The Feat of Mezcal, by Joseduardo Valadés
I have been to Casa Mezcal many times, and always find reasons to celebrate that lack of “Mexicanness” that makes this place so genuinely Mexican.
Located on the edges of the Lower East Side, its granite façade, the decorative barrels that remind me of the mezcaleras of the indigenous communities of Tlacochahuaya, the blue floor tiles brought –like almost everything else– from Oaxaca, and even the wild turkey staring from the bar or the colorful paper cut-outs accompanying the overhead lights– none of these are enough to convince me that this is a restaurant from Pancho Villa’s homeland.
Guillermo Olguin is the mind behind the concept of Casa Mezcal. He told me how this place bears the mark of a childhood spent in rural Mexico. Entering these houses, the casseroles and clay pots, the smells of herbs, flowers and soot, the strength of traditional cooking, the mezcales, always create a deep yearning, and that taste of land and wood that stays in the mouth. Casa Mezcal represents and embodies all of this: a place grounded in nostalgia and surrounded by night and foliage.
Published on Latin Lover issue #01