Café Distrito 23Cuatro10
In the evening Café Distrito looks like an Italian bistro overrun by a hidden garden. The lighting is coy, it’s bright enough, it’s romantic but functional. Lights hang off the wood slab roofing, spread out like stars, tempered and mellow, evenly spreading about a golden glow as if light were a smoky incense.
In the dark leaves seem vibrant, or is it that veiled in mystery they acquire a new presence.
A good part of the menu seems to fit this ambiance. Café Distrito takes on a second life. Call me old-fashioned but I wait until sunset before having a cocktail. On Thursdays, Frank Zamora sings Latin contemporary classics accompanied by his guitar, a loop pedal, and a Spanish flair.
The cocktail menu is brief, Margarita, Clericot y Carajillo. Carajillo is said to have originated in Cuba. During the time of the Cuban Revolution, Spanish soldiers mixed brandy with coffee to get “corajillo“, meaning courage before battle. Clericot is the Latin name given to Copa clarete, the Spanish name for the wine glass. It’s a play on words. Clericot began as a mix of dry white wine and fruit. Which has given way to many recipes that add red wine, fruit, orange juice, apple juice, champagne, at times even rum, brandy, vodka, or Cointreau.
The margarita is closest to home. The margarita is said to have been invented in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. It’s a cocktail composed of Tequila, Triple sec, Lime, or Lemon house. Usually served with salt.
Non-alcoholic drinks include Coffee, Tizanas, Tea, Hot Chocolate, And Shakes.
Coffea Arábica, from chiapas.
You go to a coffee shop for coffee. Honestly, I forgot to order one last time. Distritos Coffee is exceptional.
Coffee from Chiapas has a good rep, it’s said to be the best produced in Mexico. I don’t know enough to say that’s the case, but the mug itself makes a solid argument for itself. I’ve never had coffee that good. To me, Coffee from Chiapas differs from most coffee in that it’s not bitter, it doesn’t leave that cigarette-like after taste at the back of your tongue. Coffee from Chiapas tastes like wood. It’s a deep earthy flavor, no bitterness at all, and it’s surprisingly more aromatic. It opens up the senses in a way similar to how Chily opens up your sinuses.
To the uninitiated: Tizana is a Venezuelan drink, a sort of “tea” made from chunks of dried fruit.
Distrito has an ample variety of Tizana options mixing together: Kiwi, Strawberry, Peach, Pineapple, Mango, Wild berries, Cranberry, into different drinks.
We ordered the Strawberry with Rose Pedals.
It was soft and refreshing, it was like drinking tea, something in between Chamomile and Hibiscus sweetened slightly by the strawberry. It’s like a mature fruit punch, the rose petal chunks mixed about with strawberry taste like a soft chewy sweetened hibiscus sponge. The chunks aren’t overly sweet they were mellow, they taste refreshing like the smell of a flower patch.
The so-called: Antioxidant & Energy Shake.
Banana, wild berries, whey protein, oatmeal, honey, and almond milk.
Do I need to say more?
PIZZETTA DE PROSCIUTTO.
Bacon Puré, Caramelized Purple Onion, Mozzarella, Sautéed Green Apple, Arugula, And Prosciutto, drizzled over by a bittersweet vinaigrette.
Immediately this dish caught my eye, what a great collection of ingredients, what a visually stunning dish to mark the difference between breakfast service and evening dining. A coffee shop with the flair of a garden Italian bistro brought to life by a star-filled rooftop and the passionate tempo of a Spanish guitar portraying Mexican pop classics in dim fleeting light.
Not a single ingredient is listed out of place. Every ingredient plays well with another, the contrasting sharp rich flavors at play come together so well it should be listed as an aphrodisiac. Unfortunately there’s a problem with the only ingredient not listed.
I had to google this one. Etta in Italian is a root word to convey the smallness of the object. So a Pizzetta is literally a small pizza somewhere between finger food and a sandwich. This “Pizzetta” is Pizza Sized. But I believe the word is implemented to deformalize de concept of pizza. All that I suspect to justify the use of what seems to be a frozen pizza base. You know, pale, flat, a lot of mechanically made dimples, it won’t rise in the oven so it’s dense as opposed to fluffy, and tastes like old pita bread.
What a great list of ingredients, they read out well, and taste even better than that. Unfortunately, the wonderful marriage cant disappear the stale pita bread. If the same ingredients, combined in the same way were a top even the most rudimentary excuse for fresh pizza I would highly recommend it.
If this same list of ingredients were atop a decent pizza, I would probably call it my favorite.
If I’ve learned anything reviewing so many restaurants, is that its best to go by the best recommendation you can get. I’d say for simplicity’s sake “your waiter’s recommendation” but that may not be enough, you need to look into your server’s eyes and discern from a mix of his enthusiasm and the sharpness of his gaze if his recommendation is worth taking.
I was stunned to hear that chilaquiles are the specialty here and they’re well worthy of it. I’m sure Café Distrito has many other great dishes on the menu to be discovered as long as we remember to ask for a recommendation.
A Veggie Sandwich was ordered as well. It’s a specialty. Not on the menu. You have to ask for it. I forgot what it had in it. It was interesting. I remember it has Strawberries and Green Apple.
“Please Stop Taking Pictures Of Me.”