Mercadito Mi-Amore!

Mercadito Miami is the latest outpost of fine-casual, Mexi-centric Mercadito Restaurants, who specialize in tapas and tequilas.  They’ve been a hit in Chicago for a few years now and their first foray into Miami is nothing short of spectacular.  With some of the finest tacos THIS dude has ever consumed and a ridiculously creative cocktail menu designed by the mixologists at Tippling Bros,  this is a must-see spot if you’re in the Miami area.  Seriously… the carne asada tacos… BANGIN!

I’ve had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with these guys on the few occasions I’ve found myself in Miami, but my most recent trip was really something special.

Miami serves our Octavio Cafe line of coffees with a killer espresso program and some awesome drip coffee to boot!  But with all this great coffee floating around, I was surprised to hear they had never participated in a formal coffee cupping experience.  This could not stand!

So armed with a couple pounds of coffee, some glassware and a few spoons, I made the pilgrimage to Miami’s Design District to introduce the staff of Mercadito Miami to the wonders of an organized coffee cupping.  And boy did our noses thank us for it.

As a group we explored the wondrous aromas of Octavio Cafe ground dry, whilst steeping and eventually participated in the ritualistic slurping and spitting that are the hallmarks of a formal coffee tasting.  The coffee was brilliant, if I do say so myself, exhibiting chocolatey, nutty aromas and a sweet, smooth caramelly finish.

At the end of the cupping, we were all a little wired and our noses were exhausted.  What ever were we to do?  Enjoy a beautifully-crafted mezcal cocktail of course (it being very much after 5 pm at that point).  The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze and music was dancing lightly throughout the air.  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend an afternoon than with the folks down at Mercadito.

So, next time you’re in Midtown Miami, stop by Mercadito and ask for Fraser.  He’ll whip you up an unforgettable cocktail and maybe show you some bar flare while you wait for your guacamole and carne asada tacos!