El Coyote [Savannah’s Newest Authentic Mexican Joint]

El Coyote [Savannah’s Newest Authentic Mexican Joint]

OUR PORT CITY is experiencing nothing short of a food renaissance. Between food trucks parked on so many corners and the constant influx of new restaurants, it’s almost difficult to keep up.

The grand opening of El Coyote, however, was one that I (and I’m sure most locals) awaited excitedly. If locals weren’t just waiting on the doors to open, you’d never know it by the masses of hungry stomachs already seated and chowing down on the southwestern grub during my visit.

When I saw the crowd that was gathered in this recently re-directioned eatery, I was thrilled to experience the rebirth of an old building while watching these Savannahians get down on El Coyote’s familiar flavors.

Sister restaurant to The Wyld Dock Bar, a popular spot for a meal with a view, El Coyote is Savannah’s newest Mexican joint located at One West Victory.

But before opening the group’s newest creation, Chef Tony Seichrist and Executive Chef Landon Thompson spent a little bit of time in Mexico to “fine tune the dishes,” business partner Brad Syfan said. Their short time spent with our neighbors to the south paid off immensely.

To start, the Pork Belly Nachos are killer and easily distinguished from any nachos you can get in some other restaurant around town. The chips are thick and made in-house, perfect for holding the mounds of toppings served with the feast.

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Every single tortilla is topped by an egalitarian hand, ensuring that no bite is unlike the last. And although the toppings are complex, the combination of braised pork belly, gooey beans, sour cream, and so much more works together to create a symphonic experience.

The pork belly is succulent and tender, almost dissolving after striking your tongue.  The beans and jack cheese are hearty and homey, while the salsa and lettuce add a refreshing touch to the plate.

And as your tongue navigates through the layers of toppings, the last thing it will find is a jolt of salty crunchy corn left behind by those warm triangles of heaven.

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As for washing it all down, a classic margarita like the Hinley Margarita is a very strong contender for the top spot. The concoction features Reposado Tequila, orange curacao, and lime. A balanced addition to any meal, it is a margarita most would order again and again.

In stark contrast to the Hinley is the Mexican Firing Squad, a beautiful and bright adult beverage. The flavor is tequila forward, but the bite of tequila is quickly extinguished in the back of your throat by the tart lime and floral notes of hibiscus.

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A second impressive starter is the Flautas. Syfan says this dish is as if “flautas and Thai style spring rolls had a baby that somehow featured a duck.” Two giant hand rolled tortillas are jammed full of duck confit, meaning the duck is cooked smothered in its own fat, then flash fried to a flawless golden brown.

The two flautas are stacked on top of a salad, perfect for cutting through the rich flavor of the meat, and next to it is a juallio pepper vinegar sauce. The crisp tortillas are light and flaky that melt away in your mouth before allowing the soft oozy duck meat to fall onto your taste buds.

The tangy juallio pepper salve is where the Thai reference comes in; it is sweet yet sharp much like many Thai sauces. The sauce paired with the Flautas adds the right amount of sweetness to a deeply savory dish.

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The Lobster Rosarito is something that I insist you try, especially because it is “Chef Tony’s favorite thing to get in Mexico,” according to Syfan.

An entire lobster is fried in pork fat, and by no means would the crustacean served to me be picked last in the school yard. Presented alongside are warm soft flour tortillas, basil, and a chili sauce made with butter, white wine, and a mix of peppers.

The first thing you do is rip the buttery white meat from its shell before arranging it on your tortilla, drenching it in the fiery red sauce, then topping with basil. Although the sauce is packed full of peppers, the gentle flavor of the lobster stands front and center and is only complimented by the butter included in the sauce.

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If you want to try something even more authentic than the lobster masterpiece, the Chicken Tortilla Soup is your dish. A whole, bone-in, chicken wing is served surrounded by a titanic helping of warm dark chicken broth, and, although placed within a soup, the chicken skin remains crispy.

Floating in the cumin and chili scented broth are bright creamy avocado chunks, fresh pico de gallo, and crunchy tortilla strips. According to Syfan, the traditional way to eat it is to “drink the broth, then pick apart the chicken with your hands.”

Your palate will notice that the broth is rich and deeply flavored, which comes from a soup that took a lot of cooking time to achieve such complex seasoning. The broth is so rich in flavor it may trick your tongue into believing it is beef broth.

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The offerings of Lobster, Duck, and Pork Belly at an affordable and relatable restaurant is something of which a true Renaissance Man would be proud.

Keeping on trend with this city’s food Enlightenment, the driving forces behind El Coyote have plans for two other spaces within the building. Not only are they looking to open Savannah’s only dedicated Ramen bar, but plan on opening a third concept above El Coyote.

My original article can be found here.

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Review: Tequila’s Town

Review: Tequila’s Town

Everyone loves affordable, straightforward Mexican food. A quick stop in pretty much any Mexican joint gets a hungry family fed with some form of protein and a hearty heap of rice and beans. With over twenty different Mexican restaurants in Savannah alone, the cantina craze has given our fair city a much wider selection of establishments than any Savannahian needs. But when I think about going out to get some south-of-the-border chow, the decision on where to eat begs one question: Where can I get the best chips and salsa? After years of sitting at tables and waiting expectantly on the familiar (and free) appetizer, I have found the best: Tequila’s Town.

In 2013, Tequila’s Town opened the doors to it first location in the historic district of Savannah, instantly becoming a popular destination for both the lunch and dinner crowd.  A short three years later, Tequila’s Town welcomed customers at a second location in the ever-growing Sandfly neighborhood. Tequila’s Town’s quick success is attributable to the entire menu being quality, modern Tex-Mex creations alongside exquisite classics like thick and airy chips that serve as the perfect vessel for a smooth, slightly sweet salsa that finishes with a nip of cilantro — all of which are made fresh daily.

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After the initial feeding frenzy of chips has passed, a much more important question arises: What should I get to drink? We both know that I do not mean tea or Coke — I am talking frozen or on the rocks. Tequila’s Town is the only Mexican restaurant in Savannah that boasts 80 different brands of tequila including its own label, Tequila Blanco. Tequila Blanco is made from 100% premium agave and distilled in Jalisco, Mexico. This direct and crisp white tequila finishes smooth and tastes just as incredible served in a shot glass with lime and salt as it does accompanying a house-made margarita. If margaritas are your thing, but you like them with a little pop,  consider one of Tequila’s Town’s tropical tequila touches such as its blackberry margarita. The sharp bite of of blackberry puree immediately hits your tongue upon the first sip before warming your buds with the familiar tinge of tequila. If you are feeling a bit adventurous try the Paloma, a favorite of Mexico. This delicatessen stars hand squeezed lime juice and tangy grapefruit soda. The Paloma is reminiscent of a traditional margarita that has a lighter feel thanks to the bubbly grapefruit soda.

Everyone loves affordable, straightforward Mexican food. A quick stop in pretty much any Mexican joint gets a hungry family fed with some form of protein and a hearty heap of rice and beans. With over twenty different Mexican restaurants in Savannah alone, the cantina craze has given our fair city a much wider selection of establishments than any Savannahian needs. But when I think about going out to get some south-of-the-border chow, the decision on where to eat begs one question: Where can I get the best chips and salsa? After years of sitting at tables and waiting expectantly on the familiar (and free) appetizer, I have found the best: Tequila’s Town.

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In 2013, Tequila’s Town opened the doors to it first location in the historic district of Savannah, instantly becoming a popular destination for both the lunch and dinner crowd.  A short three years later, Tequila’s Town welcomed customers at a second location in the ever-growing Sandfly neighborhood. Tequila’s Town’s quick success is attributable to the entire menu being quality, modern Tex-Mex creations alongside exquisite classics like thick and airy chips that serve as the perfect vessel for a smooth, slightly sweet salsa that finishes with a nip of cilantro — all of which are made fresh daily.

After the initial feeding frenzy of chips has passed, a much more important question arises: What should I get to drink? We both know that I do not mean tea or Coke — I am talking frozen or on the rocks. Tequila’s Town is the only Mexican restaurant in Savannah that boasts 80 different brands of tequila including its own label, Tequila Blanco. Tequila Blanco is made from 100% premium agave and distilled in Jalisco, Mexico. This direct and crisp white tequila finishes smooth and tastes just as incredible served in a shot glass with lime and salt as it does accompanying a house-made margarita. If margaritas are your thing, but you like them with a little pop,  consider one of Tequila’s Town’s tropical tequila touches such as its blackberry margarita. The sharp bite of of blackberry puree immediately hits your tongue upon the first sip before warming your buds with the familiar tinge of tequila. If you are feeling a bit adventurous try the Paloma, a favorite of Mexico. This delicatessen stars hand squeezed lime juice and tangy grapefruit soda. The Paloma is reminiscent of a traditional margarita that has a lighter feel thanks to the bubbly grapefruit soda.

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Everyone loves affordable, straightforward Mexican food. A quick stop in pretty much any Mexican joint gets a hungry family fed with some form of protein and a hearty heap of rice and beans. With over twenty different Mexican restaurants in Savannah alone, the cantina craze has given our fair city a much wider selection of establishments than any Savannahian needs. But when I think about going out to get some south-of-the-border chow, the decision on where to eat begs one question: Where can I get the best chips and salsa? After years of sitting at tables and waiting expectantly on the familiar (and free) appetizer, I have found the best: Tequila’s Town.

In 2013, Tequila’s Town opened the doors to it first location in the historic district of Savannah, instantly becoming a popular destination for both the lunch and dinner crowd.  A short three years later, Tequila’s Town welcomed customers at a second location in the ever-growing Sandfly neighborhood. Tequila’s Town’s quick success is attributable to the entire menu being quality, modern Tex-Mex creations alongside exquisite classics like thick and airy chips that serve as the perfect vessel for a smooth, slightly sweet salsa that finishes with a nip of cilantro — all of which are made fresh daily.

After the initial feeding frenzy of chips has passed, a much more important question arises: What should I get to drink? We both know that I do not mean tea or Coke — I am talking frozen or on the rocks. Tequila’s Town is the only Mexican restaurant in Savannah that boasts 80 different brands of tequila including its own label, Tequila Blanco. Tequila Blanco is made from 100% premium agave and distilled in Jalisco, Mexico. This direct and crisp white tequila finishes smooth and tastes just as incredible served in a shot glass with lime and salt as it does accompanying a house-made margarita. If margaritas are your thing, but you like them with a little pop,  consider one of Tequila’s Town’s tropical tequila touches such as its blackberry margarita. The sharp bite of of blackberry puree immediately hits your tongue upon the first sip before warming your buds with the familiar tinge of tequila. If you are feeling a bit adventurous try the Paloma, a favorite of Mexico. This delicatessen stars hand squeezed lime juice and tangy grapefruit soda. The Paloma is reminiscent of a traditional margarita that has a lighter feel thanks to the bubbly grapefruit soda.

Finishing your meal with a piping hot round of Churros and Abuelita hot chocolate for dipping should be mandatory. Abuelita chocolate is used specifically for Mexican-style hot chocolate because it makes the concoction more frothy and creamy. As the waiter approaches, the scent of cinnamon invades your nose. The Chef takes the time to arrange the churros perfectly on the dish, tempting you to devour the Churros as quickly as possible. After you take a cinnamon sugar-encrusted Churro, dip it into the velvety chocolate, and crunch through the perfectly crisp cinnamon sugar coating, you find the best kept secret in the history of secrets: caramel. As if these Churros could not get anymore perfect, they went and filled them with smooth melty caramel. My only critique for the dish is how it made me look as I slurped the remaining hot chocolate out of the bowl as to not leave a single drop. This is the type of dish that makes you wish dessert was actually served as a first course, but next time, I’ll stick with those chips and salsa.

For more reviews, see Connect Savannah