After serving grilled corn streetside at September's H Street Festival and turning out tacos on Tuesdays at the Pug, the itinerant Impala Cantina y Taqueria finally gave guests a better taste of what's ahead at Sunday's pop-up at Toki Underground.
After two years of planning, the owners of the Mexican restaurant at 1358 H St. NE now say the sprawling, three-story space will open in May. The multi-course dinner, however, suggested an operation that's quite close to its goal. Chef Marcus Donovan's tacos featured made-in-house tortillas; his salads were spiked with papaya and a hint of mint; the empanadas oozed sweet guava; and the micheladas were ringed with chili-lime salt. All of these culinary touches were inspired by co-owner Troy Hickman's Mexican heritage and weeks of research conducted south of the border.
The pair of tequilas served were nice, but it was a little victory that diners scored a taste of the cardamom-scented amaro Fernet-Vallet, the Mexican cousin to Fernet-Branca that's about to make cocktail heads across the country hyperventilate.
If you want to attend the next Impala pop-up, keep your eyes on the Impala Facebook page; another event is in the works for March 17.
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