The new seafood restaurant La Pesca on Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff already had a pretty intriguing menu with its long list of micheladas and a mix of beer, wine and margaritas to cure everything that’s ever ailed you. You can get a chicharron (pork rind) michelada, a sandia (watermelon) michelada or just a classic. They’re all $10, except the last thing on the list, a charola preparada for $55.
Was this $55 drink a giant fishbowl of michelada that an entire group of people could all stick straws in to slurp down in pre-pandemic form? Nope.
Charola means tray in Spanish. And preparada just means prepared or ready. You might think of a charcuterie tray, but there’s no apparent connection here.
Charola preparada is part beer cooler and part shrimp cocktail. Usually, there's ice at the bottom, with a six-pack of beer in the middle that's surrounded by a mix of fruit, cucumber, jicama, lime, boiled shrimp, chamoy and spices, like Tajin. It can really have anything you want. According to the internet, the possibilities are endless.
At La Pesca, our charola preparada had long triangles of jicama topped with a slice of a cucumber and boiled shrimp. Jose Pablo Garcia Bucio at La Pesca says they got the idea from Mexico and the Netflix series Heavenly Bites: Mexico.
We hope to see the trend continue and grow. No complaints about adding another chapter to culinary tray culture.