Tequila’s Restaurant is Turning 30 Years Old & They’re Serving Throwback Dishes to Celebrate!
On Thursday, September 29, Tequila’s Restaurant will celebrate their 30th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, owner David Suro and his team have created a fun menu of nine Throwback Dishes culled from their opening in 1986 to today, representing fan-favorite dishes and traditional Mexican cuisine emblematic of their commitment to quality and authenticity throughout their tenure on Locust Street.
Featured dishes, available through October 1, will include:
- Sopes del Rancho (1986), shredded chicken with Mexican sausage and shredded beef on handmade corn masa, layered with refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, creme and queso fresco
- Flautas de Cola de Rabo (1990), handmade corn tortillas rolled with oxtail, fried, and served with avocado-tomatillo sauce
- Crema Conde (1988), classic cream of black beans with bacon, onions, queso fresco and croutons
- Ensalada de Nopales (1986), boiled prickly pear leaves cut into small seasoned pieces, tossed with tomatoes, cilantro, onion and chile Serrano
Entrees, with suggested cocktail pairings
- Pollo Tamarindo (2001), grilled boneless chicken breast stuffed with spinach and queso fresco, wrapped in bacon and served with tamarind-chipotle sauce
- Suggested cocktail pairing: Short Rib, jalapeño-infused Siembra Valles blanco with fresh lime and pomegranate molasses
- Camaron al Mojo de Ajo (1996), grilled, butterflied shell-on shrimp with lemon, garlic, and butter, served with rice and greens
- Suggested cocktail pairing: Michelada Ahumada, jalapeño-infused Siembra Valles blanco, El Pelotón de la Muerte mezcal, lime, cane sugar, berber beer and pasilla salt rim
- Huachinango Frito al Ajillo (1986), fresh whole red snapper marinated in lime and orange juices then fried, served covered in garlic and chile guajillo sauce with vegetables and rice
- Suggested cocktail pairing: Margarita Champagne, Siembra Valles blanco with Cointreau, Champagne, fresh lime, orange juice, agave nectar and cactus salt rim
- Carne a la Trenza (1990), braised filet mignon marinated in herbs, served with chorizo sauce
- Suggested cocktail pairing: Colina, jalapeño-infused Siembra Valles blanco with agave nectar, El Pelotón de la Muerte mezcal, Combier, lime juice, Angostura bitters and avocado salt
- Enchiladas Verde (1991), fresh corn tortillas stuffed with beef tenderloin, topped with melted Chihuahua cheese and served with tangy tomatillo sauce
- Suggested cocktail pairing: Mojito Verde, Siembra Valles blanco with cucumber, St. Germain, fresh lime juice, basil and agave nectar
In addition, the menu will include two classic dishes that have been on Tequila’s menu from opening day until today:
- Carne Asada a la Tampiqueña, thinly sliced lean steak seasoned with lime and Mexican herbs, grilled and served with a tamal, a chicken taco, rice, refried beans and guacamole
- Mole Poblano, a potpourri of hot chiles, nuts and herbs mixed with bread, roasted tomatoes and hints of chocolate, served over chicken breast and topped with onions and sesame seeds
David Suro opened Tequila’s Restaurant on September 29, 1986 at 1511 Locust Street; he purchased the restaurant from the previous tenant, El Metate, where he worked as a server after emigrating from Mexico a year before. Together with his wife, Annette, who was pregnant with their first child at the time and still handles the restaurant’s accounts today, and with the help of Annette’s parents, Mary and George Cipolloni Sr., he secured financing and opened the restaurant, serving Philadelphia’s best authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant moved to its current location in 2001. Through the years, Tequila’s has been a standard bearer for Mexican fare in the city, and many of the restaurant’s staff members have been with Suro for 10 years or more.
Today, Suro’s son David assists him and works as the restaurant’s buyer and manager; he earned his first tip at just six years old, when the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team visited the restaurant for dinner. The players were captivated by the small child standing on tip-toe to help clear their plates, and years later, David attended The Restaurant School to fulfill his life-long ambition of working in the restaurant alongside his father. General Manager Oscar Serrano and Operations Manager Dino Rosario have also been with Suro for more than 15 years.
Tequila’s serves more than 80 tequilas, none of which are produced using diffusers, a process that strips the agave of nearly all of its inherent character. Instead, the restaurant relies on smaller-production tequilas, including Suro’s own Siembra Spirits tequilas and mezcals, which he founded in 2005. Today, Siembra Spirits boasts 14 products, all crafted by hand using time-honored techniques eschewed by larger producers to save time. The results are nuanced, complex agave spirits that pair perfectly with the restaurant’s traditional fare; a monthly changing flight is available to allow guests to get to know Siembra’s lines. This month’s flight, “High and Low,” is fondly known at the restaurant as “the Fab Four,” and is available to pair with the 30th anniversary dishes for $16 (for four ½-oz. pours):
- Siembra Azul Blanco, a pristine double-distilled spirit with a fresh taste of vivid fruit and herbaceous aromas
- Siembra Azul 10-Year Anniversary Reposado, a blend from the brand’s master distiller, with velvet-like texture, spices and floral notes of agave
- Siembra Valles Blanco, a mouth-coating mix of dry spices, dates, figs, orange blossoms and copper notes straight from the still
- Siembra Valles Reposado, with aroma of cooked agave, fresh peppercorn and walnut and natural sweetness reminiscent of almond, honey and vanilla
Reservations for the 30th Anniversary Menu are available all week long; please call (215) 546-0181.