La Viuda Negra — the Black Widow in the Wedding Shop

Susie Oszustowicz
Enter La Viuda Negra (The Black Widow) through a wedding shop façade.
Irony is never lost on us. Our most recent chuckle was on our visit to La Viuda Negra. Translating to "The Black Widow," this authentic Mexico City-style speakeasy connected to El Come Taco is directly accessed through the façade of a wedding shop.

This mezcal speakeasy on North Fitzhugh Avenue opened in June and comes to us from familiar faces, El Come Taco's Luis and Javier Villalva. The brothers kept their authentic feel from the taco shop and added some moody elements with a little tongue-in-cheek kitsch. Escape the heat and duck into the dress shop, and you'll find dim lights and eclectic music, like bizarre synth remixes of your favorite rap songs from the aughts. Grab a stool at the bar where you'll find lit shelves of unusual agave spirits flanked with green walls.

The bar staff can walk you through some of their favorite labels behind the bar and will do so with tolerance. While mezcal is still the Wild West of agave spirits, they can help you find one to your liking.

"While we are cocktail-forward, we have a carefully curated back bar of Mexican distillates that honor the respect, integrity, culture and hard work that goes into creating a beautiful expression. The intimacy of the space provides a rewarding experience for anyone who may be interested in exploring agave or celebrating the culture of what makes mezcal and other Mexican distillates so special," says beverage and operations manager Candace Marie.

click to enlarge Cool off with a mezcal cocktail. - SUSIE OSZUSTOWICZ
Cool off with a mezcal cocktail.
Susie Oszustowicz
Sip mezcal straight and find your favorite, or look to the menu: It has a nice variety without being overwhelming. (Oh, and the cocktail descriptions are in English, so you won't find yourself lost.)

If mezcal isn't for you, they have some quality tequila options, and don't miss a chance to try the high-end Patrón options on the left. Look for drinks like el Peje ($13), their creative margarita with a hint of spice served in a bowl with watermelon balls to mitigate the heat or estoy enamorado del epazote ($15), a funky mezcal option made with their funky, earthy epazote syrup and served in a bird.

click to enlarge Give boring drinks the bird. - SUSIE OSZUSTOWICZ
Give boring drinks the bird.
Susie Oszustowicz
If you prefer your birds fully cooked, they offer a handful of authentic food items, including empanadas (market price), chicharrones and guacamole ($13) and tacos ($5). We tried a few and all were incredibly flavorful, just what you'd expect from the El Come Taco kitchen.

The food and drink from this respite are creative and thoughtful, and expertly delivered. And that's anything but ironic.

La Viuda Negra, 2513 N. Fitzhugh Ave. (Old East Dallas). 214-821-3738. 5 p.m. to midnight daily.