I realize it’s a little off to post about a Mexican restaurant on St. Patrick’s Day. But I’m not Irish, so St. Paddy will forgive me, I’m sure.
We tried a new restaurant on Monday night: La Calaca Comelona (“The Hungry Skeleton”), on SE 23rd and Belmont. It was an instant favorite. It’s ironic, actually, because we used to live 3 blocks away from it, but never tried it. Now we live across town, but decided to make the trip. And hooray that we did, because it was so good!
Besides a lot of burritos and taco stands, we don’t actually have a good selection of tasty Mexican food around, so it was quite a nice change from a giant burrito. They make everything from scratch there, from the salsas to the tortillas, and it all tastes so delicious. A friend asked “Isn’t that the place where they don’t serve you chips and salsa?” Well…yes. But it doesn’t matter. They do give you different salsas to drench on your food, and that’s all you need. And the food!
It’s inspired by central and southern traditional Mexican, and look nothing like what you’d see at the local burrito stand. They have a short menu, almost like a lunch menu, that has tacos, sopas, and tostadas to choose from, with varying ingredients, for a little as $6-7. Then the dinner menu has bigger entrees, a bit higher priced, that are delicious and wonderful.
We decided to share the pulled pork sopa: a mixture of pulled pork, cabbage, and salsa over a thick corn tortilla. And then we split the Blackberry Mole over Chicken, with pears. We just had to try that once we saw it. It was a perfect mole–a little smoky, but with a fruity taste from the blackberries. As good as that description sounds, though, we both preferred the sopa! It was a bit stronger in flavor, I think.
I sipped my horchata throughout the meal, and we gazed on the slightly creepy Day of the Dead skeletons hanging around as decor. They’re brightly colored, so they come off as happily eerie. The whole atmosphere and the food all brought me back to our honeymoon in Santa Fe.
Out back of the restaurant they have a cute little garden space and an outdoor bar. It was too chilly when we went, but we’ll be back! Another horchata, a few tacos, and I’ll stay all night long!
Doesn’t that sound way better than potatoes and green beer?
Nonetheless, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!