While I did cook a few times this week, and I did use the majority of our vegetables, we simply didn’t have the energy (or the patience to ignore our rumbling stomachs) long enough to take any photos this week.
On the night I made Zuppa Toscana and homemade bread, I was interupted by a tornado siren halfway through — which put a major delay in dinner. On the night I made tortellini with roasted vegetables, I’d had my haircut beforehand — another major delay. And last night, instead of staying home to cook…I went out for margaritas. I’m WEAK, okay?!
So, instead of recipes, today you get a restaurant review and a story. We’ll start with the restaurant — a newer place in my neighborhood called Angels & Mariachis. We’d heard mixed things about the place, but I have to say I thouroughly enjoyed our experience.
Drinks: I’m not a huge tequila fan, but they serve a pomegranite margarita that is wicked good and a little dangerous (before our meal even arrived I realized in horror I was nearly finished with my second!). Delicous!
Food: The food was also quite good. Although I wasn’t in love with the salsa (JiT really liked it) my enchiladas were delicous and their mole sauce was excellent. I had a hard time stopping myself despite being full to the point of bursting.
Atmosphere: In addition to outdoor seating and a couple of bars, the upstairs area offers plenty of big, cushy u-shaped booths that are perfect for a large group (the kind I was with). This is a huge bonus in my world — I hate going to a bar and having to stand all night. It just feels awkward. The decor is kitchy but cool, with lots of mexican memorobilia and day-of-the-day style skeletons. All in all –while I wouldn’t call it a destination, if you’re in the neighborhood, its a fun place for a casual dinner and good drinks.
And now for a story — and a fun hostess gift/entertaining idea.
Last summer, friends invited JiT and I to a “Fiesta Barbecue” at their house one weekend. THe word “Fiesta” conjured thoughts of pinatas and colorful plates in my mind and since JiT and I love Mexican food, we were super exicted and really wanted to get into the spirit of things. So, instead of a bottle of wine or the expected case of Corona, we decided to have fun with our hostess gift….we brought some mexican saint candles (to add to the decor), some mexican Juaritos sodas (tasty alone or when mixed with Vodka) and a 12-pack of Sol beer.
Our friends looked at us like we were crazy. Ooohhhkayyy. We tried. In our defense, our friends are pretty conservative.
If you’re ever invited to a Mexican style bash or margarita party, I still think this could make a creative hostess gift. And if you’re craving margaritas yourself…think of the fun you could have hosting your own Fiesta bash?!
More so than any other party theme, this is one that begs you to go all out and have fun. There are so many easy, special touches that can make a party truly memorable.
First off, those mexican candles again: inexpensive and colorful (not to mention available at most grocery stores anywhere near a hispanic population)– they’re such an easy way to lend some authenticity and fesitve atmosphere to the night. Purchase a dozen of them and bunch them on tables, windowsills, etc.
Hit up any party store for a cheap pinata or two (fill them with candy and a I guarantee they will not last the night). Grab disposable plates and napkins in a variety of colors and string some rainbow Christmas lights on your deck. Ta Da! Instantly festive.
Mexican soda — I’ve seen plenty of party themes coordinated around those fancy Jones Sodas and other colorful, but expensive types. Forget about that and grab 6-packs of Jarritos sodas in a variety of flavors. Throw them in a big bucket of ice, or stack them in rows by color…they serve as decoration and bar mixer! If they don’t sell Mexican sodas (or candles) at your local grocery, you can get them cheaply online from places like Mexgrocer.com
Finally, the booze– in addition to a variety of margaritas (and some voda to mix with the Jarritos sodas), grab a variety of authentic mexican beers — Sol, Tecate, Dos Xs…and yes, some Corona.
To get your party started, here’s a recipe for a Pomegranate Margarita (it may not be authentic, but its authentically good!). Ay! Ay! Ay!
Recipe adapted from the California Pomegranate Council
2 cups bottled pomegranate juice
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur
1/2 cup tequila
If desired, wet the top of serving glass and rim with salt. To serve straight up, combine pomegranate juice, lime juice, liqueur, tequila and ice in a shaker and shake thoroughly. Strain into salt-rimmed glasses and enjoy.