Bittersweet Cafe is a personal favorite and I asked Jody, the owner, to write about his latest venture:
I own Bittersweet Cafe, a restaurant and bakery (we also cater!) in the heart of Old Town, a favorite among both locals and tourists. Hopefully you are familiar with it. A few months ago, we began staying open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. The dinner menu is quite different in content–thought not in quality–from that which is available during the day: we serve authentic Mexican fare. The Mexican concept–soon to be known as Sabor Amor–is a combination of passions for me: Mexico & food. I love the country, the people, sights, sounds. It’s hard to explain why, but I feel at home there, more relaxed. Especially with the friendly people and incredible food! There are also still many regional differences in cuisine, dress, dance that we seem to have lost in the US.
After traveling to many parts of the country I felt there was little in the way of authentic Mexican food here in DC, particularly Alexandria. In Old Town there really isn’t anything like you’d find in MX City–where you food from all over the country is represented. Even the street food is amazing. I would return from trips with pictures of food I’d taken and would try to describe to my crew the quality of ingredients and unbelievable flavors. It was untranslatable, so in August I took a few of my guys down to MX City for a long weekend of eating. Due to a packed schedule, I made them eat all day and all night! It was fantastic!
We had the opportunity to meet up with a chef friend of mine who runs a large culinary academy in MX. Needless to say, we all hit it off. Within two weeks, Chef Pepe and his girlfriend Paulina, also a chef, were living with me and helping my staff learn the ropes of authentic Mexican cuisine. We finished it off with an incredible Mexican Independence Day party! We recreated the Mexican atmosphere I love at the café complete with Mariachis and hosted approximately 500 people. The food was incredible and all had great fun!
The quality of our food is what sets us apart from other “Mexican” restaurants you can find in the area. We use real chilies–the essence of Mexican cuisine–and some secret recipes imported directly from Mexico. In fact, the menu probably includes items with which you are entirely unfamiliar. Everything is simple, fresh and flavorful. Nothing is wildly spicy. And keeping with our café concept, all at value price! I encourage you to come in soon and try it out. You won’t be disappointed!