August is For the Love of 7 Leguas
by Sara Deseran under Mexico, tequila, Travel with 1 Comment
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Mike Barrows, our general manager, recently got back from a trip to the Tequila region of Mexico. It was there that he learned something I’ve always found to be true: Everything tastes better when you learn to love the people that make it.
Mike came to us initially as our bar manager—probably the healthiest bar manager you’re ever going to meet. While many bar professionals tend toward late nights and cigarette breaks, Mike is the type of guy who religiously runs five miles every morning—no matter where he is. I’m pretty sure he’s the only person that has run (for exercise) through the streets of Guadalajara in the pouring rain (“People thought I was crazy,” he said), as well as through the gorgeous hilly town of Atotonilco, where the small family-owned 7 Leguas distillery is located.
Before he went on this trip, Mike also hadn’t eaten meat for 11 years.
But before you judge, know that his one moment of pork weakness came out of respect. Respect for the 7 Leguas family who not only gave him the tour of their small, well-cared-for distillery, and let him try his hand in the agave fields (see above) but then brought him into their hacienda for lunch and then to dinner at their ranch house which is located in the middle of agave fields, looking to the mountains. The agave glowed in the full-moon light. “We were with them for eight hours, talking and hanging out,” Mike, who was there with his girlfriend Michaela, told me.
“The owner Juan Fernando didn’t say much at first. But when he got a little buzz on, he started speaking in English and he was really funny—a great guy. You can tell his family comes first. They’re just really cool people.” Throughout the dinner, they sipped tequila (Mike is now a huge fan of the blanco), and ate things like shrimp ceviche. “They love the name Tacolicious. If the cooks placed any food on the table,” Mike said, “They’d say like, Tortillalicious! and all laugh.”
But when it came to the last course, the cooks served pork. Mike hesitated only a moment. And then dug in. The verdict? “It was amazing!” he said. ”I fell in love with that family. How could I say no?”
For those of you who can’t make it to Atotonilco to get a taste of 7 Leguas straight from the distillery, for the month of August, Tacolicious is offering up the next best thing: A $14 of 7 Leguas: the blanco, reposado and añejo. The difference is astounding. Come in and ask for Mike. He’ll be happy to share his experience with you. (It’ll make it taste better, I promise.)