Ding, ding! ROUND TWO, this time highlighting not one but two inspiring bartenders from a couple of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the city – David Ruiz from Padrecito and Kevin Davis from Tacolicious. Both bartenders, both from Santa Cruz, both tequila wizards.
Before we don our Mexican wrestling masks and corkscrew dive into the ring, I present you with the Happelsauce SF Snapshot Manifesto:
SF Snapshot acknowledges the people, places and flavors in San Francisco that inspire us. Let’s pay homage. Bow down. Raise a glass. Inspiration is all around us.
Here are a few reasons why I think each spot is super bueno:
Padrecito in Cole Valley serves Goat Barbacoa Tacos that will knock your socks off. Trust me on this. Goat is good. Their cocktail list is heavy on the Mezcal, infusing each sip with a smoky sass. I recently tried and loved La Copa Verde, made with Mezcal, cilantro, lime and chipolte powder.
Tacolicious in the Mission serves the best Albacore Tuna Tostadas this side of Mexico City, killer Carnitas Tacos, and a little cocktail they call Pasion that’s made of tequila, passion fruit and habanero.
Hold onto your sombreros! This Mexican Match Up may ignite a tremendous craving for tequila and tacos…
David Ruiz - Padrecito
Kevin Davis - Tacolicious
How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
DR: All my life.
KD: Recently about a year and a half. Did some time growing up around here as a child for about 4 years.
What’s your favorite hood? Why?
DR: Central Market. You have the best of Hayes Valley , Mission and Castro to choose from.
KD: The Lower Haight. Just recently moved here and already feels like home. Way more low key and less populated than the mission (my old hood), but still has nice little scene – fun Irish sports bars, premium selection beer bars, nice variety of diverse restaurants, and close to some good venues and parks. And happens to be one of the most central locations in the city – very convenient.
How long have you been a bartender?
DR: 6 years.
KD: About 2 years at mainly tequila bars. Though my mother taught me the magic of mixing years ago (responsibly, of course).
What’s your favorite thing on the menu?
KD: The ribs!! They were just recently put back on the menu. Sweet and Spicy - tamarind habanero glazed, served with a jicama salad.
Who’s your ideal guest?
DR: Someone who is patient.
KD: I’m usually pretty chatty when I have the time, so I can definitely appreciate a good conversation with strangers. Showing the customers a good time is just as much my job as it is making their cocktails. Respect is key.
Where will I find you eating and drinking on your day off?
KD: Liberties Bar & Restaurant. Good food, good alcohol selection, fun staff. Ohh and their kitchen happens to be open until 2am!!
Sweet or salty?
KD: Both. Sweet and salty!
Still or sparkling?
KD: Sparkling. I never was really a big fan until it became my substitute for an ice cold beer – still refreshing without the gut and hangover.
Spicy or mild?
KD: Spicy, but not so much that I can’t taste the food.
Tequila or Mezcal?
DR: Half and half.
KD: Tequila. I’ll give Mezcal more of a chance when I get bored of Tequila.