East Dallas taqueria branches out into mezcal with new cocktail bar
The mezcal cult keeps growing, and now there's a new place to find it. La Viuda Negra is a speakeasy-style bar in East Dallas that opened in May with mezcals and a menu of specialty mezcal cocktails.
Spanish for "black widow," La Viuda Negra comes from brothers Javier and Luis Villalva, founders of El Come Taco, the award-winning street-style tacos.
The family-run taqueria is known for tacos with pastor, house-made chorizo, and brisket, sirloin, plus breakfast tacos, plus edgier items such as calves's brains and cabeza, the meat from the head and cheek of a cow.
According to a release, the brothers had been thinking about opening a bar with Mexican spirits all along, one that summons the milieu of a cantina in Oaxaca.
They opened La Viuda at 2513 N. Fitzhugh Ave., in the space right next door to El Come, in what used to be an Eco Cleaners.
The atmosphere is dark and intimate, with plants lining the walls, and most of all authentic — no sombreros or stereotypical images of Frida Kahlo.
Mezcal has become an increasingly popular thing, at restaurants and bars such as Tortaco in downtown Dallas, and Las Almas Rotas in Expo Park.
For La Viuda Negra, the Villalva brothers went to Mexico to research flavors and source mezcals not commonly found elsewhere.
Cocktails on the opening menu include the Ultima Palabra (the Final Word) with Ilegal mezcal Chartreuse, lime and Lexardo Maraschino; and the Black Bunny with Espina Negra mezcal, el Tesoro tequila, lime, and piloncillo.
The entire bar will be seasonal, with all juices made in-house daily.
La Viuda Negra will also be the first bar in Dallas offering curados de pulque, aka fermented agave juice.
The BBC says that this pulque, a frothy white beverage that's the ancestor of tequila and at least 2,000 years old, is enjoying renewed popularity. Pulque is made by fermenting — versus distilling — agave. Its ABV is in the same range as beer, between 2 and 8 percent alcohol, and it can have a challenging smell and texture, which they liken to mucous.
Do you dare? La Viuda Negra is open from 5 pm to 2 am every day.