I know what you're thinking. "Here's how to pair beer with Mexican food: insert lime into Pacifico. Drink." I won't tell you not to drink your Coronas, Pacificos, and Tecates, but other beers can offer some serious south-of-the-border beer pairing satisfaction. Just like a well-made sauce can improve a dish, a well-paired beer can make any meal just a bit more awesome.
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Something about the combination of lard and fiery spices makes for an ideal opponent against a throbbing cabeza, and few places in Portland get the job done quite as well (or as cheaply) as Tortilleria y Tienda de Leon's, which offers some of the best guisados in the city.
I didn't happen to have a hangover to deal with a couple weeks back during a quick visit to Cincinnati with Laura Arnold (A.K.A. the Cincinnati Nomerati), but if I did, it would have trembled with fear as we dug into the huge plate of choriqueso at Taqueria Mercado downtown. I can't attest to the authenticity of the dish, but conceptually, it's a nearly flawless and peerless plate of junk food: hot, oily, warm-spiced, slightly sour chorizo sausage combined with gooey, oozy, melted cheese.
Once relegated to the lower end of the liquor world, mezcal is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity as artisan varieties of this Mexican spirit became increasingly available in the U.S. This week's New York Times features a tasting panel exploration of some of the better mezcals now available; here's a closer look at this once-declasse spirit.