|E. Katie Holm|
|La Antigua, por favor|
It's Friday afternoon, and I hear the tequila calling. What say we all kick off early and hit up a happy hour? When Rosa Mexicano first opened, experiences were mixed (ahem
), but there have been a few crucial changes. One is the executive chef position. The man who leads the kitchen can now not only pronounce the Mexican words on the menu but also fully understands the cuisine.
But let's not get too deep here, people. What this is really about is the booze. Have you yet tried La Antigua?
No? Que lastima! You must. A blend of chocolate-infused silver tequila, bitters, and a twist of orange zest, it is more like an old-fashioned than a chocolatini. This is not an overly sweet drink, just a subtle, smoky whisper of cocoa in a pool of smooth tequila pierced by a citrus zing. It's near the top of my list of best cocktails in downtown Minneapolis and worth the $11 price tag.
The bar at Rosa isn't serving the average blender-driven margarita. During happy hour the 1800 margarita is only $5.50.
These cocktails go down smooth and easy, so it's best to get some food. Much has been made of the tableside guacamole at Rosa Mexicano, but happy hour bucks go much further with the gooey queso fundido. Melted cheese mixed with not-too-spicy chorizo, smoky roasted peppers, and freshly made chips only costs $4.90.
The crispy fried flautas are stuffed with chicken and cheese and drizzled with a crema. They are $5 bites of filling, easy-to-eat tidbits. Other food speicals include a Hamachi taco, served on tortillas made just feet away. It's fresh and a healthier alternative to the cheese and deep-fried treats.
Happy Hour at Rosa Mexicano runs 3-6 p.m. and 9-close every day.
609 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN