Engel & Voelkers

Espiritu in Mesa Arizona

Flaming Drink Clam and Chorizo Aguachile Verde with ShrimpWow. What a great first visit.
I knew Bacanora downtown, would have several hours of wait time on a Saturday night (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, when you can hang out down the street at El Charro Hipster Bar with their great coffees and mescal selection), but I had an early morning.
So, I popped into downtown Mesa to try Espiritu. Park in the huge lot in back, and look for the narrow alley just east of Tacos Chiwas with the small neon Espiritu sign visible when you are right at the alley’s mouth.

What a great complement and alternative to Bacanora. It’s a different feel, but all the same great taste notes are there, and the same height to which they are elevating simple local ingredients prepared beautifully and with attention. At Espiritu, there is more room to stock the bar with a bigger range of great regional spirits that they can craft into masterpieces.

If you take Bacanora, which showcases the bar and cooking with fire right in front, and flipped the vibe to a very cool, narrow, dark bar with a great playlist, fun, eclectic decor, and amazing food coming out of the open kitchen at the back, that’s Espiritu.
They aren’t doing the meat and chicken Bacanora is..yet, but they had more even appetizers than Bacanora.

Amazing melon salad…a riff on the Bacanora cucumber salad, with similar accent notes from cheese, and citrus, but a change up for excitement.

Clams and house made chorizo….killer…I liked it even better than the grilled shrimp and chorizo with their amazing bean broth that was my Bacanora favorite.

At Espiritu, they’ve provided a similar delectable flavor profile, but on this day it’s made with garbanzo beans…again…similar phenomenal flavor profile, just different.

Incredible Ceviche Tower…amazing amount of crisp sweet fish and shellfish for the price.
And of course there is fresh, crunchy, yeasty bread for soaking up all the sauces from Proof next door.

The aguachile with shrimp with red or green sauce- incredible, and accompanied with great fried tortilla wedges.

Hey it’s a bar, so they grilled up one of the best burgers I’ve had in Phoenix. Beefy, carmelized and moist inside, served with beautifully fried potato rounds- crisp on the outside, fluffy inside.

Drinks are superb, even if the menu doesn’t yet list everything they can do. Just ask.

I requested a Bacanorita, and got one just like at Bacanora, and then a spicy Mezcal Margarita, which they made with a few subtly magic additions that made it unique and outstanding.

Good to see the launch crew from Bacanora mixed in with some great new staff, so as a consumer it sure seems they are actually firing on all cylinders, even if they will tell you they have a way to go until their final vision is realized.

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About the Author
John Selman is an Associate Broker, with previous experience as a certified Luxury Agent at Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, and The Agency. John consults with clients, handling the purchase and sales of their homes, dives into the hunt for a great property with the goal of achieving positive equity at close whenever possible, enthusiastically showcases a home for sale to bring out its best features, and truly loves what he gets to do every day. John moved to Engel & Voelkers to take advantage of their global reach in home and select lifestyle offerings, the experience and professionalism of their management and advisors, and E&V’s superlative marketing and support tools. Having grown up around the world, he arrived in the Valley from Canada, 35 years ago, renovated central Phoenix properties during college, and is intimate with the best neighborhoods historically, and those now on the rise. John earned his MBA in marketing from Arizona State University, with an undergraduate focus on biology, finance and computer science, and continued to pursue advanced coursework as an executive. As an e-marketing and sales executive, with stints with IBM and start-ups in San Francisco, Dallas, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York, La Jolla and LA, his regular relocation home searches provided valuable experiences, both good and bad, and led to his real estate career. John has practiced and taught the Consulting Sales process to the best sales people in business. A former #1 sales executive at IBM, and an instructor of executive education for IBM, he teaches, practices, and practically breathes the Consulting Sales Process. John honed his luxury-specific marketing skills, re-positioning and invigorating his gourmet food and wine shop in downtown Malibu, initially as a side business. As a pioneer in email marketing and blogs, he delivered wine advice and sold rare wine across the country to America’s wealthiest collector's and some of the biggest names in entertainment and business. Running his fine wine boutique, Malibu Village Wines, he consulted with auction houses, and worked with architects, cabinetmakers, contractors, and some of America’s best Realtors designing wine cellars for luxurious estates, and realized that Real Estate was what he wanted to concentrate on in his future. Expanding with a bar and restaurant, he catered to the needs of some of the world's wealthiest business people and celebrities. Having created a shop that was a social hub for the wine community, built a wine clientele around the world, and co-founded the Wine Classic for ChildHelp charity, John decided it was time to move on from technology, food and wine, and focus on real estate- his other lifestyle passion. He enthusiastically enjoys, and irreverently writes about homes, food and wine. He is passionate about all three, loves architecture, grapes, cooking, good renovation, old cars and motorcycles, his family, his Bulldog “Rugby”, and most (but not always all) of his friends. In his rare free time, he coaches paddling sports on Tempe Town Lake, strums a guitar while singing offkey, visits his favorite old ski haunts and complains of aches and pains, avoids anyone carrying a rugby ball or organizing a "tour", travels up and down the coast seeking out great food & wine, looks for water to paddle SUPs or outriggers, and laughs at his dog.

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