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Seattle, WA

Seattle Enjoys Traditional Oaxacan Food

Posted by 
Tree Langdon
Tree Langdon
 10 days ago

Come to El Mezcalito for a home-cooked meal.

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Quesadillas with fresh tomatoes and onionsKira Hoffmann/Pixabay

“Never do anything without love.” That’s what their grandmother always taught them when she was cooking.

This is a three-generation family-owned business offering traditional Oaxacan food and spirits.

This is the original Mezcalaria, established by the family, and they have another great restaurant in Seattle, La Carta de Oaxaca. The family still works towards their matriarch’s wish that they preserve Oaxacan cuisine.

The Matriarch “The food is good because it was made with love…”

Chef Gloria Perez, Head Chef of La Carta de Oaxaca and El Mezcalito

Oaxacan cuisine isn’t what you think of when you think of Mexican food. The area is very culturally diverse, with 16 indigenous groups each with its own language and traditions.  

Their culinary tradition is prehispanic and ingredients are quite unique.

This includes chapulines (grasshopper) and huitlacoche (a corn fungus).

They have seven types of world-renowned mole. 

El Mezcalito is family-run and has a home-style, intimate feel. 

There are lots of items to choose from on the menu and it’s a great place to get together with friends for lunch.

For quick ordering, they’ve put together a great list of lunch combinations.

  • Tacos al Pastor-Barbequed pork on corn tortillas, pico de gallo, and salsa verde. 
  • Memelitas-Thick tortillas topped with pork gravy, black bean sauce, queso fresco, salsa de aguacate, and salsa. 
  • Tamale de Rajas-Corn masa, chicken, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños, wrapped in a corn husk and served with rice and beans.
  • Tamale de Salsa Verde-Corn masa, pork in tomatillo sauce, wrapped in a corn husk and served with rice and beans.
  • Chorizo con Huevo-Scrambled eggs with Mexican sausage served with rice, beans, and tortillas.
  • Enfrijoladas-Corn tortillas smothered in a black bean sauce, topped with onions, lettuce, crema, and queso fresco, and served with a skirt steak.
  • Entomatadas-Tortillas smothered in tomatillo salsa topped with queso fresco, crema, lettuce, onions, and served with a skirt steak.

For dinner, the house special is the Mole Negro, a recipe handed down from the Matriarch.

Mole’ Negro Oaxaqueño 

This is the house specialty and it’s delicious. Black mole’ with chicken or pork ribs, white rice, and corn tortillas.

Mole’ is a traditional sauce used in Mexican cuisine. 

There are as many recipes for Mole’ as there are for spaghetti sauce. Everyone has secret ingredients that make theirs the best one.

In general, a Mole’ is created from ingredients from five different categories of flavor or taste.

They combine sweet, hot, and sour foods with spices and a thickener to form a paste. It’s then mixed with broth, sometimes water, and simmered until it thickens.

  • Chiles are used for the heat and often several different types are added.
  • The sweetness comes from dried fruits or sugar.
  • Sour comes from tomatoes or tomatillos, although some would say they aren’t really sour.
  • Spices are often specific to the recipe and the area where the Mole originated.
  • Thickeners can be bread, nuts, or seeds.

Additional dinner menu items include Tacos, delicious fried Quesadillas, Stuffed Peppers, and Seafood. Check out the menu here.

They stock a variety of delicious Mexican beers, kept cold for your enjoyment. Mezcals and tequilas are available as well.

The staff is friendly and attentive and the waiters are knowledgeable. 

 Firepits are available for those choosing to dine outside. 

This restaurant used to be called Mezcaleria Oaxaca. They changed their name in 2019 to El Mezcalito

(not to be confused with the Mezcaleria Oaxaca on Capitol Hill, which is no longer affiliated).

El Mezcalito: 2123 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

El Mezcalito is open Monday-Saturday.

Hours are Monday-Wednesday 1 pm- 9 pm & Thursday-Saturday 1 pm-10 pm.

Outdoor dining and limited indoor seating are available. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Regular menu + full cocktail menu are available to-go. 
Please call the restaurant directly for pick-up orders.

Sources: Seattle Eater, El Mezcalito, Facebook