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.
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.
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.
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.