Tequila 101 @ MULA

I love Mexican food. I believe #TacoTuesday should be celebrated AT LEAST every other week. I add verde salsa and tortillas to most breakfasts that involve eggs and I could never turn down a margarita.

So when Yelp Omaha decided to have a tequila tasting at MULA  Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria I had to go. Luckily I made the cut (Yelp Omaha events are very competitive thanks to Will cultivating such a great group of people) and my friend and I headed to The Blackstone District on a Wednesday.

We arrived to a beautiful spread of salsas, guacamole and MULA’s signature margarita. One of my favorite in Omaha, it is very straight to the point. Not syrupy, not super sweet and you can tell it was made fresh.


While we enjoyed our margaritas, chips and dips Michael J Sanchez, owner of Maria’s in Ralston and MULA, laid some truly impressive knowledge on us. I’m a learner and while I veer towards the dark spectrum of liquor I can truly say after this tasting I can throw my hat in the ring with 80% of the tequila drinkers in Omaha. So authentic and extensive of a tequila program MULA has (employees are certified by the council over approval of all tequilas) they make drinking it a true experience.


Here are a few freebies I’ll give you (but really. You should go into MULA and take a class. Worth the time and moola).

  • Check the label of that tequila on your shelf. If it doesn’t say some combination of blue, agave or 100% then it isn’t “real” tequila. It’s a “mixto” with just 51% blue agave. (no mixtos can be found at MULA)
  • Think you can make tequila yourself? Wrong. Tequila can only be grown in five Mexican states.
  • Think Jose Gold is Jose Silver’s “older” big brother? Think again. Jose is actually a mixto and the gold gets its color from dye, not age.

At this point, I’m going to get to the actual tasting of the tequila since many of you probably aren’t a history nerd like me. We got to try three Casa de Centinela tequilas; a blanco, reposado and anejo.

First the blanco, what most people drink in margaritas or take shots of at the bar. Also known as my least favorite tequila unless in a margarita. Only aged up to 60 days, blancos are the straight tequila/alcoholy option always. I will give it to Centinela as this blanco was very crisp and sweeter than most tequila’s I’ve had to drink before. It was fragrant with defined notes of star anise.


Next, the reposado. Aged between two months and a year, this particular tequila is aged in white oak bourbon barrels. This had a more smooth finish with notes of honey. It was also slightly smoky.


My uncontested favorite of the night was the anejo. Aged up to three years, it is the closest in the bunch to a bourbon (extra anejo would be the real winner in this battle though, aged more than three years but no more than five). With an oaky flavor, this anejo had notes of vanilla and pepper. An earthy tequila that can be used as a substitute in traditional bourbon drinks.


Thanks again to Will of Yelp Omaha and everyone who participated in Tequila 101. MULA is truly a Midtown/Blackstone gem that I can’t wait to visit more once I move next month. Check their Instagram or Facebook for new weekly specials and brunch (!) starting April 3.



You probably won’t turn green with Burrito Envy

A change happened shortly before Christmas in Benson. Baxter’s Pizza closed its doors and a new kid took over the small space by Infusion Brewing. Burrito Envy & Tequila Bar specializes in just that. Assorted burrito and taco options alongside tequila based cocktails and tequila variations.


Being the #TacoTuesday obsessive I am, I was quite excited about BE initially. My first visit was quite promising, the staff was much nicer than Baxter’s and food came out quickly. I tried the Mediterran Burrito Bowl (mediterranean chicken with rice, beans, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, feta cheese & tzatziki sauce) which was quite good. The olives made it a little salty but the tzatziki was perfect and the chicken had a nice flavor.

Next was the veracruzana (agave nectar, lime, tequila & pineapple) or quite possibly the best tequila based cocktail I’ve ever tasted. The agave nectar made this mucho refreshing and the pineapples are there just long enough to soak up some of the goodness. The presentation was a little confusing but it is still my go-to drink recommendation for this place.

Next visit was a to-go order. I went with the namesake Envy burrito with carnitas, beans, rice, lettuce, cotija cheese & sour cream (cucumber pico on the side). After the burrito bowl I was excited about this burrito and to try out a new pico — sadness met me instead. There were hardly any carnitas in this burrito. Bite after bite came back with just rice or beans. In theory, the cucumber pico is good, but really it comes across as both refreshing and bland — no real flavor profile can be found.


On my last visit for this review, I went for light snacks. I ordered the chips and queso which came out in a nice sized metal bowl. I didn’t much care for the chips they serve at BE, something about the flavor is off. The queso itself was pretty good. A good consistency and you can tell it was real cheese. There wasn’t much spice or kick to it which is something I prefer in queso. Would be a good addition to one of their burrito bowls.

I also tried a quesadilla with sour cream. The tortilla was really good and it’s pretty hard to mess up a quesadilla so five stars there.

I also tried a strawberry margarita. A far cry from the veracruzana, this marg was very syrupy-sweet. It reminded me of Don & Millie’s margaritas only D&M’s is stronger and $5 cheaper.

I’d like to see Burrito Envy get better with time. It’s in a prime location and adds something nice to the Benson corridor. They’ve added different specials like their #TacoTuesday three tacos and a Tecate for $8. Maybe soon they’ll have something other burrito shops in town can be envious about.