Date Visited: February 10, 2023
On to the letter C for our Date Night series, so we visited a spot in our old neighborhood, Cuchara Mexico City Bistro. This place has been around since 2012, and is a local favorite for their modern cuisine from Mexico. It is a bright place with a fun vibe and very friendly staff.
It would not be a Pam and Jeff Rate the Chef review if it did not include at least one cocktail. Pam jumped in with the Bandido (left), while Jeff started with their Paloma (right). The Bandido is made with Sotol, fresh lemon juice, chia seeds and a float of Pimm’s #1. It is a well-balanced cocktail that allows the Sotol to be the star. You can see the chia seeds in the cocktail and it added a nice ‘texture’, something I don’t think we have ever said about a cocktail. The Cuchara version of the Paloma is made with Espolon blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, Chamoy, grapefruit juice and grapefruit soda. While Jeff enjoys tasting the tequila and grapefruit in a Paloma, the Chamoy added a great contrast, and although it was a bit sweet, it was tasty.
Our meal was a mix of several botanas (appetizers). The chicharrones (crunchy pork rinds) were fresh and lite, served with two salsas. Pam has never been a great fan of chicharrones, but in this case enjoyed them. The mild salsa was good, but the other one has a nice level of spice with great flavor. Jeff would put that on everything. The Tacos Crujientes de Jamaica are hibiscus flower and cream cheese crunchy tacos in homemade flour tortillas, and these were delicious. The crunch and caramelization of the tortilla combined with the flavorful cream cheese sauce was great. For the upcoming Super Bowl, we would be content with a plate full of these.
For Round 2, we ordered some fresh cocktails. Pam ordered the Cuchara House Margarita with a tajin rim, and Jeff got the Zapoteco (not pictured). The margarita is made with Espolon blanco tequila, piloncillo, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao and fresh lime juice. It is not sweet, so it is a very refeshing take on a classic margarita. The Zapoteco has Del Maguey Vida mezcal, orange and lime juice, hibiscus and guajillo. It is well balanced and enjoyable for those who like mezcal.
To top off our meal, we ordered their beef tacos (left) and the Queso de Fogata (right). The tacos were simple with corn tortillas, tender beef and a bright yet spicy salsa. The Queso de Fogata is a great mix of melted cheese, poblano pepper slices and pepper oil in a hot bowl. We had them add chicken, and the dish was Jeff’s favorite of the day. Served with fresh corn tortillas, this a throwback to the great food he grew up with in San Antonio. It would also be the perfect cure for a hangover.
Check out Cuchara for lunch or dinner and bring your appetite. While we did not order their soups, the large steaming bowls looked good for a chilly day. On sunny days, they also have a nice patio to enjoy the nice weather.
Cuchara Mexico City Bistro – 214 Fairview Street at Taft