PW's Guide to Michelada

By Tim McGinnis
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Mar. 2, 2010

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Deposed CNN pundit and accused hispanophobe Lou Dobbs is eyeing a run at a New Jersey senate seat. We’re predicting Dobbs runs on a platform that includes shipping every man, woman or child of questionable U.S. entry back to where they came from. It all makes us kind of depressed and a bit thirsty. Let’s toast to the failure of the bloated misanthrope with a drink that’s crossed the border: the Michelada, typically a beer, lime juice and spicy tomato mixture on ice in a salt-rimmed glass kicked up with steak and hot sauces. Salud!

If You Need a Revision
Back in full force after reconfiguring their place in Philly, Xochitl (408 S. Second St. 215.238.7280) is streamlined. Gone are the shmancy white table clothes, the overpriced dishes and a chef/partner. What’s left behind is what we loved about this joint. The casual Mexican tavern atmosphere and the superb drinks—including the Michelada made with Dos Equis Amber, spicy tomato and a lip-tingling chili-salt rim. M F S

If Jose You Can See
Oh, Jose Garces … you either love him or you love him. In a city as unimpressed as Philly, Jose knocks our socks off with each new restaurant venture. At his University City ode to Mexico City and lucha libre, Distrito (3945 Chestnut St. 215.222.1657), the Iron Chef is banging out sexy street food and intense tasting cocktails like his Michelada made with Modelo Especial and Maggi seasoning sauce which is similar to traditional soy sauce.  M F S

If You Need to Chillax

We could go on and on about Las Bugambilias (148 South St. 215.922.3190): the ceviche, the soup and that Michelada with clamato, Tabasco and lime in your choice of eight different cervezas. Our preference, since it reminded us of lazy summer days on the Caribbean rather than the snowy reality outside, is the chilada: simply lime, beer and salt. Más, por favor. M F S

If It’s Too Cold
While we found the salt rim to be a bit inconsistent, we liked the tasty Michelada at Avenida (7402 Germantown Ave. 267.385.6857) for its simple Tecate, lime juice and hot sauce recipe. However, their version of the drink is served up at room temperature and we wanted it a bit colder despite the frigid winter weather outside.   L F S

If You Like It Inauthentic
Under the direction of Top Chef reject Jen Zavala, El Camino Real’s (1040 N. Second St. 215.925.1110) kitchen was a bit of a mess. That kind of culture permeates an entire restaurant. The Michelada under her regime was as lacking as a seitan chili relleno in the face of Wolfgang Puck. With new but controversial chef Dustin Chalermkittichai (if that is his real name) at the helm, the food is mediocre and the oddly iceless, mostly clamato-based Michelada is thick and difficult to get down. It’s of dubious authenticity, much like the new chef’s resume. T S  

If You’re Sure You’re Not Hungry

It’s hard for us to diss Cantina Dos Segundos (931 N. Second St. 215.629.0500) because we like their sister restaurant Royal Tavern so damn  much. With that said, if you do find yourself drawn to their over-hyped Mexican joint, stick to drinks and order their peppery Michelada mixed with a citrusy sangrita. M S

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1. Anonymous said... on Mar 9, 2010 at 03:18PM

“Dustin is no longer the chef at El Camino. PW fact check.”

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