DALLAS — Across the street from Fair Park is a brightly decorated mezcalaria called Las Almas Rotas.
The name translates to “broken souls” in Spanish.
“Traditionally, mezcal was anything that was distilled from the agave plant,” co-owner Shad Kvetko said.
The restaurant serves tequila, too.
“Tequila really is a form of mezcal that's been kind of industrialized and watered down for a Western palette. Sweeter. Less proof,” co-owner Taylor Samuels said.
Kvetko and Samuels wanted to create a space where North Texans could come and learn more about mezcal.
“Obviously we're not from the culture, but the culture is extremely beautiful, and we set out on a mission to celebrate that culture and the spirits that are made within that culture,” Samuels said.
Bartenders pour flights of different spirits and serve them with oranges and traditional worm salt called sal de gusano. These flights allow patrons to sample several different kinds of mezcal.
“The flavor profiles are almost unending,” Kvetko said. “You can go from the sweetness of roasted agave to the pepperiness of a jalapeno or black pepper.”
But far beyond the taste is a story of the families in Mexico, the ones making the mezcal. Kvetko makes a point to travel to Mexico to visit with the mezcaleros, the producers of the mezcal.
“Our well tequila and mezcal were both chosen because they are family-owned brands. And so as the fortunes of the brand goes, more of that money goes directly to the producers themselves,” Kvetko said.
“These families can now actually make a living and even profit and grow their businesses because of this tradition that they have within their culture,” Samuels said.
The co-owners refuses to call themselves experts. Instead, point to a bottle at the bar and there’s a good chance they’ve met the expert behind it.
“That is our greatest success is that when we inspire people to actually travel to Mexico and the producing regions to experience it for ourselves,” Kvetko said.