In Pastry War the new bar of Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta , Bobby tells me that guests are already becoming aware of different types of tequila on the list and equally of mezcal. Guests are daring to go to new brands. This is a result of the culture in Pastry War.
The staff , that are well educated and impassioned talk about the products they offer, encourage the guests to try new products, they offer small tastes to try before ordering to help the guests. Others use Mexican spirits to apply to modern cocktailing (cocktaileria) while PW keeps more to the drinking traditions from Mexico and shares this with its guests.
Bobby talks about "bar culture"-more about style of service, how drinks are served - as opposed to "cocktail culture"- how a drink is made. Working to break the mould, the menu is set by varietal with mezcal coming first and tequila second so the attention is drawn to new experiences.
They are working on a "Captain's List", "Lista de Capitan" which will be an agave spirits reference with maps, sorted by varietal, details of production processes for each brand served and commentary by bartenders and tequila experts.
As Bobby serves a mezcal Vago-varietal espadin, he likens the maguey variety to a wine grape variety. He tells the story of the family that makes the product. Bobby serves me a "Bala de Canon" made with fresh cantaloupe puréed with its seeds for extra flavor, honey, lemon juice and Tequila Ocho plata, Rancho Las Pomez.
Taylor who I meet at the bar has not enjoyed Houston in all the years he's visited until this time. He's been to PW two times in two days and has not yet ordered a cocktail. He asks to have a drink made for him and each time it is just right. In this Bobby shows his mastery, his passion .
The decor is tongue in cheek, kitch Mexican, colorful, visual fun. It has a great and carefully selected range of agave spirits . The standard for inclusion on the menu is that the spirits must be traditionally made. It is the house goal that in 6 months they will have visited all distilleries whose spirits they represent on their menu.
Being in this place I am a student of what and how they do their magic, filled with passion, integrity and of course love.
With Alba at The Pastry War, Houston, TX