|this is a google image. my IPhone refused to take|
a pic of the internally illuminated sign at night
Pepe & Mitos
2911 Elm Street
2911 Elm Street
Woohoo, I made it to #40. I'm off my game, but haven't gotten a refried bean lard-ass yet.
Located in two storefronts on Elm (one being an old garage), this restaurant embraces the seedy funk that is characteristic of Deep Ellum. We sat outdoors on the patio, replete with black iron fencing, which I guess is just as much for protection as it is for décor.
My friend ordered us top shelf margaritas. Although some might argue that top shelf just equates to big bucks, I find that high-end tequila is smoother and does not result in a pounding headache the next am. Sadly this margarita was disappointing. Instead of fresh-squeezed lime juice, it was made with sweet and sour mix and bottled lime. No evidence of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
Our table disagreed about the salsa. One friend thought it was really fresh with tomatoes and cilantro. My other friend and I disagreed; we thought it was too bland and wished for a roasted or smoky flavor.
Queso was your typical processed cheese dip, but that didn’t stop us from devouring it. Guac was fresh—nothing fancy, but made with perfectly ripened avocados. If I had to live on one food, it would definitely be guac.
For entrees, our table split chicken and cheese mole enchiladas and beef/chicken fajitas. The tortillas were exceptional. I typically don’t like flour tortillas, but these did not have the “floury” taste. The steak and chicken were tender and well seasoned.
The meal’s highlight (besides my company of course) was the mole. Mole is tricky. It is complicated and time consuming to make. Many restaurants don’t offer it on their menu. Pepe & Mitos’s mole was spicy with a pronounced chocolate flavor. I’m picky about my mole and don’t like it if it’s too chocolatey or too tomatoey or relies too much on spice, rather than letting the complexity of the flavors merge and slowly unfold on my tongue.
This mole was well balanced and rich, without overpowering the palette.
Pepe & Mitos website is missing some crucial info like their hours of operation. On their “About Us” page, it says that they have been open for ?? years since 19?? Either the webmaster imbibed in too many bad margaritas or accidentally ate the worm. To ensure they are open, call ahead.