The Pop Up Kings have done it again. When I heard that SOHO and Momocho were collaborating for what they called a one-night “Mash Up,” I had to go. Two of my two favorite foods are Southern and Mexican cuisine. Bringing them together sounded too good to be true.
Before we get to the food, a bit about the concept, which started a couple states away in the city of Chicago, at Goose Island Brewery. Apparently, each year Goose Island and Frontera restaurant (Rick Bayless) brew a limited amount of a special beer. After it is brewed, Frontera then offers SOHO a keg of this rare creation.
When SOHO chef/owner Nolan Konkoski accepted the offer this year, he knew it was time to kick it up. So he called his former boss and longtime friend Eric Williams at Momocho, and suggested another pop up. Their second time around, both chefs worked tirelessly to bring the menu to life. “We tried over and over, honing down the menu until it was a true fusion of SOHO and Momocho,” Konkoski explains.
The theme: Beer and Tacos, a nod to the ongoing Cleveland Beer Week. The name: “SOMOCHO,” which summarizes the true fusion of the concept, menu and drink.
I popped (no pun intended) into the event last night to find a menu that said it all: “Beer and Tacos.” The rare keg of beer from Goose Island was a Marisol Belgium Pale Ale. It was served in flights, along with Goose Island IPA and other ales that were theme-related and seasonal. Additionally, bartenders were slinging some beer-fused cocktails. The Red Rooster, a blend of the Marisol Belgium Ale with tequila, chile fresno, red bell pepper and agave nectar, had the kick of a cockfighting rooster on steroids. It was tasty, bold and unique.