Reyes Mezcaleria: Orlando, Florida

I kicked it with my new friend Anna Christmas at Reyes Mezcaleria on Monday night and was blown away by their dishes on the happy hour menu. We decided on light bites for dinner and sat at the bar. First off, the bartenders at Reyes are some of the kindest and most informative people I've met. They have unique knowledge on tequilas, mezcal, and how to make the perfect cocktail with either. (BTW their house margarita with salt is one of my faves.) 



The thing about mezcal is that it can be made from over 30 varieties of agave while tequila is only made from Blue Agave. The pinas of the agave plants are cooked in the ground on hot volcanic rocks. WHAT?! Yep. Like they do pigs in Mexico, people. That gives the mezcal that smokey flavor. Not peppery...smokey. You have to try one, or several. There are over fifty on the list and that's just mezcal. The tequila offerings exceed that number by far. 

Fun fact, mezcal is made in 9 regions of Mexico: Oaxaca, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacan, and Puebla. Oaxaca is pretty much the center of the mezcal world since 85% of all mezcal is produced there. To learn more, I'll have to travel there in person. (Adding that to the Townie calendar.)

We dug into three small dishes that I highly recommend. The ceviche. Just get it. The yuca Llenados was incredible. Fried yuca with salsa roja, pork carnitas, quesco fresco, serano chile, and guava-arbol sauce. The sweet heat and crunch of the yuca with the smooth pork was mouth-wateringly good. Then, just for fun, we ordered the chicharrones, pork rinds with lime aioli, cotija, chili powder. 

Needless to say, we had a blast learning about each other, the food we were eating, and talking about travel. Chilling in the lounge area that looks like an amazing dreamscape of a living room only inspired dreams of future meetups. "How can we get more people to discover this place?" 

Figured I'd start by telling you all about it. Go! There's parking all around on the street or garage but with all that mezcal, I'd say best to Lyft or Uber. See you there!