Tavernitaaaaa. It’s just fun to say.
Before we stalked openings, we stalked Tavernita. So when we heard they were taking reservations for the soft open (in retrospect, it’s not really crashing the opening if you have a reservation), we were all over that shit. We trudged through a snowstorm to get to it. And of course we overdid it, so it took us a few months to return, except this time… for lunch. We don’t really do lunch.
It was nasty humid out. Barcito, the pinxto bar inside of Tavernita, has open-air seats and a bunch of fans, which are only mildly helpful at a time like this. But hot weather feels authentic. Although, would hiring someone to fan us with some goddamn palm fronds be so hard? Their lunch menu is just a scaled down version of the Tavernita dinner menu, except this one has sandwiches. Anna went for the beef brisket panini with horseradish cream and pickled red onions. Mariah went for the tuna baguette, because who doesn’t love tuna salad? (Anna doesn’t.) Maybe $10 is steep for a sandwich, but we’re so used to spending money we don’t have on food we don’t need that this is irrelevant. “Do you want an order of frites bravas to share?” Done. We eat fries everywhere we go, drunk or sober, breakfast, lunch and dinner. On other days we’ve had croquetas (filled with little ham bits), pork belly bocadillos (spread with an apple jam that Mariah eats plain with a fork), brussels sprouts (the ones that made us not hate brussels sprouts), and leche frita that tastes like a deep fried churro puree.
On the rare occasion we do lunch during work, the two drink minimum is in effect. So we’re in no danger of being categorized as ladies who lunch. Most of the cocktails come out of kegs. A black pepper syrup in the Turista is unexpected and the right amount of weird. The alcohol amount varies but is typically potent enough. Forgot to file those TPS reports and got fired? Tavernita will take care of your alcohol needs.
It was nice to go back, in a weird nostalgic way — like revisiting eighth grade. Right after 5pm, expect to find some River North bros RAGING in the bar, trying to hit on female middle management. You’ve been warned.