Sunday, February 18, 2024

El Camino Eyes Mid-December Debut

El Camino, the Mexican you always wanted and never (or almost never) expected to get, is slated to debut in downtown Delray in the middle of next month.

The latest venture of the Cut 432-Park Tavern trio—Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio and Anthony Pizzo—will apply the fresh-local-seasonal ethos that’s become a nationwide culinary mantra to the oft-abused cuisine of Mexico, fusing that with exec chef Pizzo’s creativity and rigorous technique. In other words, no canned tomato salsas and crappy cheese on everything.

El Camino takes over the 1939-vintage garage on Northeast 2nd Avenue, just north of Atlantic, and is set to show off an artsy, industrial-chic style every bit as unique as the food. Much of the building will be wrapped in a giant mural by local artist Ruben Ubiera, which incorporates everything from a larger-than-life-size Emiliano Zapata to skulls, cacti and an old Chevy El Camino pickup truck.

Inside are the garage’s original 28-foot barrel ceiling and concrete floor, augmented by light fixtures custom-made from old pulley systems, tables made from reclaimed lumber from the ceiling, a bar and open kitchen, and giant garage bays fitted with sliding glass doors that open the entire restaurant to the street.

Pizzo’s menu elevates familiar Mexican dishes with high-quality ingredients, inventive pairings and white-tablecloth technique. What that means in your mouth are brisket quesadillas with smoked gouda and BBQ onions, fajitas with Harris Ranch beef and Murray Farms chicken, and tacos ranging from cactus and padron peppers to crispy pork belly with crushed peanuts.

There will, of course, be margaritas, plus a roster of mixological cocktails and craft beers and an extensive list of boutique, small-batch tequilas. The wine program is of particular note: everything is either $9 a glass or $39 a bottle, with all wines sourced from Latin America.

Now if you want to run for the border, it will be the border of Northeast 2nd and Atlantic avenues.

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