Last weekend we really wanted to try a Mexican restaurant in town that had been recommended to us by a reader of my blog (thank you, Nico!). Good Mexican food is not as easy to find here as in the States, and we still haven't found a good go-to place. Unfortunately, our lack of planning and the restaurant's popularity meant we were unable to get a reservation. Not to be put off, we planned ahead and made a reservation for Wednesday night.
We walked to Mezcal^2 (yes, the name is Mezcal to the power of two) with our dog from our apartment, which only took about 20 minutes or so. When we arrived at around 7:00 pm, the one room restaurant was a bit empty, which was a surprise after we couldn't get a table the previous weekend. The restaurant takes up a corner room at the edge of building, and is a big, open space with turquoise walls, colorful bunting, and a number of Mexican dolls for décor. We sat down at one of the smaller wooden tables with metal folding chairs (very rustic) and were quickly waited on by the only server in the restaurant.
My first order was a margarita. Since I'd seen the drinks on the online menu ahead of time, I had decided I wanted to try one. Margaritas in Stuttgart can sometimes be hit or miss (I've had some horrible Margaritas at bars made with the mix they sell in the grocery store), but this one was the real deal with the just the right amount of tequila (my choice) to pack a punch and enough lime and orange juice (an interesting addition) and sugar syrup to take out the bite. The menu features of number of other cocktails, as well, many of which I'd like to go back and try.
To start, we decided to try the nachos. I like to judge a restaurant based on their simplest dishes, and since we've also had a lot of bad, seemingly jarred guacamole in various restaurants, I wanted to see if Mezcal^2 would serve the real deal. The guacamole came out in a lovely red dish heaped high with fresh dip studded with chunks of avocado and tomato with the right hint of onion, lime, and cilantro. I know some people object to tomatoes in their guacamole, but I like them when it's done right. The texture was creamy with just the right amount of chunks so that I could tell it was fresh. I should also note that the nachos came out hot from the fryer and were clearly homemade.
For my entrée, I ordered the enmoladas -- three corn tortillas with shredded chicken in a thick, dark sauce with chocolate, chili, and peanuts. I decided to give it a shot even though my fear was that the dish would overwhelmingly taste of chocolate. Not so -- the flavors were nicely balanced so that one didn't stand out over another, though I could find each one if I let the sauce stay on my tongue for just a second or two longer. The corn tortillas were also excellent: thin and soft with a tasty corn flavor. We've also had a hard time finding corn tortillas in Stuttgart, and after attempting to make them myself (and only halfway succeeding), I now have a new appreciation for them.
Matt ordered the enchiladas rojas -- three corn tortillas with shredded chicken in a light tomato sauce with cheese and onions. They were good, too, but I much preferred the thick sauce on my enmoladas. We also both noted that they used real crumbly queso fresco which has also been hard for us to find here.
Overall, the food was definitely the real deal and satisfied my craving for Mexican food. The service was prompt, and the one man who waited on us was super nice. That said, the portions were on the small side and there was no side with the dishes, making it a bit pricey for what we got. We've come to expect this, however, as we are quite far from Mexico and I imagine the ingredients are rather more expensive to important. We probably won't be able to go there to really stuff ourselves often, but I can see Mezcal^2 becoming a great place for drinks and appetizers as there are still many other dishes on the appetizer and cocktail menus that I'd like to try.
Mexcal^2 is located next to the Stöckach U-bahn stop in the Mitte. They are open Wednesday-Friday from 5-10 pm and on Saturdays from 3-10 pm. You can make a reservation online. As always, if you try it, let me know what you think in the comments below!
Update (03/2016): Since writing this post, Mezcal^2 has closed.