Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shadow Davidson Botanas & Beers

A lot of people have asked me to recommend a good bar here in Juarez. Apparently I come across as a bit of a lush? You'd be surprised at how many folks end up passing through Juarez, whether it be for a visit at the US Consulate, or while heading further South. For the longest time I didn't really have any suggestions for them other than what I read about online, but I finally have a few of my own and Shadow Davidson Botanas & Beers is my favorite by far.




We happened upon this bar after a night watching a boxing match with friends at Drink Team. The match was over (pobre Canelo) but a couple of our friends were far from done. They suggested we take the party over to a bar that was within walking distance from their house in San Lorenzo. It's tucked into a small strip mall off of Rafael Perez Serna, just North of the Iglesia San Lorenzo, across the street from Wendy's. When we pulled up and I saw the motorcycles and hot rods in the parking lot, I was immediately intrigued. Even the sign on the front door had me scratching my head. Was I really in Juarez?




I immediately heard classic rock over the speakers and knew that my husband was going to love this place. He's a bigger CCR fan than I and the music rotation was right up his alley. On a later visit I realized that they were playing I Heart Radio's Big Classic Hits. Right from the bartender's cell phone.

It's a small place with a casual dress code but I'm hesitant to call it a "hole in the wall," although that's the kind of place I typically prefer. The service is too good and the bathroom too clean to put it in that category. As soon as we sat down at the bar we were brought hot popcorn with salsa Valentina and when Gordo complained that his cell phone battery was just about dead, the bartender promptly produced her own charger and offered to plug in his phone.

They have all sorts of interesting signage throughout the restaurant and some of them are hilarious. Each time we go back I feel like I notice a new piece of art. It's a mix of quirky and classic pieces that somehow manage to tie together impeccably.





They have your go-to bar foods like french fries and chicken wings, but their menu also includes some less expected options like the Apple Walnut Salad with Grilled Chicken ($70 pesos) and Brisket Quesadillas ($50 pesos). They even had a couple of vegetarian options which is a rarity at any bar. From the moment I spotted a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's to the side of their food prep table, I knew I would love the food. And I knew I should order the brisket. 





As expected, I loved the food. The Brisket Quesadillas were out of this world, bursting with meat, queso asadero and pico de gallo, made with red onion. Our friends opted for the Cowboy Nachos which were topped with brisket, frijoles, queso and jalapenos. They were delicious as well but I'm dying to go back to try their wings which they offer in Buffalo or Barbecue.




It was almost last call on my 2nd visit when I fell in love with this bar. Ray and I were out with friends and about 3 cubetas of Tecate deep when Don McLean's American Pie came on the radio. I shouted out, in English mind you, "I fucking love this song!" Without skipping a beat, the bartender quickly turned the music up.

That was it.




I contacted the bar to let them know that I wanted to blog about their establishment and absolutely loved their response. Here is a little part of it:

"Estamos creando un ambiente similar a un pub; tenemos la barrita, gente que quiere encontrar un sitio agradable donde beber, comer y charlar; calidad tanto en comida como en servicio, música selecta y buenos amigos. Aquí no tienes porqué conocer a alguien para iniciar una conversación. Encuentra lugar en la barra o en una de las mesitas del rincón, pide algo de beber, haz una pregunta interesante, ofrece una opinión razonable y te aseguramos que siempre habrá alguien dispuesto a entablar una conversación contigo. Siéntete a gusto en Shadow Davidson Botanas & Beers... somos diferentes. Ven a hacer el ridículo con nosotros... amamos vivir!!

Lunes a viernes checa nuestras promos; y en música, tenemos clásicos del rock-pop internacional 70's, 80's, 90's y principios del '00, garantizándote vivir una muy buena tarde-noche. Sábados, más rock clásico hasta agotar existencia.

Para cualquier ocasión en la que les podamos servir, ya sea que festejes algo o simplemente porque traes ganas de divertirte... Te esperamos en Plaza Acuario, área de San Lorenzo!!"





They won me over at, "Come make fools of yourself with us... We love life!" And that they do. When we asked the bartender to take a picture of us with our friends, she reached into an odd cabinet above the bar and offered us some goofy hats for our photo op. Fools indeed. Honestly, the only thing that could make me love this bar any more would be if they served beer in mason jars.





This is definitely my kind of place.

10 comments:

  1. I thought about you tonight when I stopped for lunch in my hometown of Albuquerque: Filiberto's! ;)

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  2. I have no reason to visit or even pass through Ciudad Juarez, and I live thousands of miles away (Toronto) but both your description and the bar's statement of their philosophy (+ the clean bathrooms - that's key) make me want to visit CJ just to check this place out. And the food looks mighty appealing as well!

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    1. I think that's a good sign! A bit far though, no? ;)

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  3. What a fantastic review! Like Anonymous from Toronto, your description of the place make me want to visit.

    Maybe you need to start a side gig of doing reviews for restaurants and bars for your local paper - you definitely nailed this one.

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    1. There's an idea Dave! Maybe I could get some free food out of it...

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  4. Beer in Mason Jars!!!! I didn't know that was a thing. My favorite bar in Houston does that. They give you refills in your jar all night, and let you keep the jar. Hooray :)

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    1. I don't know if it's a thing really, but I grew up drinking from mason jars and prefer them to any other cup/glass/whatever the fuck. That sounds very cool. What's the name of the bar? If I'm ever in Houston, I'll have to stop in!

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  5. I've started using mason jars as drinking glasses at home- they're affordable and don't seem to break as easily as regular glasses. Also all that canning I'm going to do "someday" never happens, so I've put the jars to good use.

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    1. That's pretty much how it started in my house as well. Before I learned to cook and still bought store-bought marinara, I would acquire a couple Classico (Atlas) jars a month and they just sort of stuck with me.

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