If you found this blog by Googling my name or by following sundry noxious links (you know where), please note that all claims that I was fired from my job are 100% false, as are most of the other things written about me. I don't know the people who are libeling me, but it's clear they have some imaginary axe to grind and way too much time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo@Mayahuel

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I'm writing about the newly opened tequila bar, Mayahuel, on 6th and 2nd.

Mayahuel is the much-hyped second operation of the guys behind Death & Co, and I hope that means something to you because it certainly means nothing to me. I'm just parroting what everyone else is saying.

See, I could care less about bars. As obsessively as I follow the Manhattan restaurant scene, I completely ignore the bar scene. When my friends ask how I'm affording my many dinners at nice restaurants, I tell them I've pretty much given up drinking. The night I went to Mayahuel, it was my coworker, Alex, who dragged me there after a late night at work. I was wheedling for Kenka instead, but Alex is a tequila lover and viewed Mayahuel's opening as something like the second coming of Quetzalcoatl. He would not be deterred.

"Does it have food?" I whined.
"No. We can go somewhere else after."
"UUUUUGGGHHHHH."

But shit, I quit my bitchin' after settling into the place. I'm usually not big on decor, but Mayahuel is basically the inside of Zorro's house. Dark confession-chamber type booths, exposed brick, wrought-iron and glass Mexican chandeliers, Jesus candles, and tiles. Gorgeous tiles covering every surface, from tabletops to ceilings, front room to bathroom. If Zorro isn't your thing, there's always the upstairs, which looks more like a vampire den.


One of the hard-to-get booths. I recommend going on a weekday.

The cocktail menu actually got me excited about cocktails. Me, the scotch-on-the-rocks girl. I don't think I can honestly say that I've had tequila in the past two years, at least, that wasn't preceded by salt on a dab of skin (sometimes someone else's) and followed by a wedge of lime. If tequila needs an image makeover, Mayahuel makes a good PR rep.

The menu manages to be very inclusive of differing tastes while working around the star of the show - agave. I started out with the Watermelon Sugar, which I dreaded would be too sweet. It wasn't, and I wondered why more cocktails don't have spicy rims. Too many bad cocktails try to mask the taste of alcohol with sugar, and too many of us young'uns go all our lives never discovering the wonders of salt and spice. At least not anything beyond slushy chain-resto margaritas.

Alex, who likes to taste his tequila, had the Slynx, which was formidable but very sophisticated - the kind of cocktail Esquire's writers cream themselves over.


The Watermelon Sugar would more accurately be called Watermelon Spice

Others in our party would go on to try the Smoked Palomino, the Slight Detour, and the Whoopsy Daisy, but I kind of stopped paying attention after I had the Selena Fizz. It's like an alcoholic egg cream, only way better and actually made with egg white. I could say goodbye to single-malts and drink that svelte, frothy little tutu of a drink every day. I'd embrace the girlyness of it, because the Selena Fizz is a grown-up girl drink. It's not sugary, it's not cloying, and it doesn't come in a fucking martini glass.

The one misstep, the one teensy hiccup, were the palomitas they're serving as a bar snack before the installation of a complete menu. Limp dry popcorn sprinkled with cayenne and cheese? Eh. Severely boring, but also lacking in the sensuousness otherwise oozing from this place.

So yes, I'm all over Mayahuel. If I could be there tonight, I would, but some things are more important. But you should go. And if their kitchen is up and fully operating, you should report back.

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