My boyfriend and I headed to Shaw on a unseasonably warm winter day. We were so excited to brunch at Espita Mezcaleria–I knew exactly what I was going to order weeks prior. We loved brunch the first time around, so we had high expectations. Thanks to Espita for inviting us in for brunch on the house.
We started off with some boozy beverages. I ordered the Misa del Gallo made with tequila, grapefruit, agave, and sparkling rosé. Andres ordered the Jamaica Agua Fresca which was a hibiscus, lime, and agave drink. He went off menu and ordered his with mezcal. Both of our drinks were delicious. I loved my light and refreshing beverage which was perfect for brunch. Andres also enjoyed his hair of the dog. It was well mixed and refreshing.
First up, we ordered some delicious tacos. We found out that their tortillas are hand-made every single morning. Can’t get much more fresh or authentic than that. We ordered one of each taco so that we could sample everything. Espita offers Brussels sprout, chorizo and egg, al pastor, and cobia tacos for brunch. We loved all of them. We ordered a second al pastor taco because they happen to be my date’s favorite. We loved that the al pastor was cooked crispy. It was served with pickled watermelon and pineapple.
The other standout was the Brussels sprout taco. I know what you’re thinking–Brussels sprout tacos do not make sense. Well, you’re wrong. These were delicious, perfectly cooked, and flavorful. Andres is a self-declared sprout hater and even this taco wowed him.
The kitchen sent out an avocado tostada. It was made with cashew butter, tomatoes, pickled onion, cacao nibs, and sunflower sprouts. We weren’t sure how the nut butter and avocado would taste together, but we loved the combo! The flavors complimented each other perfectly. The crunch of the tostada made this dish fun and tasty.
For our entrees, we chose the hamburguesa and chilaquiles divorciados. I had been eyeing this burger for weeks now. The mezcal relish and Oaxaca cheese wowed me. Our lovely waiter was kind enough to ask if I had a shrimp allergy–which I do–because part of the meat is traditionally made with dried shrimp. So I ordered my burger sans shrimp. Thankfully there were no health emergencies at this brunch thanks to our trusty waiter.
Andres is a huge chilaquiles fan so these brunch nachos had a lot to live up to–and they did. This extremely messy and saucy dish had just the right amount of spice and hit the spot. One egg was a touch overcooked and one was perfect–the chef may not have accounted for my ten minute photoshoot.
We ordered another round of drinks and munched on chips and salsa. We ordered the classic brunch beverages. Andres ordered the Guadalupe–a mezcal Bloody Mary with a chili salt rim. I stole a few sips and thought that it was one of the best Bloody Marys I’ve had–the spices were on point and the mezcal was a welcome change from vodka. My mimosa was refreshing and light. It hit the spot. We tried the charred onion and cashew salsa as well as the borracha with mezcal and capers. We loved both of them but especially loved the cashew option. These are a welcome change from your classic and sometimes boring salsas.
We couldn’t leave without ordering the churro French toast. This dish is worth the trip alone. We couldn’t get enough. We politely fought over the last piece of churro–I won. The churros were crispy on the outside and soft and doughy on the inside. They had plenty of cinnamon sugar to boot. The French toast was amazing as well. The toast was perfectly seasoned and dressed with syrup. The caramelized apples were cooked well and very flavorful.
The chocolate tostada was calling to us as well. This chocolate and almond crispy tostada was served underneath chocolate peanut ganache, dark chocolate and vanilla creme, and chocolate sorbet. The different scoops of chocolate goodness were the most refreshing end to a satisfying meal. They were rich without being too overpowering.
The Bitches say: A. This authentic Mexican fare with a modern twist wowed us and satiated our sweet, savory, and spicy cravings. We would definitely recommend this brunch for anyone with an affinity for high-quality, fresh food.
1250 9th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001