Mexican restaurant Pink Cactus is slated to open this Fri. March 8 at 100A Spring St. (going into the space formerly occupied by Nacha Mama’s).
The restaurant will serve ‘classic’ Mexican cuisine focusing on dishes specifically from Oaxaca (an area in Southern Mexico recognized that includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site) — think mole and house-made tortillas.
When we chatted with Pink Cactus owner and certified sommelier Brooke Warden this fall, she said her reasoning for opening a spot on Spring serving dishes from south of the border is, simply, that she’s always loved Mexican food. “I love spice, I love the relationship between food and beverage — I’ve been studying wine and beer and spirits for years, it’s an academic obsession.” [content-1] Warden is a Lowcountry native, and chef Jeremy Paige recently relocated from Brooklyn, having worked in acclaimed Mexican restaurants Empellon and Gran Electrica in NYC. We can’t say whether Pink Cactus will perfectly emulate the traditions of the ancient city (which is only a 38 hour car ride or seven hour plane trip from Spring St., FYI), we can say that Paige and Warden have done their research.
Paige recently returned from a research trip to the city of Oaxaca (check out his journey on the restaurant’s ‘gram) where he learned more about the area’s long and storied culinary background and time-honored techniques. He even brought back a custom volcanic stone corn mill that will be used to make in-house masa.
In addition to the house-made masa the menu includes staples like guac (made with jalapeno, corn, and avocado leaf), five different salsas served with fresh tostadas, and queso fundido. There are also dishes you may not have had the pleasure of trying before, outside of Mexico, like the Tetela De Hongo, triangular pockets of corn stuffed with various ingredients; in the case of Pink Cactus, mushroom, quesillo, salsa roja, and crema. Post entree, we have our eyes on the avocado lime sorbet with chocolate masa crumble and agave. Check out the full menu below.[pdf-1]
Inside, the team promises a “bold and spirited” space with a long wooden bar, chef’s table, Oaxacan black clay vases, and custom cactus silk pillows and pops of bright pink and teal. The restaurant will seat 40 people and will be walk-in only, starting with dinner service only followed by lunch in the spring. Pink Cactus will be open Tues.-Thurs. 5 to 10 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. from 5-11 p.m. and Sun. from 5 to 10 p.m. [location-1]