Homepage

At new Campus Pointe restaurant, come for the tequila, stay for the hot dish in a lava bowl

Que Pasa! opens at Campus Pointe, featuring tequila bar and a sizzling dish

Mexican grill Que Pasa! serves a variety of dishes, including the molcajete, a piping-hot dish with roasted cactus and chorizo served in a black lava rock bowl. Que Pasa! opened Oct. 9 in The Square at Campus Pointe, east of Save Mart Center and F
Up Next
Mexican grill Que Pasa! serves a variety of dishes, including the molcajete, a piping-hot dish with roasted cactus and chorizo served in a black lava rock bowl. Que Pasa! opened Oct. 9 in The Square at Campus Pointe, east of Save Mart Center and F

A new restaurant and bar in Fresno has 50 types of tequila and a dish that will turn the head of every diner in the place.

Qué Pasa! Mexican Cafe opened Oct. 9 at Campus Pointe center, near Fresno State at Chestnut Avenue and Highway 168.

The restaurant is a gourmet, authentic Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, says general manager Stacy Cisneros. It’s a Bakersfield-based chain with seven restaurants, including locations in Hanford and Tulare.

The tequila bar specializes in tequila – obviously – but also is a full bar that can make any drink.

EPZ QUE_PASA 05
Bartender Alyssa Aguilar creates a Michelada at the newly opened Que Pasa! ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

As for the tequila part, think of it like a whiskey bar, where people come to sip all levels of quality and price, says bar supervisor Alex Salazar.

Instead of shot glasses, the tequila is served in mini Champagne flutes “to let it breathe … it lets all the flavors into your taste buds,” Salazar says.

Salazar plans to expand the 50 types of tequila to 100.

And the margaritas?

There’s 13 on the menu, ranging in price from $9 to $16.50.

That $16.50 margarita is El Rico, made with Jose Cuervo reserva de la familia and platino tequilas. The first tequila sells for over $100 a bottle, so you’re paying for the tequila itself when you buy the margarita.

If that price tag is a too rich or if you find so many options overwhelming, go with the Fresca Cadillac margarita, Salazar says. It has a mid-level tequila, 1800 Reposado, agave nectar and Grand Marnier.

As for the food, Qué Pasa! has all the Mexican food basics and then some. That includes four kinds of seafood tacos, one with grilled octopus.

EPZ QUE_PASA 01
The sizzling Molcajete is a featured dish with roasted nopales, chiles toreados, grilled onion and chorizo in a Yucatan green sauce topped with queso fresco in a lava rock molcajete, served with fresh corn or flour tortillas at the newly opened Que Pasa! in Campus Pointe just east of Fresno State. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

But the real attention getter? The molcajete.

This dish is named after the black bowl it’s served in. Made of lava rock, the bowl holds the heat long after it’s delivered to your table.

The bowl is heated up by placing it facedown on the grill while the food is cooked separately.

“That rock is still hot” long after it’s at the diners’ table, Cisneros says. “It keeps everything nice and warm.”

It sizzles loudly as it’s served, a mini-spectacle that grabs other diners’ attention.

As for the food it holds, “it’s kinda like a stew,” says Cisneros.

It’s made with nopales (cactus), spicy peppers and chorizo, and your choice of steak, grilled chicken or shrimp. The “molcajete supremo” has all three.

The dish is topped with queso fresco and served with tortillas. Enough for two to four people, it’s meant to be shared.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

  Comments