Opened in 2012, Tepito Tacos y Tequila is a Mexican restaurant in Envigado a few blocks away from the apartment where I lived in 2009.
I met my friend Marcela for lunch here earlier in the year, and knew it’d be the perfect spot for our third reader meetup.
The first thing you notice when walking into Tepito is the interior decor. The design is distinctly Mexican, and not in the stereotypical way that is so common.
The rear wall is painted green, white and red like the Mexican flag, and the walls along the right side feature psychedelic patterns with red, white, and blue paint.
Lucha Libre masks line the front wall.
The tables along the right side of the restaurant are up a few steps, and roped off to mimic the experience of stepping into a Mexican wrestling ring.
In the back, on the left wall behind the bar, is a fantastic painting reminiscent of The Day of the Dead.
I planted a stake in this back section, and the staff began bringing extra tables over to accommodate our group of 15.
The service was on-point all night, and we were there a full four hours, from 7 to 11 PM!
Not only were they attentive and accommodating, they allowed us to pay our checks individually, and with a card if we wanted (not just cash).
After a few people arrived, including Alex from our second meetup, and Ben from Canada, we began ordering beers (3,500 pesos domestic, $1.86).
But we were here for more than just chit-chat. There were tacos to be eaten.
And coming off a recent five-week trip through Mexico, where I’d eaten tacos from Puerto Vallarta to Playa del Carmen, I’d never felt more suited to evaluate a good taco.
I ordered two of my favorites from Mexico, Cerdo al Pastor (pork), along with a Pollo al Pastor (chicken) for good measure. Each taco cost 5,000 pesos ($2.65), and was topped with chopped white onions and cilantro.
I probably would’ve ordered a fourth or fifth, but I was more focused on talking with everyone than eating.
The tacos were tasty, and I didn’t hear any complaints from the rest of the group. After some of the rumblings from the last meetup, it was important to me that everyone enjoyed their food this time.
True to tradition, Tepito also offers four varieties of salsa, from mild, to medium, strong, and XXX. The 2nd spiciest salsa, labeled “fuerte” was hot enough for me.
I tasted the XXX during my first visit, but it’s a little too hot for my tastes. If you’re looking for a seriously spicy meal, pour some of the XXX on whatever you order.
In addition to tacos, the menu features tostadas, and larger entrees such as burritos (15,800 pesos, $8.39) and a mole. It’s rounded out with a few soups, salads, and desserts.
As we were gobbling down tacos, Vivek arrived. He was exasperated, having just come from the first day of Colombiamoda.
His taxi, apparently, had a hell of a time finding the restaurant. But now that he was with us, he unleashed a bundle of enthusiasm that took us all by storm.
Vivek had written me a few days earlier, having discovered the blog, and shared that he would be in town for Fashion Week. He’s an Indian man who works as a textiles buyer in France.
It was his first time in Latin America, so I ordered a plate of pork and chicken tacos for him, having been satisfied with my own.
He then pulled out a bottle of red wine, direct from France, and invited us all to share in a taste. The bar staff began handing out wine glasses, and uncorked the bottle for us.
The restaurant’s regular fee for this was 20,000 pesos ($10.61), but Vivek later negotiated it down to zero.
The French wine was an unexpected treat, and I must say it was incredibly smooth too. I was reminded of all the wine I drank in the south of France last Fall.
But Vivek had more to share than wine, he pulled out a map of Colombiamoda, and began breaking down a strategy for seeing it all.
Richard (London) and Ben expressed interest in going. I had previously heard the price at the door was 180,000 pesos ($95), and decided not to go this year, but changed my mind due to Vivek’s unabashed enthusiasm.
I exchanged numbers with the guys, and we made plans to meet up with Vivek the next day at the show.
But they weren’t done yet. They all had a hankering to go out. It was a Tuesday night, so I suggested live salsa in Centro at El Eslabon Prendido.
There just so happened to be a Colombian girl from Centro at the meetup, so she gladly accompanied them in a taxi downtown, while I decided to rest up for my third Colombiamoda.