, Tennessee obtuvo un 100 de 100 durante una inspección de rutina en junio de 2022.

Help Us Keep Helping You! Join the LRA Today! latinorestaurantassociation.org Become a member at: During Covid the Latino Restaurant Association (LRA), helped feed over 12,000 medical sta , traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for the Restaurant Cares Act, helped pay for restaurant worker funerals, gave out grants for outdoor dining equipment and much much more!

ER: ¿Tienes algún consejo para los restaurantes que quizá están teniendo dificultades para estar al día con los protocolos de seguridad alimentaria en sus estableci mientos? ¿Alguna sugerencia de formas de organizar sus restaurantes y hacer que los empleados se aseguren de seguir los protocolos de seguridad alimentaria?

• S ervSafe Alérgenos. La cantidad de personas en EE.UU. que se ven afectadas por alergias alimen tarias tiende a aumentar cada año y los estudios indican que la mitad de los episodios fatales de alérgenos en los alimentos ocurren fuera del hogar. ServSafe Alérgenos ofrece un video que explica más sobre los alérgenos en los alimentos y por qué debes capacitar a tu personal.

• S ervSafe Alcohol. Aprende los aspectos esencia les del servicio responsable de bebidas alcohóli cas y protégete a ti y a tu operación ante riesgos y responsabilidades.

• Realiza inspecciones sanitarias internas varias veces al día.

business basics

ER: ¿Alguna vez te han “pegado”, por así decirlo, por algún problema de seguridad alimentaria? Si es así, ¿cuál fue y cómo se aseguraron de que no volviera a suceder?

• S ervSafe Gerente de Alimentos. Aprende sobre las enfermedades transmitidas por los alimentos, cómo prevenirlas y cómo capacitar a los emplea dos en la higiene de los alimentos. Elige entre varias opciones en línea, presencial e idioma.

• Presta atención a las inspecciones de salud previas para saber si hay elementos repetidos que causen una violación.

• Asegúrate de que los miembros del personal estén certificados en ServSafe.

30 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

• Nunca dejes de hablar de las inspecciones sanitarias. ¡Este es mi mayor consejo! Cuando yo empecé en los restaurantes a los 15 años, mi primer jefe siempre hablaba de eso. Cada turno, todos los días. Literalmente, metió la información y el conocimiento a nuestra mente con tanta frecuencia que se convirtió en algo totalmente natural. Veintidós años después, él y su esposa — los dueños de Taco Mamacita y MF Restaurant Group — siguen mencionándolo a diario.

• S ervSafe Lugar de Trabajo. Este conjunto integral de programas de capacitación se enfoca en crear y mantener un ambiente de trabajo seguro y adecuado para todos los empleados.

Para obtener más información, visita servsafe.com.

TB: Estos serían los mejores elementos que yo sugeriría:

ServSafe es un programa de capacitación y certi ficación en seguridad de los alimentos y bebidas que es administrado por la Asociación Nacional de Restaurantes y está acreditado por el Instituto Nacional Estadounidense de Estándares (ANSI) y la Conferencia para la Protección de los Alimen tos. Las opciones de capacitación y certificación incluyen:

• Mantén el equipo y las condiciones en la cocina y el restaurante.

TB: Nos han quitado puntos antes, como a cualquier otra operación de restaurante. Es difícil lograr un 100 y se celebra cuando sucede. Sin embargo, cuando nos quitan puntos, tratamos de reaccionar, y enseñar y aprender de eso ¡lo mejor que podemos! Hay tantísimos detalles que pueden afectar tu puntaje, por ejemplo, tener una tabla de cortar que necesita reemplazarse. Debemos ser diligentes a diario para asegurarnos de que nuestro equipo, grande y pequeño, esté en excelentes condiciones de trabajo, que nuestras cocinas estén limpias y sin desorden, y que nuestro personal tenga las herramientas, el conocimiento y los elementos necesarios para trabajar en un ambiente seguro y limpio.

• S ervSafe Manejo de Alimentos. Aprende prácticas básicas de seguridad alimentaria para preparar y servir alimentos.

Voting is the most powerful way for people to express their opinions in the United States. By voting for candidates you believe in and issues you care about, you can impact how our country runs.The upcoming elections will determine who leads America in the coming years, and which issues get attention. Make sure you are registered to vote, and encourage your friends, family, and employees to register, too.


This advertisement is sponsored by el Restaurante magazine and the Latino Food Industry Association.

Para consultar información sobre cómo registrarse, visite gobierno.usa.gov/requisitos-inscripcion-votar

Votar es la forma más poderosa que tiene la gente para expresar sus opiniones en los Estados Unidos. Al votar por candidatos en los que cree y en cuestiones que le interesan, puede lograr un impacto en cómo se gobierna nuestro país. Las próximas elecciones determinarán quién dirigirá Estados Unidos en los siguientes años y qué cuestiones recibirán atención. Asegúrese de que está registrado para votar e invite también a sus amigos, familia y empleados a registrarse.

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Este anuncio está patrocinado por la revista el Restaurante y la Latino Food Industry Association.

2022 OUR 25,000+ READERS WANT ABOUTINFORMATIONYOURPRODUCTS! Set Sail SEAFOODwith elRestaurante | YOUR SOURCE FOR MEXICAN AND LATIN FOODSERVICE TRENDS | www.elrestaurante.com | JULY/AUGUST 2022 Spike It! Aguas Fresca& Horchata Behind the BarBuild Sales with Social Media YOUR SOURCE FOR MEXICAN AND LATIN FOODSERVICE TRENDS It’s our 25th anniversary! We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this milestone year and promote your products to our loyal base of readers, who represent the heart of the Mexican/Latin restaurant industry in the United States. ONEGREATMOREISSUE IN 2022! NOVEMBER/DECEMBER OUR ANNUAL BUYER’S GUIDE, WITH SPECIAL OFFERS FOR ADVERTISERS! • COVER STORY: Appetizers & Sides • SPECIAL REPORT: 8th Annual Independent Mexican Restaurant Report • BUSINESS BASICS: Maximizing Online Ordering • AT THE BAR: Cocktail Shrubs • AD CLOSE: October 28, Materials Due: November 2 And in every issue…Hotline, Marketplace, My Favorite Recipe and More! elRestaurante

2022 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 33

“I loved the idea of that,” Cheeseman says. “That mixed concept at the time really wasn’t around — that during

Cheeseman and hired him as the general manager.

The Taco Syndicate:

| BY ED AVIS | Soon after Chris Cheeseman arrived in San Francisco in 2008, he discovered Tortilla Heights, a Mexican restaurant four blocks from his apartment. He was already amazed by the West Coast taqueria culture, something he had not experienced in his home state of “WhenConnecticut.yougrow up in Connecticut and you’re Italian, like I am, you eat a lot of Italian food, you work in pizzerias,” Cheeseman says. “Mexican food in California


Tortilla Heights was not a taqueria; it was a full-service Mexican restaurant open only at night. But the other owner, Paul Owens, wanted to start lunch service — and the idea of opening a taqueria-like concept for lunch took root.



is essentially the Italian food of the West Coast. It’s so ubiq uitous. It’s really the cuisine of California.”Cheeseman had come to San Francisco after graduating from Florida State University’s Dedman School of Hospitality and was working at the Bohemian Club, a swank members-only club in the Nob Hill neighborhood. He started visiting Tortilla Heights so often that he befriended the managing partner, Brian McLaughlin. McLaughlin saw something promising in

“Offerings of capital happen a lot. So, when these situations occur and if it’s the right time and the right moment, the right space, depending on who’s involved, we move forward and open them.”



and away we went. Nick was at Tortilla Heights for a while, and that is how I met Chris, and the web got started.”

Owens, McLaughlin, Fasanella, Marschke and Cheeseman have opened at least a dozen Mexican restaurants in the San Fran cisco area in the years since. In some cases, they worked as a group, other times just two of them. There has nev er been a formal corporate organization behind them. It is just a loose connection of business relationships and a shared fascination with Mexican food.

the right time and the right moment, the right space, depending on who’s involved, we move forward and open them.”Today, Bay area restaurants owned by one or more of the men include Tacko, three locations of Underdogs, The Cantina at San Benito House, and North Beach Cantina, which opened in 2022. Marschke and Cheeseman are opening one more, Todos, this year.

Marschke, owner of the taco restaurant Underdogs — launched Tacko, a restaurant dedicated to top-quality taqueria cuisine. They asked Cheeseman to manage the new restaurant, and eventually he became the managing partner.Andwhat is now known as the Taco Syndicate was born.

“I teamed up with Nick (Fassanella), rebranded to Taco Shop at Underdogs,

Nick’s Crispy Tacos was already established, and Un derdogs was being converted from a bar to a taco restau rant that year.

snapshot lunch, you do the taqueria, and at night, you’re full service.”Theconcept worked. They focused on quality — Wagyu beef for the beef tacos, for example. Lunchtime diners liked the good food they could get quickly, when they didn’t have time for an upscale experience. At night a different crowd showed up, those who expected sit down service and nice margaritas.

The Taco Syndicate’s roots started before Cheeseman’s arrival in San Francisco.

“It’s been this spider web of restaurants that all sourced from Tortilla Heights and are operated by the same five of us who, throughout the years, have had restaurants come and go,” Cheeseman says. “And every restaurant that is opened is different. The menu will change a little bit, the concept. But it’s still based around that same core of Mexican food, the classics that everyone absolutely loves and continues to come backCheesemanfor.” stresses that while the group is not formally connected, their joint efforts and knowledge sharing are key to their success.“Really, it’s the collective experience that has moved this concept forward,” he says. “It takes a lot of wisdom to avoid the pitfalls and invest your time in the things that are going to succeed and figure out how

“It’s not a collective that we set out to just create a restaurant group and then open a series of restaurants,” Cheeseman says. “It’s just series of friendships and interactions over the years of spawned situationshappentheOpportunitiesopportunities.openupalltime.Offeringsofcapitalalot.So,whentheseoccurandifit’s

“For me, this all started when I took over Underdogs Sports Bar & Grill as a tech guy with very little restaurant experience,” Marschke says.

“That was my first opportunity, essentially, to create a restaurant in itself,” Cheeseman remembers. “I was 25 years old, and it was extremely exciting to build thisGivenprogram.”thesuccess of that experiment, what happened next is no surprise: Owens, McLaughlin, and two other restaurateurs — Nick Fasanella, the former owner of Nick’s Crispy Tacos who had developed the menu for Tortilla Heights, and Doug


“We might not see each other as much, but we are always there to lend a helping hand, regardless if one of us has ownership in a business,” he says. “For example, when Underdogs Cantina opened, I was out with COVID, and Chris made sure he was there all day to make sure opening day went smoothly. It is also great to ask each other



A look at the restaurants’ menus confirms Cheeseman’s theory: customers who enjoy one of the restaurants will enjoy the others. Fish tacos and carne asada play starring roles on all the menus. Chicken Chile Verde makes an appearance on several menus, as does Elote Con Queso. The “Nick’s Way” taco — a creation popularized by Nick’s Crispy Tacos that features a crispy corn tortilla wrapped in a soft corn tortilla — is on the menus at Underdogs Too, Underdogs Tres and Tacko.

The vibe varies a bit from restaurant to restaurant — North Beach Cantina plays up the beach scene; Tacko has a more modern, clean look; and The Cantina at San Benito House features a lot of wood and Old West décor. But they all emphasize casual, communal fun.

come to the restaurant, they’re in a good mood. They want to drink a margarita. They want to have fun. It’s hard to say that about much other cuisine, but there is just a joyous experience about going to a Mexican restaurant.”Thegroup does some purchasing together to save money. For example, because the combined restaurants use so much carne asada, they were able to negotiate good prices for the beef that have held up despite the current inflation crisis, Cheeseman says.

year, and The Cantina at San Benito House was closed for six months after a fire in April 2021 raced through the hotel above the restaurant.

to continue to grow revenue, keep your costs down, and expand on the growing ideas that we have without taking away from the core of the brand.”

Sadly, the group has weath ered serious setbacks, too. In December 2020, Underdogs Too was destroyed by fire and was closed for about a

The shared experiences of the Taco Syndicate men have made them close. But, as often happens as people age, other priorities have emerged.“Ithink, unfortunately, we’ve all gone in a lot of separate ways,” Cheeseman says. “Our lives have evolved. We’ve had children, we’ve moved. A couple of us left the West Coast and now live on the East Coast. We are all still friends at the core. Years can pass and we’ll get Marschketogether.”agrees, but notes that being part of the “syndicate” still helps.

According to Cheeseman, the cuisine is the foundation of the fun: “There’s something about Mexican food that is very joyous, almost more than Italian food, which is a very joyous cuisine to eat. When people

for advice, or to bounce ideas off each other. It is so important in this industry to make sure you are not ‘going at it Thealone.’”collective helps even when members move. About a year ago, Cheeseman helped McLaughlin launch a restaurant called Localés in Hingham, Massachusetts. Its menu emulates those of the San Fran restaurants, right down to the together.timefamilialdefinitelyyouformhavebeoperatingalmostentity.wenessesgroupgreatrecalls.Syndicate,’”happygroup’sinvisitsoft-corn-tortillacrispy-within-a-option.ItwasduringCheeseman’stohelpMcLaughlinMassachusettsthatthenicknameemerged.“Hebasicallysaid,‘I’mtorejointheTacoMcLaughlin“Ithoughtitwasanameforthiscollectiveofpeopleandbusi-becausetheonethingarenotisacorporateIt’slikeabrotherhoodbecauseopeningandrestaurantscanlikeabattlefield.Peopletostepupandper-atcertaintimes.Anddon’tforgetthat.YouhavealmostlikearelationshipwherecouldpassandthengetAndit’sgreat.”

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 35

Ed Avis is the publisher of el Restaurante.

36 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 snapshot

| POR ED AVIS | Poco tiempo después de que Chris Cheeseman llegara a San Francisco en 2008, descubrió Tortilla Heights, un restaurante mexicano a cuatro cuadras de su departamento. Ya se encontraba asombrado por la cultura taquera de la Costa Oeste, algo que no había experimentado en su estado natal, Connecticut.

“Las ofertas de capital son frecuentes. Así que, cuando se dan estas situaciones y si es el momento y el espacio adecuados, dependiendo de quién seguimosparticipe,adelante y los abrimos”.

Empezó a visitar Tortilla Heights tan seguido que se hizo amigo del socio director, Brian McLaughlin.

McLaughlin vio algo prometedor en Cheeseman y lo contrató como gerente general.

EXPANDIENDO EL CONCEPTO Tortilla Heights no era una taquería; era un restaurante mexicano de servicio completo, que abría solo de noche. Pero el otro dueño, Paul Owens, quería poner en marcha un servicio de almuerzo, y la idea de abrir un concepto similar al de una taquería para el almuerzo echó“Meraíces.encantó esa idea”,


dice Cheeseman. “Ese con cepto mixto no existía real mente en ese momento; que durante el almuerzo tuvieras una taquería, y por la noche, tuvieras servicio completo”. El concepto funcionó. Se centraron en la calidad, con carne de res Wagyu para los tacos de res, por ejemplo. A los comensales de la hora del almuerzo les gustaba la buena comida que podían tener rápidamente, cuando no tenían tiempo para una experiencia lujosa. Por la noche, llegaba un público diferente, aquel que esperaba servicio en la mesa y buenas margaritas.“Esafue mi primera oportunidad, básicamente, de crear un restaurante en sí mismo”, recuerda Cheeseman. “Tenía 25 años de edad, y fue sumamente emocionante crear este programa”.Dadoeléxito de ese experi mento, lo que ocurrió después no es ninguna sorpresa: Owens, McLaughlin y otros dos restauranteros, Nick

El Taco Syndicate:



“Cuando creces en Con necticut y eres italiano, como yo, comes mucha comida italiana, trabajas en piz zerías”, dice Cheeseman. “La comida mexicana de

California es básicamente la comida italiana de la Costa Oeste. Está en todas partes. Es realmente la cocina de California”.Cheeseman había llegado a San Francisco tras graduarse de la Escuela de Hotelería Dedman de la Universidad del Estado de Florida y estaba trabajando en el Bohemian Club, un ostentoso club solo para miembros, en el vecindario de Nob Hill.

Tacko, tres locales de Underdogs, The Cantina at San Benito House y North Beach Cantina, que abrió en 2022. Marschke y Cheese man abrirán uno más este año: Todos.

siendo un técnico con muy poca experiencia en restau rantes”, dice Marschke. “Me asocié con Nick (Fasanella), cambiamos la marca a Taco Shop at Underdogs, y así seguimos. Nick estuvo en Tor tilla Heights por un tiempo, y así es como conocí a Chris, y la red unelporunadesoloformalunadeenEnciscocanosdocenamanFasanella,Owens,empezó”.McLaughlin,MarschkeyCheesehanabiertoalmenosunaderestaurantesmexienlazonadeSanFranenlosañosposteriores.algunoscasos,trabajabangrupo,otrasvecessólodosellos.Nuncahahabidoorganizacióncorporativadetrásdeellos.Setratadeunaconexiónlibrerelacionescomercialesyfascinacióncompartidalacomidamexicana.“Noesuncolectivoconquenospropusimoscreargruporestauranteroyluegoabrirunaserie

Las raíces del Taco Syndicate iniciaron antes de la llegada de Cheeseman a San Francisco. Nick’s Crispy Tacos ya estaba establecido, y Underdogs ese año se estaba transformando de un bar a un restaurante de

(más en la página 38)


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 37

de restaurantes”, dice Cheese man. “Es sólo una serie de amistades e interacciones a lo largo de los años que han generado oportunidades. Las oportunidades se presentan todo el tiempo. Las ofertas de capital son frecuentes. Así que, cuando se dan estas situaciones y si es el momento y el espacio adecuados, de pendiendo de quién parti cipe, seguimos adelante y los abrimos”.Hoyen día, los restauran tes del área de la Bahía que son propiedad de uno o más de estos hombres incluyen

“De verdad, es la experiencia colectiva la que ha hecho avanzar a este concepto”, comenta. “Se necesita de mucha sabiduría para evitar las trampas e invertir tu tiempo en las cosas que van a tener éxito y descubrir cómo seguir aumentando las ganancias, mantener bajos los costos y ampliar las ideas de crecimiento que tenemos sin alejarnos del núcleo de la marca”.

“Paratacos. mí, todo esto empezó cuando me hice cargo de Underdogs Sports Bar & Grill,

“Ha sido toda una telaraña de restaurantes que provienen de Tortilla Heights y son op erados por los mismos cinco de nosotros que, a lo largo de los años, han tenido restau rantes que van y vienen”, dice Cheeseman. “Y cada restau rante que se abre es diferente. El menú cambia un poco, así como el concepto. Pero sigue basándose en el mismo núcleo de la comida mexicana, los clásicos que todo el mundo adora y por los que siguen viniendo”.Cheeseman recalca que mientras que el grupo no está conectado formalmente, sus esfuerzos conjuntos y sus conocimientos compartidos son la clave de su éxito.

Y así nació lo que ahora se conoce como el Taco Syndicate.

Fasanella, antiguo propietario de Nick’s Crispy Tacos, que había desarrollado el menú de Tortilla Heights, y Doug Marschke, propietario del res taurante de tacos Underdogs, lanzaron Tacko, un restau rante dedicado a la cocina de taquería de alta calidad. Le pidieron a Cheeseman que dirigiera el nuevo restaurante, y finalmente se convirtió en el socio director.

de un año, y The Cantina at San Benito House estuvo cerrado durante seis meses después de que un incendio arrasara con el hotel ubicado arriba del restaurante, en abril de 2021.

“Creo que, desafortunada mente, todos hemos tomado caminos distintos”, dice Cheeseman. “Nuestras vidas han evolucionado. Tuvimos hijos, nos cambiamos de casa. Un par de nosotros dejamos la Costa Oeste y ahora vivi mos en la Costa Este. Todos seguimos siendo amigos en el fondo. Pueden pasar años y nos seguiremos reuniendo”.

Marschke concuerda, pero señala que ser parte del “sindicato” sigue siendo de ayuda.“Puede que no nos vea mos tanto como antes, pero siempre estamos ahí para echarnos la mano, sin im portar si uno de nosotros es propietario de un negocio”, dice. “Por ejemplo, cuando se abrió Underdogs Cantina, yo me encontraba fuera con COVID, y Chris se aseguró de estar ahí todo el día para garantizar que el día de la apertura no hubiera prob lemas. También es excelente

38 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 at the bar

Las experiencias de los hombres del Taco Syndicate los han acercado. Pero, como ocurre con frecuencia a medi da que la gente madura, han surgido otras prioridades.

chas otras cocinas, pero ir a un restaurante mexicano es una experiencia simplemente alegre”.Elgrupo hace algunas compras juntos para ahorrar dinero. Por ejemplo, debido a que los restaurantes en conjunto usan mucha carne asada, pudieron negociar buenos precios para la carne de res, los cuales se han mantenido a pesar de la ac tual crisis inflacionaria, dice Cheeseman.Elambiente cambia un poco de un restaurante a otro. North Beach Cantina destaca la escena playera; Tacko tiene un look más moderno y limpio; y The Cantina at San Benito House cuenta con una decoración con mucha madera y un estilo del Viejo Oeste. Pero todos enfatizan la diversión relajada y Lamentablemente,colectiva. el grupo también ha enfrentado graves dificultades. En diciembre de 2020, Underdogs Too fue destruido por un incendio y estuvo cerrado durante cerca

El colectivo ayuda in cluso cuando los miembros se mudan. Hace cerca de un año, Cheeseman le ayudó a McLaughlin a inaugurar un restaurante llamado Localés en Hingham, Massachusetts. Su menú imita a los de los restaurantes de San Fran cisco, hasta en la opción de una tortilla crujiente dentro de una suave.

Ed Avis es el publisher de el Restaurante.

pedir consejos o intercam biar ideas mutuamente. En este sector, es muy impor tante asegurarse de que no estás “solo en la batalla”.

De acuerdo con Cheese man, la cocina es la base de la diversión: “Hay algo en la comida mexicana que es muy alegre, casi más que en la comida italiana, que es una cocina de mucha alegría al comer. Cuando la gente viene al restaurante, está de buen humor. Quieren tomarse una margarita. Quieren divertirse. Es difícil decir eso de mu


‘Estoy feliz de volver a formar parte del Taco Syndicate’”, recuerda McLaughlin. “Me pareció un nombre estupendo para este grupo colectivo de personas y negocios, porque lo único que no somos es una entidad corporativa. Es casi como una hermandad, porque abrir y administrar restaurantes puede ser como un campo de batalla. La gente tiene que dar un paso al frente y actuar en ciertos mo mentos. Y eso no se olvida. Definitivamente, tienes casi un vínculo familiar con el que puede pasar el tiempo y luego te reúnes de nuevo. Y es maravilloso”.

Un vistazo a los menús de los restaurantes confirma la teoría de Cheeseman: los clientes que disfrutan uno de los restaurantes, disfrutarán los otros. Los tacos de pes cado y la carne asada tienen papeles estelares en todos los menús. El pollo en chile verde hace una aparición en varios menús, así como el elote con queso. El taco “Nick’s Way”, una creación popularizada por Nick’s Crispy Tacos, que consta de una tortilla de maíz crujiente envuelta en una tortilla de maíz suave, se encuentra en los menús de Underdogs Too, Underdogs Tres y Tacko.

Fue durante la visita de Cheeseman para ayudar a McLaughlin en Massachusetts que surgió el apodo del“Básicamentegrupo. me dijo:


Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur bring a well-rounded heat to drinks already associ ated with fall, such as the Old Fashioned.Mixologists at Mexican and Latin restaurants are creating enticing cocktails that customers are embracing thanks to the flavors liqueurs deliver.“Herbal and spiced liqueurs are great modifiers for several drinks, if used correctly,” says Chef Richard Sandoval, the founder of Richard Sandoval Hospitality who has created a stable of restaurants worldwide that feature modern and coastal Mexican, Latin-Asian, Peru vian and pan-Latin cuisines. “As we have found with our Espresso Martini, when you get a high-quality liqueur coffee or otherwise, you’re able to ‘echo’ flavors already present in a drink with a base of fresh pulled espresso or strong drip coffee. However, we can juxtapose a strong liqueur’s flavors against those that might not be inherently present and need a bit of coaxing to balance the drink.”


| BY ELYSE GLICKMAN | With fall’s arrival comes a focus on new menus. Behind the bar, that means creating cocktails that complement the cooler temperatures and heartier food fall and winter bring.

His version of a Carajillo, long a favorite in Mexico, adds two ounces of the original Licor 43 — vanilla liqueur featuring flavors of lemon, orange, vanilla and

For his Cold Brew Negroni, Sandoval adds one ounce of coffee liqueur (Licor 43 Baristo, for example) to a classic Negroni recipe to

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 39


“echo” the bitter citrus flavors in the Campari and the nutty notes in the vermouth.


at the bar

Ancho Old Fashioned

A well-chosen selection of liqueurs — specialty beverages that combine a base spirit with ingredients ranging from coffee, coconut, and chocolate to honey, fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices —can be an integral part of the mixologist’s tool kit through the holidays and well into winter 2023.

“Mexican liqueurs capture rich flavors with warmth and spices that are common in Mexican cuisine, making them ideal for fall cocktails,” notes Mary Palac, Campari’s Mexican Spirits Portfolio Ambassador, who interfaces with various on-premise ac counts. She points to the way the roasted poblanos in

Liquid Luxury

– MARY PALAC , Campari


coriander – to coffee that’s been chilled over ice. “A fresh, hot, fluffy espresso floated over the top” completes the cocktail.TheAncho Chile Mar garita at Tamayo, Sandoval’s restaurant in Denver, is a crowd pleaser thanks in part “Mexican liqueurs capture rich flavors with warmth and spices that are common in Mexican cuisine, making them ideal for fall cocktails.”

40 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 at the bar

uses Casa Azul distillery’s La Pinta pomegranate liqueur (Clase Azul silver tequila blended with pomegranate flavors) to create the signa ture Pomegranate Cozmo that harmonizes well with the restaurant’s heartier fall menu; and turns to Vesper tino (silver tequila with fresh dairy cream, brown sugar and hints of cocoa and va nilla) to put a unique spin on espresso shots and martinis.

“By making the ancho chile the centerpiece of this margarita, we receive a lot of questions on the ancho chiles, which are originally poblano chiles that are dried in the sun until they develop their red color and smoky flavor,” he reports.

Kyle Mason, vice president of operations for Mill Avenue Management Group and mixologist for Modern Mar garita in Phoenix (a second location in South Chandler just opened in September) also is a fan of liqueur-en hanced cocktails.

He has used Ancho Reyes to update the restaurant’s Spicy Mango Margarita;

“In today’s world, sugar is often viewed as a negative,” says Taylor Barton, beverage director of Encanto Restaurant & Bar in Los Angeles. However, he explains, it actually helps bind and blend flavors.

Some Like it Hot cocktail: La Pinta Pomegranate Liqueur, pomegranate juice and seeds, jalapeños, cilantro, and sparkling water

BUILDING THE COCKTAIL Barton encourages bartend ers to follow common sense and start small when build ing a cocktail recipe with

Dakota Granados, the bar manager of Lucky Day Bar in downtown Las Vegas, says those kinds of questions present an opportunity to educate customers on how liqueurs do not necessarily make a recipe sticky sweet, but rather add depth to the

“A good rule of thumb is to start with the liqueur as a base and then add spirits or ingredients that highlight and complement the flavors of that liqueur. [Blanco tequila] is subtle and smooth enough to allow the liqueur to take center stage in a cocktail.”

Encanto’s Chileatole


Sandoval agrees that cocktails made with liqueurs — Tamayo’s Ancho Chile Margarita, for example — need a bit of sweetening.

“What makes the Ancho Reyes liqueur so versatile is that it is not overly sweet — it adds more spice and zest,” he says. “We balance the heat with the sweetness of fresh agave nectar, add citrus with Patrón Citronage and lime, then finish it off with a spicy Tajín rim.”


spirits’ natural flavors and other“Lately,ingredients.Ithink everybody is in competition for which product or drink has a drier palate as Americans are moving away from extreme sweetness,” says Granados. “Ultimately, without sweetness, the drink won’t be pleasant… truth be told, we want that sweetness. Most times, when I’m using a liqueur, it’s not sweet enough. If you try making a margarita without any agave nectar, it will be dry as hell.”

When guests see liqueur as an ingredient in a cocktail they’re considering, they might question if the drink will be too sweet.

to the popularity of spicy margaritas. The spice comes via Ancho Reyes liqueur.

1½ oz Tito’s HandmadeVodka ½ oz orange liqueur 2 oz lime juice ¼ oz agave Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass with or without fresh ice. Garnish with a lime slice.

Pro-Tip: If you like it salty, use a glass with a salt rim.

well as the sweetness of the chocolate and piloncillo or sugar used to sweeten it,” says Barton. “My go-to li queurs for one of my favorite riffs on this Mexican classic are [Chocolate and Guayaba] Pajarote Liqueur and Ancho ReyesBartonLiqueur.”sayshe loves it when a guest mentions that a grandparent or relative used to make Chileatole and how they haven’t had it in a long time. It opens a conversation about his experience of living in Mexico for over a year, learning about the cuisine from everyone from beverage industry peers to strangers on the street inviting him in for“Aslunch.for guests unfamiliar with Chileatole, I always use the adage, ‘Don’t knock it till you try it,’” he says.

Los Angeles-based writer Elyse Glick man specializes in writing about the food and beverage industry. She is the regular At the Bar columnist for el Restaurante

val, who favors blanco te quila when crafting cocktails with liqueur. “It is subtle and smooth enough to allow the liqueur to take center stage in a cocktail.”Granados notes that it is important to think about re curring flavors when pairing a liqueur with a base“Ifspirit.Itake an aged Do minican rum like Brugal, which has inherent coffee and vanilla notes, I’ll comple ment it with a liqueur made of those flavors. Imagine an Irish coffee, but instead of Irish whiskey, it’s Dominican rum,” Granados says. “If I take a reposado tequila like El Tequileno, which aged for eight months and developed a mouthwatering pear/vanilla flavor, I’m going to make a toddy with that and pair it with a spiced pear liqueur. And could you imagine a heavy corn bourbon Old Fashioned sweetened with Nixta Mexican corn liqueur? Delicious.”Giventhat many Mexican liqueurs evolve out of longcherished family recipes, it should be no surprise that new iterations of classic Mexican cocktails have welldefined cultural connections.

A Roundup of Mexican Liqueurs

La Pinta Pomegranate Liqueur

Tamayo’s Ancho Chile Margarita

Licor 43 and Licor 43 Baristo

Cazcabel Honey Liqueur and Coconut Liqueur

Xanath Crema de Vanilla Liqueur liqueur.“When determining what spirits to use, I always go for palate-based recipes… it’s wise to look at recipes focused on what flavors will hit the palate and how. There should be harmony between the nuances of the liqueur and the base spirit,” Barton explains.“Agood rule of thumb is to start with the liqueur as a base and then add spirits or ingredients that highlight and complement the flavors of that liqueur,” echoes Sando

See cocktail recipes on pages 54 and 55.

Granada-ValletLiqueurBitterPomegranate Liqueur

“The secret to this drink as a cocktail is controlling the spiciness of the chilies as

There also are myriad lesser-known liqueurs coming from Mexico, according to the website Masters of Malt. Some to look for include:

Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur

There are several go-to Mexican liqueurs that mixologists at Mexican and Latin restaurants turn to when crafting cocktails. They include:

Take Barton’s go-to winter drink, Chileatole. The beverage — a blend of masa, chocolate and chile — dates to pre-Hispanic times, and remains popular today as a breakfast or dinner drink in its traditional form.

Kahlua (and its offshoots including Mint Mocha, Chili Chocolate, Blonde Roast Style)

42 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 at the bar

Garcia Lemon

Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal

Fernet-Vallet Liqueur

Mezcalite Passion Fruit Liqueur and Tamarind Liqueur

Nixta Licor de Elote Liqueur

Ancho Reyes Verde Chile Poblano Liqueur

Cenote Green Orange Liqueur

El Sueño Watermelon Tequila Liqueur

Huana Mayan Guanabana Rum Liqueur

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| POR ELYSE GLICKMAN | Con la llegada del otoño aumenta el interés por los nuevos menús de detrás de las barras, lo que implica la creación de cócteles que complementen las temperaturas más bajas y la comida más abundante que el otoño y el invierno traenUnaconsigo.buenaselección de licores, es decir, bebidas especiales que combinan una base de alcohol con ingredientes que van desde el café, el coco y el chocolate hasta la miel, las frutas, los frutos secos, las hierbas y las especias, puede formar una parte integral del kit de herramientas de los mixólogos durante las celebraciones e incluso hasta bien entrado el invierno del 2023.


Los mixólogos de los restaurantes mexica nos y latinos están creando cócteles irresist ibles que los clientes reciben con los brazos abiertos debido a los sabores que aportan estos

Lujo bebible

“Los licores mexicanos transmiten ricos sabores gracias a la calidez y las especias que caracterizan a la cocina mexicana, lo que los hace ideales como cócteles de otoño”, señala Mary Palac, Embajadora de la Cartera de Licores Mexicanos de Campari, quien trabaja con varias cuentas locales. También destaca la forma en que los chiles poblanos asados en el licor Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile aportan una calidez redonda a las bebidas que ya se aso cian con el otoño, como el Old Fashioned.

“Loslicores.licores de hierbas y especias son grandes modificadores para varias bebidas

en el bar SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 45



“Debido a que el chile ancho es el elemento principal de esta margarita, recibimos muchas preguntas sobre los chiles anchos, los cuales originalmente son chiles poblanos que se secan al sol hasta que alcanzan su color rojo y su sabor ahumado”, explica.

si se utilizan correctamente”, comenta el chef Richard Sandoval, fundador de Richard Sandoval Hospitality y creador de varios restaurantes repartidos por todo el mundo que ofrecen cocina mexicana moderna y costera, además de latino-asiática, peruana y panla tina. “Como hemos comprobado con nuestro Espresso Martini, cuando se trata de un licor de café de alta calidad o de otro tipo, se pueden hacer ‘reso nar’ los sabores ya presentes en una bebida con una base de espresso recién hecho o de café de goteo fuerte. Sin em bargo, podemos yuxtaponer los sabores de un licor fuerte frente a los que po

“Un espresso fresco, caliente y suave flotando por encima” complementa el cóctel.ElMargarita Ancho Chile de Tamayo, el restaurante de Sandoval en Denver, es un éxito de ventas gracias, en parte, a la popularidad de los mar garitas picantes. El toque picante viene de la mano del licor Ancho Reyes.

Para su Cold Brew Negroni, Sandoval añade una onza de licor de café (Licor 43 Baristo, por ejemplo) a una receta clásica de Negroni para hacer “resonar” los sabores cítricos amargos del Campari y las notas de nuez del vermut.Suversión de Carajillo, un favorito en México desde hace mucho tiempo, añade dos onzas del Licor 43 origi nal, el cual es un licor de vainilla con sabores a limón, naranja, vainilla y cilantro, al café enfriado con hielo.

En su restaurante usa Ancho Reyes para actualizar su margarita de mango picante, utiliza el licor de granada La Pinta de la destilería Casa Azul (tequila plateado Clase Azul combinado con sa

drían no estar inherentemente presentes y necesitar un poco de insistencia para equilibrar la bebida”.

en el bar

Kyle Mason, vicepresidente de operaciones de Mill Avenue Manage ment Group y mixólogo de Modern Margarita en Phoenix (con un segundo local en South Chandler recién abierto en septiembre) también es un fanático de los cócteles enriquecidos con licores.


Some Like it Hot cocktail de La Pinta

“Una regla básica muy útil es empezar con el licor como base y luego añadir bebidas alcohólicas o ingredientes que destaquen y complementen los sabores de ese licor. [El tequila blanco] es lo suficientemente sutil y suave como para permitir que el licor sea el deprotagonistauncóctel”.

“En el mundo actual, el azúcar se considera a menudo como algo nega tivo”, afirma Taylor Barton, director de bebidas de Encanto Restaurant & Bar en Los Ángeles. Sin embargo, según explica, en realidad ayuda a ligar y mezclar los sabores.


“Los licores mexicanos transmiten ricos sabores con la calidez y las especias que caracterizan a la cocina mexicana, lo que los hace ideales como cócteles de otoño”.

Barton anima a los cocteleros a seguir el sentido común y a ir despacio a la hora de elaborar una receta de cóctel con“Alicor.lahora de determinar qué licores utilizar, siempre opto por recetas orien tadas al paladar... es conveniente buscar recetas centradas en qué sabores van a llegar al paladar y cómo. Debe haber armonía entre los matices del licor y el alcohol base”, explica Barton.

bor a granada) para crear un Cosmo de autor que armoniza perfectamente con el menú otoñal del restaurante, además emplea Vespertino (tequila plateado con crema de leche fresca, azúcar morena y toques de cacao y vainilla) para dar un toque único a los shots de espresso y los martinis.


Cuando los clientes ven que el licor forma parte del cóctel que consideran comprar es posible que se pregunten si la bebida será demasiado dulce.

Sandoval coincide en que los cócteles elaborados con licores, como la margar

“Últimamenteingredientes.creo que todo el mundo compite por tener el producto o la bebida más seca, pues los estadoun idenses se están alejando del dulzor extremo”, dice Granados. “A fin de cuentas, sin el dulzor, la bebida no será agradable... y la verdad es que quere mos ese dulzor. La mayoría de las veces, cuando uso un licor, este no resulta lo suficientemente dulce. Si intentas hacer una margarita sin néctar de agave, te quedará muy seca”.

“Lo que hace que el licor Ancho Reyes sea tan versátil es que no es exce sivamente dulce: le agrega más picor y sabor”, señala. “Equilibramos el picante con el dulzor del néctar de agave fresco, añadimos cítricos con Patrón Citronage y lima, y luego lo rematamos con un borde de Tajín picante”.


Granados señala que es importante pensar en los sabores recurrentes a la hora de combinar un licor con una bebida alcohólica de base.

Chileatole de Encanto

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 47

ita de Chile Ancho de Tamayo, necesi tan un poco de dulzor.

“Si tomo un ron dominicano añejo como Brugal, que tiene notas inher entes de café y vainilla, entonces lo complemento con un licor hecho de esos sabores. Imagina un café irlandés, pero en lugar de güisqui irlandés tiene ron dominicano”, dice Granados. “Si tomo un tequila reposado como El Tequileño, que ha madurado durante ocho meses y ha desarrollado un delicioso sabor a pera y vainilla, entonces haré un ponche con él y lo acompañaré con un licor de pera especiado. ¿Y se imaginan un Old Fashioned de bourbon de maíz endul zado con licor de maíz mexicano Nixta? Delicioso”.Dadoque muchos licores mexicanos evolucionan a partir de recetas famili ares antiguas, no debería sorprender que las nuevas versiones de los cócteles mexicanos clásicos tengan conexiones

Dakota Granados, director del bar Lucky Day Bar, en el centro de Las Vegas, dice que este tipo de preguntas son una oportunidad para explicar a los clientes que los licores no hacen nece sariamente que una receta sea dulce y pegajosa, sino que añaden profundidad a los sabores naturales del alcohol y otros

“Una regla básica muy útil es em pezar con el licor como base y luego añadir bebidas alcohólicas o ingredien tes que destaquen y complementen los sabores de ese licor”, comenta Sando val, quien prefiere el tequila blanco a la hora de elaborar cócteles con licor. “Es lo suficientemente sutil y suave como para permitir que el licor sea el protago nista de un cóctel”.

Licor de Crema de Vainilla Xanath

Hay varios licores mexicanos a los que recurren los mixólo gos de los restaurantes mexicanos y latinos a la hora de elaborar cócteles. Entre ellos están:

Licor de Limón Garcia

Licor de Granada-Vallet de granada amarga Licor de Ron de Guanabana Huana Mayan

Véase las recetas de cócteles en las páginas 53 y 54.

48 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Licor Ancho Reyes Verde de Chile Poblano Kahlua (y sus derivados, como Mint Mocha, Chili Choco late, Blonde Roast Style)

La escritora Elyse Glickman, establecida en Los Ángeles, se especializa en escribir sobre la industria de los alimentos y las bebidas. Es la columnista regular de At the Bar para el Restaurante

culturales bien definidas.

Licor de Naranja Verde Cenote

Barton dice que le encanta cuando un cliente menciona que su abuelo o algún familiar solía hacer Chileatole y que no lo ha probado en mucho tiempo. Esto da pie a una conversación sobre su experiencia de haber vivido en Méxi co durante más de un año y su aprendizaje gastronómico de la mano tanto de sus colegas de la industria de las bebi das como de los desconocidos que le invitaban a comer en la “Encalle.cuanto a los clientes que no están familiarizados con el Chileatole, siempre les digo: ‘No lo critiques hasta que lo pruebes’”, comenta.

Licor de Maracuyá y Licor de Tamarindo de Mezcalite Licor de Elote Nixta

Licor Ancho Reyes de Chile

Licor 43 y Licor 43 Baristo

Resumen de los licores mexicanos

Licor de Granada La Pinta

Según el sitio web Masters of Malt, también hay una gran cantidad de licores menos conocidos procedentes de México. Algunos para tener en cuenta son:

Licor de Miel y Licor De Coco Cazcabel

Crema de Mezcal Del Maguey

Por ejemplo, la bebida de invierno de Barton, el Chileatole. Esta bebida es una mezcla de masa, chocolate y chile que se remonta a la época prehispánica y sigue siendo popular hoy en día como bebida para el desayuno o la cena en su forma tradicional.“Elsecreto para preparar esta bebida como cóctel es con trolar el picante de los chiles, así como el dulzor del chocolate y el piloncillo o el azúcar que se utiliza para endulzarlo”, explica Barton. “Mis licores preferidos para una de mis ver siones favoritas de este clásico mexicano son el Licor Pajarote [chocolate y guayaba] y el Licor Ancho Reyes”.

Ancho Chile Margarita de Tamayo

Licor de Sandía El Sueño

Licor Fernet-Vallet

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022 | el restaurante 49

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Los tequilas Butterfly Cannon. Inspirados en la migración de la mariposa monarca de los Estados Unidos a México, estos tequilas de sabor super premium están elaborados con 100 % de agave. El tequila The Butterfly Cannon Cristalino es la base del tequila The Butterfly Cannon Blue (con infusión de higo chumbo, clementinas y flor de guisante mariposa, que le da un color azul que cambia a rosa cuando se le añade un mezclador) y el tequila The Butterfly Cannon Rosa (aromatizado con destilado de pomelo rosa mexicano y pomelo para obtener un sabor cítrico dulce y ácido con un rico sabor a agave). hello@ butterflycannontequila.com; butterflycannontequila.com

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Amor Perfecto. El café tostado en origen es un nuevo concepto que está creciendo rápidamente para convertirse en el estándar de oro de la calidad, la frescura, la sostenibilidad y la trazabilidad. Amor Perfecto se tuesta por encargo en Colombia y se envía directamente, llegando en 2 a 4 días. Pedidos al por mayor disponibles. amorperfecto.comsupport@amorperfecto.com;

50 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

Folcklor Latino. The craftsmen at Folcklor Latino, located in Tonalá, Mexico, have decades of experience creating tables, chairs, booths, carts and other furniture for restaurants. “Thanks to the Folcklor team who did a fantastic job,” said Martín Morin, manager of Blanquita’s Mexican Restaurant in San Benito, Texas. “Everything looks fabulous. My family is delighted with the results. I hope that soon we will communicate with you to furnish another restaurant.” 424-385-6564; contacto@folcklorlatino. com; folcklorlatino.com

marketplace/el mercado

Amor Perfecto. Coffee Roasted at Origin is a new concept that is rapidly growing to become the gold standard for quality, freshness, sustainability, and traceability. Amor Perfecto is roasted to order in Colombia and shipped direct, arriving in 2 to 4 days. Wholesale orders available. support@amorperfecto.com; amorperfecto.com

H.S Inc. This company, known for its unique, high-quality foodservice products, now offers its iconic molcajete in three new colors plus the original charcoal. With 8 sizes available, you’ll find the perfect one for serving salsas, guacamole, salads, and much more. 405–239-6864; sales@hsfoodservers.com

Folcklor Latino. Los artesanos de Folcklor Latino, ubicados en Tonalá, México, tienen décadas de experiencia en la creación de mesas, sillas, cabinas, carritos y otros muebles para restaurantes. “Gracias al equipo de Folcklor que hizo un trabajo fantástico”, dijo Martín Morin, gerente del restaurante mexicano Blanquita’s en San Benito, Texas. “Todo tiene un aspecto fabuloso. Mi familia está encantada con los resultados. Espero que pronto nos comuniquemos con ustedes para amueblar otro restaurante”. 424-385-6564; contacto@folcklorlatino.com; folcklorlatino.com

Utopia Signature Wireless Table Charger. Offer your guests the convenience of device charging at the table. The first free-standing tabletop charger designed for your restaurant and bar guests! Utopia’s intelligent rechargeable+//DynaBattery technology makes it simple to add this charger to any table or bar area instantly and securely. Can be customized with your logo, too. 972-505-2587; tabledynamics.com

H.S Inc. Esta empresa, conocida por sus productos únicos y de alta calidad para el servicio de alimentos, ofrece ahora su icónico molcajete en tres nuevos colores, además del original en color carbón. Con 8 tamaños disponibles, encontrará el perfecto para servir salsas, guacamole, ensaladas y mucho más. hsfoodservers.comsales@hsfoodservers.com;405-239-6864;

Cargador de mesa inalámbrico Utopia Signature. Ofrezca a sus clientes la comodidad de cargar sus dispositivos en la mesa o en el bar con este cargador de sobremesa. Gracias a la tecnología inteligente recargable+//DynaBattery de Utopia, es sencillo añadir este cargador a cualquier mesa o zona de bar de forma instantánea y segura. También se puede personalizar con su logotipo. 972-505-2587; tabledynamics.com

THE SEVENTH ANNUAL el Restaurante MANAGER OF THE YEAR A WARD  HONOR YOUR MANAGERS! NOMINATE YOUR BEST MANAGERS TODAY! Every manager nominated will receive a certificate honoring the nomination and will be named in the Nov/Dec 2022 issue of el Restaurante . Award winners will receive cash prizes and be profiled in e l Restaurante . There is no cost to nominate a manager. FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO ENTER: www.elrestaurante.com/2022-manager-contestVISITSponsored by Gordo’s Foodservice

resource guide 52 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

1 T. finely chopped garlic

La Menonita en El Molcajete

10 oz. Real California Panela cheese, cut into ½-inch by 3-inch pieces, about 3 oz. each

EMAIL Kathy Furore, kfurore@restmex.com, with ‘Recipe’ In the subject line

4 medium size Mexican squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (half-moon cuts)

The Salsa Verde:

1 lb. corn tortilla chips, finely crushed

Winner of CMAB Cal-Mex Invitational — Appetizer Category

Makes 4 servings

1 oz. Real California Cotija cheese, cut into ¼-in. dice

Combine cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast until tomatoes are collapsed. Deep fry cotija cheese, then combine with tomatoes. Brine eggplant in lightly salted water 30 minutes. Dry, oil, and grill eggplant. Rub panela cheese with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pan-fry or grill panela about 2 minutes per side.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBERbasil. 2022 | el restaurante 53

1 lb. tomatillos, cleaned 6 oz. jalapeños, stemmed

2 pasilla peppers, charred, peeled and cut in ¼-in. strips

2 T. canola oil

Winner of CMAB Cal-Mex Invitational — Entree Category

1 oz. water

1 c. fresh corn kernels

1 c. Real California Mexican crema fresca Sweat onions in oil. Add peppers, squash and corn and cook until squash is tender. Add garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add crema and remove from the heat. Cover and set aside 30 minutes.

1 6-oz. piece Real California Menonita cheese

2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced

Recipe by Claud Beltran, Bacchus Kitchen, Pasadena, California

In a large pot, combine tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, and enough water to cover. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic are soft, about 8 minutes.

Fresh cilantro or basil

1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid, and transfer to a blender. On medium speed, blend until smooth, adding reserved cooking liquid as needed. Add onion, cilantro, and more salt to taste.

The Grilled Panela and Eggplant: 4 oz. cherry tomatoes

1½-in. slice globe eggplant

5 cloves garlic

6 warm tortillas

Recipe by Chad Clevenger, El Nido Del Buho, Atlanta, Georgia

Makes 1 serving

1 T. salt, plus more to taste

The Fried Queso:

Carefully add cheese to heated molcajete and add 6 ounces Salsa Verde to the side. Serve with warm tortillas.

Grilled Panela and Eggplant

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Place a molcajete in the oven until ready to serve. Combine eggs and water. In a food processor, process chips to a semi-fine powder.

¼ t. dried Mexican oregano Salt and pepper, as needed


The Rajas:

2 large eggs, beaten

Dust cheese with masa harina, dip in egg mixture, then roll in powdered chips. Cook in a 350°F fryer until heated through, 5-6 minutes.

2 oz. Maseca masa harina

1 c. diced white onion

Olive oil

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Salt and pepper, as needed

To serve: Use a ring mold to arrange rajas, then top with eggplant, panela, and tomato and cotija mixture. Garnish with cilantro or

6 T. all-purpose flour

2 c. Real California heavy cream

Pinch salt

In a blender, combine cream, milk, and agave and process on medium until mixed well, about 30 seconds. Fold in queso fresco by hand. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze at least 4 hours.

The Pan de Elote:

1 12-oz. can Real California evaporated milk

To plate: Place a square of elote cake on a 6-inch plate. Using a medium size scoop, scoop a ball of the Queso Fresco ice cream and place on cake. Top with house made caramel and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt.

1 c. cooked corn kernels

1 bunch cilantro (husked and halved)

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400° F. Arrange all ingredients except cilantro on sheet pan; toss with EVOO, salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown (30 to 40 min.); if roasting in a pan on stove, 10 to 15 min. Let cool. Place all ingredients in food processor or Vitamix. Add cilantro and pulverize. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cool.

1½ oz. Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur

½ c. Real California heavy cream


Recipe courtesy of Chef Richard Sandoval, Tamayo, Denver, Colorado

Recipe by Marco Colin, La Luna, Chicago

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 3, 9-by-9-inch cake pans, line pans with parchment, and grease the parchment. Combine milks, butter, eggs, corn, flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans (divide by weight for accuracy, if desired) and bake until a tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut each pan into quarters.

1 14-oz. can Real California sweetened condensed milk

½ c. agave syrup

1 t. vanilla extract

Maldon sea salt, to finish

2-3 lbs. tomatillos (husked and halved)

2 c. Real California whole milk

Winter Corn

54 el restaurante | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2022

The Queso Fresco Ice Cream:

6 large eggs

Makes 12 servings

6 T. Real California unsalted butter, cut into pieces

6 oz. Real California unsalted butter, melted

5 oz. Real California Queso Fresco, crumbled

¼ c. baking powder

Recipe courtesy of Barrio Star

3 white onions, peeled and quartered 10 garlic cloves

Ancho Chile Margarita

Barrio Star Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

5 jalapeños, halved (do not de-seed)

1 c. sugar

½ oz. agave nectar

¾ oz. Patrón Citrónge, Cointreau or Triple Sec

1 oz. fresh lime juice

The Caramel:

Continue to cook, swirling occasionally but avoiding stirring, and brushing down the sides of the pan with more water as needed to prevent crystallization. When mixture thickens and turns deep amber, carefully add butter, whisking until completely Removemelted.fromthe heat and slowly whisk in cream. Whisk in vanilla and salt and set aside to cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a lidded glass jar and set aside to cool completely.

Tajin or red chili powder

¼ c. water, plus more as needed

Lime for Combinegarnishallliquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass rimmed with Tajin or red chili seasoning. Garnish with lime slice.

Makes 1 cocktail

1 t. vanilla extract

In a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and water, stirring it into a flat, even layer. Warm over medium heat, cooking until sugar dissolves, becomes clear, and starts to bubble, 3 to 4 minutes.

Winner of CMAB Cal-Mex Invitational — Dessert Category

Makes 1 batch

1 oz. Cointreau


Makes 1 cocktail

PhoneCity/State/Zip/Ciudad/Estado/ZipBox/DirecciónCode/Teléfono DON’T MISS A SINGLE ISSUE OF SUBSCRIBE NOW! 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 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

1 oz. Ancho Reyes® Original

Pomegranate Cozmo

Agave Espresso Martini

Add tequila and bitters in shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for six seconds. Blend in the Vespertino, Kahlua and Amaro Lucano liqueurs just enough to keep the drink smooth without over-blending so that the flavors stay balanced.

2 dashes coffee bitters

Add all ingredients in shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for six seconds. Double strain in coupe glass. Garnish with lime wedge or wheel.

3 coffee beans

2 oz. La Pinta Pomegranate Liqueur

¾ oz. Vespertino


Makes 1 cocktail

Recipe courtesy of Kyle Mason, Modern Margarita, Phoenix, Arizona

Recipe courtesy of Mary Palac, Campari Mexican Spirits

¼ oz. rich simple syrup

1 oz. Kahlua

Want more great recipes?

Visit elrestaurante.com/recipes to find something for every section of your menu!

2 dashes orange bitters

¼ oz. lime juice

Makes 1 cocktail

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Recipe courtesy of Kyle Mason, Modern Margarita, Phoenix, Arizona


Company Name / Companía

Portfolio Ambassador

Ancho Old Fashioned

1½ oz. Altos Reposado Tequila


2 dashes chocolate bitters

½ oz. Amaro Lucano

Put all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill until proper dilution is achieved. Pour into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

2 dashes Angostura® Bitters

ON THE WEB AT www.elrestaurante.com

Double strain in coupe glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

Please Print Name Here / Nombre

1 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. Wild Turkey® 101 Bourbon Whiskey

Street Address/P.O.

The Crab Salad:

Corn & Crab Arepitas

3 c. yellow Masarepa

1⅓ c. corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

⅓ c. AP flour

½ t. bijol

¾ c. Queso Havana (you can

The Arepa Dough:

2 T. lime juice

½ c. cilantro, chopped

¼ c. jalapeño, sliced

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Stir just until combined.


“In the crab salad we have grilled corn, avocado, spicy caribe mayo, red onions, cilantro, scallions, lime and then garnish it with fresh sliced jalapeño, smoked paprika oil and micro cilantro,” Deras explains. “The Arepitas are one of our favorite dishes, and guests really enjoy all the flavors we’ve put together in this recipe”

¼ c. sugar

To make the corn juice, simmer 4 cups of corn kernels with 1 cup of water. Add the jalapeños (or omit if you don’t want the spiciness). Use a stick blender to puree the Strainmixture.theliquid using cheese cloth or a fine sieve. Mix corn liquid with sour cream and remaining seasonings.

1 c. Caribe mayo

Bring it to simmer and finish it in the blender. Keep cold until use.

2 c. corn juice

½ c. sour cream

Chef’s Note: Here at Mariel, we cook the Arepitas to order on a flat top, but you can also use a nonstick pan to give them a nice golden-brown color on both sides with a little bit of melted butter.

Sear both sides of the arepa in a nonstick pan, until golden brown.

Chief Culinary Officer Tom Berry and Chef Miguel Deras infuse the island’s melting pot of flavors throughout the menu, which pays homage to the country’s rich culinary history.

2 t. salt

3 c. surimi crab, shredded

INSPIRED BY THE BEAUTY , culture and cuisine of Havana, Mari el — a Cuban-inspired restaurant located in Boston — offers a throwback to the hospitality and service of an earlier time.

¼ c. butter

The Corn Sauce:

1¼ c. milk

1 c. grilled corn

Among the favorites: The Corn & Crab Arepitas made of corn meal, cheese, and corn kernels, then topped with a salad made of high-end Japanese surimi crab, imitation crab made from white fish.

1 t. salt

Once arepas are fully cooked, we scoop some crab salad and place it on top of the arepas. On a plate, pour some of the corn and jalapeno sauce and then line up the arepas on top, and finish it off with sliced jalapenos, micro cilantro, and a few drops of smoked paprika oil around the arepas.

½ c. scallions, chopped

1½ T. lime juice

2 c. avocado, diced 2 t. salt

my favorite recipemy favorite recipe

1 c. red onion, diced


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. Now Serve Delicious Authentic Tacos EVERY DAY! Ask your favorite distributor for Mega Sabor products.

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