Monday, March 12, 2012

Pulqueria and Apotheke

On a small street deep in Chinatown, there exists a hidden Mexican restaurant called Pulqueria and its sister cocktail bar Apotheke

Doyers St in Chinatown - can you find Pulqueria?
Not sure what you are looking at or where you should be looking?  Well that's because there are no signs outside that tell you which door leads to where (for you Chinatown savvy readers, Pulqueria is on Doyers St).  A bit Alice in Wonderland if you ask me as you try each door until you find the right one...

Apotheke is on the left and Pulqueria is on the right!
Where Doyers St starts to curve, you'll notice the two entrances above.  The wooden one on the left leads to the cocktail bar Apotheke and the blue and white entrance to the right leads down to Pulqueria.  The stairway down is also touch sketchy and when you get to the end, you again face a choice of a couple ominous looking doors.  Pick the one on your right lol.

Upon entering Pulqueria, you are immediately greated by a beautiful hostess.  You can't help but notice the decor - a bit cliche with the Latin theme but something about the dark and speakeasy-esque atmosphere made it exciting. 

I had purchased a great deal with Groupon Reserve for a 4-course tasting menu for two and 2 drinks at Apotheke so a buddy of mine came along to enjoy the festivities!

We started with Guacamole and the Sikil Pak (pumpkin seed dip).  The Guacamole was fresh and creamy.  The Sikil Pak was something I'd never tried before and was interesting.  I liked the texture of the dip and am glad to have tried it, but it probably won't be a re-order for me.

Sikil Pak on top and Guac on the bottom
The second course featured Esquites (grilled corn-on-the-cob, epazote, chile, mayo, queso fresco, lime) and Tortilla Soup.  The Esquites were served in a glass and tasted delicious!!!  Perfect blend of grilled corn, creamy mayo, and cheese - I can eat this all day!! The Tortilla Soup came artfully arranged with tortilla strips and a healthy serving of avocado.  I liked the smokey flavor and added bonus of the soft/half-melted pieces of cheese in the soup mmmm

Tortilla Soup
With the third course, we were served Hongos (mushroom quesadilla) and Pollo Mole (shredded chicken tostadas in mole sauce). The Hongos came with a huge pile of shredded chicken.  I'm not a fan of Mole sauce though so I wasn't licking the plate on this one.  The Hongos, however, was delicious!  Covered in cheese and nicely crisp on the outside, the inside was warm and flavorful.  The salsa verde sauce that it was paired with was also good with it. 

Pollo Mole
And for our final course we ended with the Verduras tacos (grilled cactus, poblano peppers, mushrooms, and queso chihuahua) and the Pescado Zarandeado tacos (grilled tilapia and fire roasted pico de gallo).  I've never had cactus before so this was an interesting try.  Didn't taste like anything crazy - I would equate it to veggie.  Covered with cheese, peppers, and mushrooms, it was a bit of a sloppy eat but enjoyable.  The fish tacos were excellent!  Moist and flavorful, I enjoyed eating them. 

And to round out our experience, dining buddy and I headed upstairs to Apotheke for a drink.  It was a spacious area with small tables on the side.  I particularly loved that the bar area had no stools!  While that meant I had to stand, it was not cluttered and fairly easy to scout out a spot.  After perusing the creative and original cocktail menu, I found their drinks to be refreshing and exciting!  

While portions at Pulqueria were small, dining buddy and I definitely had more than enough to eat.  I liked the fun atmosphere and wouldn't mind going back to try other things on their menu.  The cocktails at Apotheke were definitely AWSOME and a must try for everyone!  This two-hit wonder is a perfect escape if you are in the Chinatown area.  Give it a try! 

Piggys says Yes!

Thanks for reading - Piggy KK 

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