Lately, craft cocktails with herbal infusions and special features are everywhere in DC. But Espita Mezcaleria is one of the few places that serves drinks made with mezcal, an alcohol derived from the Mexican agave plant.
Last week in this casual weekend outfit post, I mentioned Espita Mezcaleria and promised a review. Trying new foods and restaurants is a huge thing that brings me joy in my life. So, I’m planning more food and restaurant posts like this.
Decor & Ambiance: Open and airy with beautiful murals on the walls. If you’re familiar with Mexican art, you know that the skeleton is a popular motif. For Mexicans, it’s not creepy or scary. Rather, it’s a reminder that no matter our station in life, we’re all equal in the end.
I loved this arrangement of wooden spoons at the entrance.
Drinks: As mentioned, most cocktails are made from different varieties of mezcal with smoky, sweet, or spicy undertones.
My yellow drink above was pineapple, lemon, and cinnamon, and it tasted smooth and mellow. My husband ordered the beautiful pink drink (I actually preferred his). This was mango juice and a spicy mezcal.
Food: They serve specialties from Oaxaca region of Mexico, famous for mole. Many people recognize mole as the chocolate-based sauce served with chicken. However, mole can actually be any traditional sauce centered around a specific chili.
I don’t prefer the chocolate version (don’t know why… I adore chocolate everywhere else in my life), so I ordered the Pipian, pumpkin seed version with pork. We liked it okay and it was a larger portion than my friend’s chocolate version, but I’ve had better elsewhere at cheaper places…
What I did really enjoy though were these short rib sopes. Sopes are thick and chewy corn patties. It’s hard to find these in more Americanized Mexican restaurants, and when I do see them on a menu, I feel like the food is a little bit more authentic. These were so spicy and delicious!
The Negatives: Overall, the price was a bit high at over $10 per drink and moles starting at $20. You could go to a family-owned Mexican restaurant in a strip mall and get tastier food for the price.
Also, our server was a bit presumptive in trying to bring us food we didn’t want. “I’m going to bring you guacamole while you’re deciding to order” She said it as if it was complimentary, but it was very clearly priced at $11 on the menu! Luckily, I caught that and rejected it, but I felt a bit on guard after that.
The positives: Many of the ingredients were more authentic of Mexican food than we get at typical Mexican restaurants in the States. They also had a lovely range of salsas made from nuts and different chilis.
My Takeaway: I recommend this restaurant for casual drinks and a few small plates, but a full dinner not so much. Also, beware of pushy servers!