Did someone say tequila? While I’m enjoying a shot or two in Cabo, I hope you get a chance to visit Pure….their shots are the best priced in town!
Birthdays and tequila go together like PBR and tattoos. So I recommended we try a new taqueria down the street called Pure on ST’s birthday.
Located in Inman Park across from Fritti in The Grape’s old space, the vibe is cool and casual, trendy. The building has been renovated to look like a renovated garage, complete with big garage doors and vintage-looking signs. Retro 60’s formica tables complete the kitschy decor.
We started with a shot of Herradura silver, shaken with salt and lime. Smooth. I always get a Corona Light chaser. It was late, nearly 10pm by the time we got there (ay, caramba!). I was hungry and the tables are so close that I considered reaching over and sharing our neighbor’s chips, salsa, cheese dip, and guacamole, but our waitress came by so I ordered our own set.
Although slightly watery, the salsa provided an adequate kick. The “gringo” cheese dip was perfect with a dollop of jalapeno puree on top. These days it’s hard to find bad guacamole, unless it’s the pre-made crap at the grocery store. Most restaurants have figured out the standard formula, especially where they make it tableside, leaving little room for ridiculous Americanized variations with mayo or sour cream. Good, but not as good as mine! What was not to love here? The thick, boring chips.
Other appetizers that will cross my lips on future visits? Ceviches, chipotle steamed mussels, and crab fritters. I ordered a margarita with salt and enjoyed the atmosphere and the company.
Pure’s menu creatively covers all the bases without getting out of hand. Trios of tacos and entrees are served with arroz (rice) Mexicano and your choice of refried beans or “frijoles charros”, beans in a soupy broth. I’ve heard the pescado Veracruz is fabulous, but I’d probably be more apt to try the torta Cubana or quesadillas made with corn tortillas and sweet onions.
ST and I decided to split the gorditas de puerco. Two crispy corn-masa cakes stuffed with red chile shredded pork, queso fresco, and salsa verde. The meat was tender with plenty of cheese and salsa….really very tasty.
I can’t wait to return to try the homemade corn-masa tortillas with carne asada. I’m obsessed with finding tacos like the ones in Playa del Carmen a few years ago. The corn tortillas were kickass and the beef was insanely tender, topped with queso (at my gringo request), freshly made guacamole (just like mine), and a handful of cilantro. Perfect.
The staff and service at Pure was great! Our chick even brought out a complimentary birthday dessert, pineapple flan, for us to share. Sweet.
Now for the bad news. Just when you think you’ve discovered a quirky little taqueria, a funky little neighborhood spot….you find out it’s a franchise. There are only three now, but soon like will be multiplying like cucarachas!
The good news is, it made a pretty fuckin’ good first impression.