Set in the once-home of both Nacha Mama’s and Garcia’s Tortilla House on Spring Street, Pink Cactus is sticking with the genre, offering sophisticated, regional Oaxacan fare and potentially turning ¡Oaxaca! into a local battle cry, or at least a notable buzzword. Located in the southern part of the nation, Oaxaca’s cuisine is something of the “soul food” of Mexico, and key culinary contributions include cinnamon-infused chocolate, stringy Oaxacan cheese, and mole. Despite being commonly summarized as “the thick sauce made with chocolate,” there are actually seven classic Oaxacan mole preparations, only four of which contain cacao. Such a chocolate-free, cashew mole can be found on Pink Cactus’ tetela de borego, which the waitress charmingly compared to a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme. And she’s not wrong. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) It’s extremely small and quite spicy, filled with barbacoa lamb and garnished with fresh watercress leaves. Nonetheless, note that Pink Cactus is about as far as one can get from fast food. They’re not only making their own corn tortillas, they’re actually grinding the masa for the tortillas in-house. If that’s not enough, their Instagram indicates they’re utilizing varying corns (white, blue, reddish-purple) and creating tortillas specific to each application, efforts which result in a thick, chewy round with an unmistakably fresh taste. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Summer 2019)
• Every Tues.-Fri. evening order $5 margaritas, $3 Tecate, and $5 Kalixmotos
Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.