Valet parking, live music, a little store with baked goods, chapulines(grasshoppers) and other specialty items are the first things you see when you walk into the restaurant. It is a spacious venue. On a Saturday night, large groups and families sit around tables eating, laughing and enjoying the live musical performance.
The food is quite good and drinks are too. The horchata, michelada and a creamy drink flavored with mezcal, reminiscent to me of a lighter tasting White Russian are among the most enjoyable beverages I have had. For the woman who does not enjoy beer, think again, The michelada is a beer cocktail typically consisting of beer(In this case Pacifico), lime, spices, sauces, peppers, tomato juice or clamato. It is fantastic. The horchata con tuna y nuez is rice drink with pine nuts and cactus fruit puree. Note, this is not everyone's horchata is presentation.
As for the eating, my dining companion and I sampled the chapulines, quesadillas de flor de calabaza y huitlacoche, tamal, clayuda, nopal Zapoteco, frijoles... negros, and two different moles. One of my favorite entrees of the evening is listed on menu as Tamal Oaxaqueño de Mole con Pollo(Oaxacan Chicken tamale). Unlike most regions of Mexico, Oaxacans prepare the tamles in banana leaf. It is finely ground corn dough packages, filled with shredded chicken in black mole.
For those not use to idea of eating chapulines. The preparation includes roasting and coating with chili and lime. It is a great appetizer/snack, easy to continuously pop in your mouth.
The evening was finished off with Oaxan ice cream. In comparison to various types of ice cream Oaxacan ice cream will be less creamy. The color will include a deep red from the prickly pear. It is freshly made on the premises.
Prices are excellent. On average an entree is less than $13.
MCCN Sound Bites from Gualaguetza