Saturday, June 11, 2016

Frida 602:

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed a trend with some of my tweet content over the past year. It started innocently enough with me running a 5K race last spring.

After running inside on a treadmill all winter, I started to take my workouts to the road--and the races. I started upping my mileage during the week, getting more competitive, and on May 1st this year, ran the Flying Pig Half Marathon.

The Flying Pig has one of the earliest starts of the races I’ve run. To his credit, David got up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday without complaint to watch the race start at 6:30 and wait for me to finish about an hour and 45ish minutes later.

At most races, once you cross the finish line, there are usually volunteers with water, free bananas or other small snacks. I usually take the water, but skip the other goodies. Because when I finish a race, there are usually three things I really want, listed below.

1. A hug from David
2. Nachos
3. Margaritas


To fulfill that wish list, sometimes we head north to Chuy’s in Kenwood, to Mercado downtown, or take a short trip across the river to Frida 602.

Interestingly enough, Frida 602 is also owned by the same people that own Otto’s, the subject of my previous post. You’ll notice some similarities--the pairs of salt and pepper shakers, some quirky decor, and a menu that doesn’t disappoint.

Frida 602 not only has a nice selection of tequila, they also specialize in mezcal, which is a spirit that is growing in prominence in the past few years. The selection of mezcal at the Party Source has been steadily expanding, and now takes up several shelves as opposed to a few bottles.

The good mezcal (not that caramel colored stuff with the worm in the bottom) can get pricey, so if you want to learn more about it, this bar is an excellent place to start, as they have flights you can try. Flights are also a good idea because mezcal itself can vary so wildly.  Some are smoky and bold like Scotch, while others are delicate and vegetal like a more nuanced tequila.

A copita, or traditional tasting cup for mezcal.

The cheese dip at Frida 602 is excellent, and the thicker (almost too thick in my opinion) chips are up to the task of scooping out the melty cheese with a nice broiled crust. Don’t be scared of the peppers--they look spicy but are very mild.

Don't be skeered

I like the nacho assembly particularly. While digging around in a pile of chips and delicious toppings for that perfect combination of beans, cheese and whatever else you’ve ordered on your nachos has its charms, the nachos at Frida 602 come out on a plate already assembled and loaded with beans, cheese, chicken, cilantro and crema.

Individually assembled for your snacking pleasure

The real star of the “antojitos” menu is the empanada. If you go to Frida 602, do not skip it. The perfectly deep fried pastry is filled with juicy, braised short rib in a slightly spicy sauce and served with chimichurri and crema. Hands down, it’s one of our favorite things on the menu.

Get you some

We’ve also eaten all the tacos on the menu. In one sitting. Don't look at me like that!

Our favorites were the fried fish and the fried chicken, as well as the braised beef. The brussel sprout taco is also surprisingly good for what appears to be the token vegan dish on the menu. The only miss was the chicken taco, which was a bit dry.

These are substantial tacos, so we recommend either getting them with the flour tortilla (best with the fried stuff) or requesting a double wrapped corn tortilla so they don’t fall apart halfway through.

goat taco

Structural integrity holding...for now
Too many tacos
Only God can judge me

Drinks are excellent as well. Everything is fresh, vibrant, and housemade. No retail mystery mixes were spotted.

If you want to go traditional, there’s a solid house margarita. The passion-fruit punch, which is a delightful pink color, is so tasty I’d recommend a pitcher for a group--because you definitely won’t want to share an individual order.

Passionfruit punch
Oaxacan mule
Frida Margarita

We’ve tried two desserts, the key lime pie and the tres leches cake. The pie has great flavor with real lime zest, and the cake is some of the best we’ve ever had. The torched marshmallow at the top really takes it up a notch. This is another thing not to skip at Frida 602.

One of the best parts of indulging post-race is I get to eat the whole thing without any guilt

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