February 14, 2010

Cocktails at Talavera in Coral Gables

100% Agave Tequila Margarita’s, Salty Blue Tortilla Chips, handmade creamy Guacamole and a duo of snappy Salsas patio-side on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables; doesn’t get any better than that.

After a crazy day of jetting in and out of various locales in the tri-county area my partner in crime, whom I lassoed, bribed and cajoled (with my charming company and food and drink) to come with me on my excursion in search of my Saturday holy grail-esque desire; we finally landed at Talavera in Coral Gables mid-afternoon.

We had already eaten lunch some 42 miles away from where we were but we were in the zone (or jones-ing) for a cocktail. And it just so happened that we found ourselves on the corner of Ponce de Leon and Giralda in Coral Gables, home to the highly praised Talavera, Cocina Mexicana.

Just a drink, was all we needed. Yea sure, do you ever really just get “a drink”? We still had one more stop, we needed to go from here to there; so one drink, that’s it. I was going to get a beer but then I read the menu. Original Margarita, with 100% Agave Tequila. About a month ago I had a margarita at a restaurant in Deerfield Beach on the water; it was 100% sour mix, I sent the drink back, the bartender argued with me reeling that I would question his ‘mixologist’ abilities. So still having that ‘sour’ taste in my mouth from a month ago I thought it was time to try the nectar of the celebrated agave plant once again and what better place than a Mexican Cocina to show up some showboat, waterfront restaurant. And I was right! I love it when I’m right about food and drink, it’s such a great feeling to share good food and beverage, it really is what makes the world go ’round. So if this Talavera can make one authentic margarita I can only imagine what the food is like but OH GOD, we just had lunch! I had to, even if it was just a little teaser. And so I did….

We ordered chips and salsa and guacamole. Dos salsas to be exact, a red and a green, red is mild, green is hot. Super HOT! I wasn’t paying attention to the server when he brought over the condiments (because I was carrying on about the great margarita and licking the salt off my glass) I immediately dove right into the green salsa, because it looked so ‘colorful’. uh, huh… attention when someone is talking!!! Did we not learn that at the age of 2?? My partner in crime who was dragging at this point of our Saturday adventure, did listen to the server and heard him say “green salsa is hot” reveled in what was about to be my reaction to consuming what is the equivilent of explosive gas. A carafe of water and two more 100% Agave Tequila Margarita’s fixed that little episode.

The chips served are the new blue corn tortilla type very crispy and just enough salt that you keeps going back for just one more. I’m a salt kinda girl. So even the slightest trace of salt on my chips inviting me to lick it off, is a winner in my book! The guacamole is made to order and served in a molcajete (mortar) Talavera pottery bowl. I love avocados, fresh ripe avocados, not the green mash in a plastic container or worse a plastic bag! in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. Talavera = Guacamole. Fresh, creamy taste, chunky, hand made. OK so now I’m totally caught up in the entire wonderful and welcoming experience at Talavera. But this is what cinched it, we showed up at an off time, possibly the change of shift from lunch to dinner. The manager of Talavera came over and took our order. Never once passed judgement or harrased us for not ordering “food”. Never once hassled us to order more cocktails. We were welcomed and appreciated for just being there. This concept is lost in so many restaurants. Appreciate your guests for the time you have them because they will be back, ignore your guests and they will ignore your restaurant.

I will be back to Talavera. If they can make a drink and chips and salsa and guacamole that fantastic I can only imagine what they can do with real food! And if they welcomed me at 4:30 on a Saturday they’ll love me at dinner! So yes, back to Coral Gables it is to Talavera Cocina Mexicana for more great service and even better food! 

2299 Ponce de Leon
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Talavera on Urbanspoon



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