If you are currently on the hunt for that perfect cocktail for Memorial Day weekend, stop here. I’ve got one for you. This Red Michelada comes from one of my new favorite Mexican hot spots, Puesto. The most basic micheladas are made with beer, hot sauce, lime and salt. Puesto’s Red Michelada is made with a bold blend of beer, fresh tomato, tomato juice, roasted jalapeno, onion, orange juice, lime juice and hot sauce. Finished with a chile-salt rim, this tall glass of Mexican deliciousness is spicy, savory and surprisingly refreshing. Enjoy one of these Red Micheladas grillside while you soak up some gorgeous afternoon sun. I know that’s what I’ll be doing this Memorial Day.
In addition to this spicy libation, the man and I enjoyed a number of other tasty treats at Puesto including a flight of tacos, shrimp ceviche and two frosty paletas. Continue reading for the recipe plus a recap of the entire lunch.
I had a good feeling about Puesto even before I had my first bite. The space is beautiful and there was a line of people stretched almost to the door (always a good sign). They get bonus points for having some Chor Boogie artwork on their walls. Chor and I worked on a project together back in 2011, so I always get excited when I spot his work out and about.
Puesto serves a number of Mexican street food specialties including tacos, bowls, salads, guac, elote, ceviche, and much more. Everything is super fresh and super tasty. The four tacos shown above are: Grilled Shrimp, Carne Asada, Chicken al Pastor, and Zucchini & Cactus. All served on handmade tortillas.
The shrimp taco featured Mexican rice, tinga, pineapple salsa and several succulent, grilled shrimp. Puesto’s tinga is a deeply hued condiment made of melting onions, hibiscus and chipotle pepper. They seriously need to bottle this and sell it. So yum. With just one bite, I sunk my teeth into a fat grilled shrimp, releasing an explosion of bright flavor. I almost didn’t want to share this one with Jorge.
In addition to the shrimp taco, I also loved the chicken and veggie options. Made with marinated chicken, tinga, cheese and pineapple, the Chicken al Pastor taco was my second favorite. I enjoy every single bite of this sweet-salty-spicy taco. The Zucchini & Cactus taco surprised me the most. Every time I see a menu item that includes zucchini flowers, I just have to order it. I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of eating flowers? But my intrigue and excitement is usually followed by disappointment. Often the zucchini flowers are drowned in cheese and grease, resulting in a quite unpleasant texture. This was totally not the case at Puesto. The Zucchini & Cactus taco featured a mixture of wonderfully spiced zucchini flower and cactus topped with griddled cheese. Definitely no disappointment here.
I’m not going to dive in to the Carne Asada taco that much because, to be honest, I’ve had better. It was good, but nothing to write home about. Jorge really liked it though.
Accompanying this taco tasting, were two ice cold micheladas, the Red Traditional (recipe below) and the Green El Rey del Patio. The red variety was made with tomato, chile and orange. The green with tomatillo, jalapeno, cucumber and lime. Both beer cocktails were spicy and refreshing.
I’m a big fan of ceviche, so I just had to try Puesto’s version. Made with chopped shrimp, tomato, cilantro and lime, the ceviche was pretty good. I’d give it an A+ for portion size, a B- on texture, and an A for flavor. We were served a sizeable bucket of crispy, crunchy tortilla chips, and a smaller bucket of shrimp ceviche. Jorge and I were snacking on it for a while, and we never made it to the end! The shrimp seemed a little on the tough side, but the flavors were bold, bright and quite enjoyable.
We finished our meal with a couple of paletas (Mexican ice pops). I was glad to see that Puesto was serving up some local paletas from San Diego’s Viva Pops. Jorge got the Mexican Chocolate flavor and I got Salted Caramel. Who can resist salted caramel nowadays? The pops were a little on the small side, but the flavors were pretty darn good. And after a big meal, these small sweet treats were just perfect.
A big thanks to Puesto for hosting Jorge and I for lunch. Here’s the recipe for Puesto’s Red Michelada.
Puesto's Red Michelada
For the michelada mix:
- 10 to matoes
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 3 jalapeno roasted, skin and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (Tabasco, Tapatio or Cholula would work here)
For the micheladas:
- Mexican beer (like Corona)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Finely ground sea salt, for serving
- Chile powder, for serving
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, japalenos, onion, sea salt, black pepper, lime juice, orange juice and hot sauce to a blender, and blend until smooth.
Wet the rim of a pint glass with a lime wedge. Add equal parts salt and chile powder to shallow plate, stirring to combine. Run the outer edge of the pint glass in the salt-chile mixture.
Add 2 oz. of the michelada mix to the glass. Fill with ice, then top off with beer. Stir gently to combine.