Last week I was lucky to attend a whirlwind trip to Guadalajara, Mexico to visit the Patron distillery (more on that in a future post). While there I got to enjoy some great food and cocktails. I wanted to share some of it with you here!
This restaurant is aptly named, just look at that panorama of tequilas!
We started off with some melted cheeses and molcajetes. The molcajete is the stone bowl resembling a mortar and pestle. These ones came laden with grilled cheese, meat, avocado, and salsa with tortillas on the side of course. There were also ant larvae, worms, and quesadillas with crickets from Oaxaca if you are feeling adventurous! I passed on the creepy-crawlies, though I was feeling optimistic until I actually saw them. My favorite appetizer (other than the cheese) were the blue corn sopes, perfectly crispy on the outside and wonderful flavor.
My table decided to get a bunch of entrees to share so we got to try a lot of different flavors. My personal favorite was the (huge) pork shank marinated in guajillo and ancho chili sauce. I also enjoyed the slow baked suckling pig in a dried chili and pulque sauce, it was so tender! I enjoyed the Tuna a la Talla and the chicken breast with black mole, but found the Ram Mixote a little greasy and gamey and the Spicy Shrimp in Tamarind Sauce were a bit too sweet for my tastes.
The next day we enjoyed a special lunch menu at the Patron distillery. Obviously each course was paired with a Patron cocktail. Unfortunately you will not be able to dine here unless by special invite but maybe my meal will provide some inspiration for your kitchen.
We started off with a panela cheese “salad” and tomato basil soup accompanied by a classic margarita.
Our main course was a fantastic smoked tuna topped with a foam made from avocado and Gran Patron Platinum. I’d like to try making a tequila and avocado sauce at home, I’d probably add a little kick by way of Jalapeno though! This came with my favorite of the cocktails, the Abejorro, a refreshing tequila cocktail with watermelon, honey, and ginger.
For dessert we tried an apple crisp with homemade agave ice cream. The ice cream took me by surprise, the agave has a flavor close to honey yet very distinct. It actually took me a few bites to adjust to the agave flavor but once I did I loved it! I would love to see agave ice cream at my local ice cream shop. This came with Guadalajara cocktail which sounded intriguing with Patron Pietra, grapefruit bitters, pink pepper, and agave nectar but was just too sweet for me.
Cantina La Reforma Uno
This restaurant is found on the beaten path at the Hilton Guadalajara. We started off with molcajetes again as well as a variety of sopes, quesadillas, and salsas. This time I was brave enough to try the dried cricket quesadilla. The flavor wasn’t an issue but I did find it to be dry and dusty feeling in my mouth.
For dinner I ordered a fried quesadilla al pastor, I loved the homemade tortilla but the cheese seemed a little dry. I also ordered the shrimp aguachile, very similar to ceviche this is one of my favorites and you don’t see it at too many places. Theirs was good and spicy, excatly what I wanted! The winner though was the mummy shrimp, shrimp stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon! Need I say more?
For dessert we had a trio of cakes; rich chocolate, tres leches, and cheese tart with figs. The chocolate was fantastic but the tres leches was probably my favorite of the three.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food on the trip. I even got outside of my comfort zone by trying the crickets! It was a very quick trip so next time I hope to get out any try some local street food.