Scallops with sake and onion at Mixtli — Photo courtesy of Joshua Simmons
Mixtli restaurant in San Antonio is so much more than just a satisfying meal; it’s truly a journey of the spirit and senses. Owners Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, also chefs, have developed a unique dining experience they’re calling progressive Mexican culinaria, which is unlike anything else in the city, perhaps even in the U.S.
Torres and Galicia know how to make great food - that’s a fact. But what’s more enticing is that they know how to entertain you. If food were live theater, Mixtli would be a hit Broadway show. Everything is made from scratch, and they source many of their ingredients locally, mostly from farmers' markets, although some ingredients are imported from Mexico and South America, such as their cocoa beans.
Mixtli, which means "cloud" in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, represents the ever-changing cuisine. While the emphasis is on Mexican food that celebrates traditional ingredients and cuisine, just like their ranching grandmothers used to make, they present each one of the dishes on their pre-fixe tasting menu with a fascinating explanation and such artful presentation that you may, if you’re a serious foodie, shed a tear.
“Mexican cuisine is one of the best in the world. Our mission is to preserve those flavors and put it back on a pedestal by creating a multi-sensory, engaging experience,” explains Galicia.
Halibut taco with poblano and black bean — Photo courtesy of Joshua Simmons
Multi-sensory, indeed! During the recent Baja menu, the ingenious chefs along with their extraordinarily talented team showcased dishes that recreated the experience of being near the ocean, such as a garlic and lime flounder topped with coconut water sea foam, scallops served on beautiful shells atop beach pebbles covered in a “morning mist” and a dessert served with a micro campfire that doubled nicely as a shot of rum.
The menu does completely change every six weeks, and each new set of dishes is a delectable exploration of the traditional flavors that come from the 31 states of Mexico, such as Baja, Chiapas and Oaxaca. One of their newest menus is inspired by the Mexican subway system. The idea here is that each subway station offers a different kinds of street food – from quesadillas to tostadas and tamales. Again, expect Mixtli’s interpretation to be jaw-droppingly unique.
As if the cuisine wasn’t interesting enough, the setting itself is tantalizing – housed in a renovated boxcar – just one of many in this funky little collective that’s part of the Yard retail space. There is no division between the kitchen and dining area, so everyone has a fantastic view of the alchemy that takes place in the kitchen.
To make matters even more dynamic, they only have one service at one 12-top table each evening, so expect to enjoy a family-style meal.
You may sit down with strangers, but after sharing such a conversation-starting meal, it’s likely you’ll leave with a few new friends; it’s all part of Mixtli’s rare charm, and an aspect that might not last long, as they’re bound to outgrow these four walls.
Mixtli restaurant in San Antonio — Photo courtesy of Joshua Simmons