South of the border is coming to South Street this week in the City of Brotherly Love, and everyone is invited out to celebrate. Baja Blast comes from sister restaurants Jet Wine Bar and Cafe Ynez, and both South Philly establishments are honoring Mexican culture and cuisine for four days in Jet Wine Bar’s pop-up Wine Garden next door to the popular vino spot. The festive occasion will take place this week from Thursday, September 17, and will extend over the weekend until Sunday, September 20th.
Those who head to the pop-up will be able to indulge in different culinary creations from Café Ynez Executive Chef JC Piña. Café Ynez is located in the Point Breeze area, and is known for offering authentic fare straight from Mexico City. The eatery which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner has pulled out all the stops for occasions before, especially for the Day of the Dead. In previous years, Café Ynez General Manager, Ricardo Hernandez-Lorenzo, and Executive Chef, JC Piña — both hailing from Mexico City, collaborated to feature a few specialties including Tacos de Chapulines ($13), or in English, grasshopper tacos. The dish which garnered a lot of attention boasted a trio of critter tacos, featuring sautéed grasshoppers, onions, pico de gallo, red cabbage, radish and guacamole. For this particular celebration, the BYOB is bringing the same intensity of flavors, just in a different setting— plus minus the insects this time.
“We’re looking forward to inviting the talented team from our sister restaurant, Café Ynez, to the garden to share their delicious Mexico City-inspired fare that Point Breeze has come to know and love, with our guests here on South Street,” said Nick Baitzel, Jet Wine Bar General Manager in a statement. “This was the perfect excuse to spotlight some more rare and typically hard-to-find Mexican wines, and, of course, what’s a Baja Bash without a margarita?”
The menu will feature a few specialties from Chef Piña including a shrimp cocktail ($13) with a Mexican orange cocktail sauce; huitlacoche empanadas ($9) with mushroom, huitlacoche and corn; picadillo empanadas ($9) with seasoned beef; chicharron preparado ($10), a crispy puffed-wheat “pizza” topped with shredded chicken, sour cream, aioli, cotija cheese, cabbage, tomato, avocado and valentina hot sauce; and coconut tres Leches Cake ($6), served with poached pineapple.
On the more spirited side of the pop-up, Philadelphians can also get their margarita fix in with two specialty drinks: The Oaxacan ($12.50) is made with mezcal, basil, lime, agave nectar and salt; and the Mango Chile Margarita ($12.50) is made with silver tequila, ancho reyes chile liqueur, lime and mango. On top of the two specialty drinks, Baja Blast at Jet Wine Garden will also be offering a Pavo Real White Blend ($12 / $48), Casa Magoni Vermentino ($19 / $76), Pavo Real Red Blend ($12 / $48), Casa Magoni Cabernet-Sangiovese ($19 / $76) or La Casa Vieja Mission ($90/bottle). Beer drinkers can also sip on a Bohemia Pilsner ($5.50) or Victoria Lager ($5.50), and if wine drinkers liked what they sipped on, they can also purchase a bottle for themselves—all bottles will also be available to-go in the Jet Wine Bar Bottle Shop.
According to a release, Baja Bash at Jet Wine Garden will be in full swing Thursday from 4-10 pm, Friday 4-11 pm, Saturday 12-11 pm and Sunday 4-10 pm. No reservations necessary. For more information visit jetwinebar.com