October 21, 2009
Jose's Blue Sombrero's table-side sangria packs a punch
If you've been to Jose's Blue Sombrero, odds are you've seen someone getting the table-side guacamole. It's the side dish where a server mashes up avocados and other ingredients at, well, your table side. It's a great side dish that's really a "must have" with dinner.
But my wife and I, prompted by friends, tried out another make-at-your-table-in-front-of-your-eyes option at Jose's last week: table-side sangria.
This intoxicating concoction is a mix of fresh muddled lemons, limes, cherries and oranges, brandy, triple sec, vodka, red or white wine (your choice) and a secret ingredient. It's all served in a large pitcher with ice and poured into lowball glasses garnished with fruit.
So we ordered the drink and the first thing we realize is we're never going to finish the pitcher. My wife and I aren't big drinkers, and this is a big drink for two people. Four people could get toasty with one pitcher, which is about $19.
The server rolls up a cart and muddles the lemons and limes in the bottom of the pitcher. She adds ice, cherries and oranges and then starts with the booze. First brandy, then triple sec, then vodka. We then chose red wine, for no particular reason, and watched as she mixed in the "secret ingredient" from a small plastic container.
The sangria had a nice, refreshing taste that masked the potency. Two glasses into the pitcher, we slowed our drinking and our conversation down realizing we needed some time to make sure the drive home was unimpeded by police officers. Not wanting to see bar time, we left just under half of the pitcher behind.
Overall impression: this would be a great social drink. Grab some friends, order a pitcher or two and just roll with it. While I usually think of sangria as a summer drink, it was nice antidote to a chilly fall night.
My only hesitation would be the price, but it's really meant for 4-5 people. Divide that out and a pitcher gets affordable quick. The only trouble may be convincing people not to order Jose's margaritas, but switching to sangria is worth it - at least for a night.