Espresso Martini

18 01 2008

espresso chocolate martiniIf you enjoy alcoholic beverages, I’m sure you’ve seen Espresso Martini on the menu. I’ve tried several at different locations and found that everyone has their own version of the recipe. Certainly, this is not one of those tried and true standard cocktails that every bartender has in their repertoire that will taste the same no matter where you order it. In fact, what makes it kind of interesting is that the recipe allows bartenders to be creative in their craft. To complicate matters, the quality of the espresso will make a difference as well. A bar that has a good espresso machine should be able to produce a quality cocktail. However, a bar that relies on an espresso flavoring (ugh) or instant (gasp!) espresso will produce a mediocre cocktail, at best.

Giada, on the Food Network, has an Espresso Martini recipe that is pretty easy to make, except that it relies on simple syrup for its sweetness. Granted, simple syrup is easy to make (melt 2 parts sugar in 1 part water), but most people don’t have this handy nor do they want to take the time to whip up a batch.

So, here’s my recipe: Read the rest of this entry »


Los Barrios, starring Bobby (Where’s the puffy taco?) Flay

4 12 2007

Barrios green sauceAny restaurant that the great Bobby Flay chooses to have a throwdown with is certainly worthy of eating at. That is the case of Los Barrios and its owner, Diana Barrios TreviƱo, who apparently taught Flay how to make puffy tacos back in 2000, and who had to defend her culinary treat earlier this year when Flay challenged her to a “Throwdown.” I’ve been to Los Barrios a couple of times in the past but felt it necessary to refresh my memory.

Located in the midst of a predominantly Hispanic working class neighborhood in San Antonio, Los Barrios has offered what they call Mexican Continental Cuisine for over 25 years. Due to their popularity and the opportunities available at the ever expanding Northside of San Antonio, the restaurant has recently opened a second location, known as La Hacienda de Los Barrios. We visited the original location and it was already very busy at 5:30. The establishment is clean and updated and someone with a green thumb takes very good care of the plants indoors.

To begin with, diners start off with the customary chips and salsa normally expected at Mexican restaurants. Over the course of dinner we were served five bowls of chips and each one came out crispy and warm. You might be thinking that this is a given, but it is not uncommon that I am served stale chips. Read the rest of this entry »