From Spain to Mexico

Most of the cuisine around the world these days has some sort of influence from another part of the world. How possible is it to find a dish that is pure and free of influences from somewhere else around this planet? I've read enough history to assume even pure Mexican cuisine has been lost. I mean, at some point all of American native civilizations had influenced each other. While Mexicans proudly claim corn as an ingredient born in the old Mayan grounds, tribes from down in Peru sed the corn too.

One thing is for sure, wheat is a european gift to the "new" world.

To my surprise, after doing some R&D about one of my favorite easy to make breakfasts, the Mollete, I realized the influences come directly from Spain. Wikipedia explains that in Spain the mollete is made with a bread of hebrew roots sliced in half (same as in Mexico), dressed with olive oil, and a pinch o salt. There you go, breakfast is served in Andalucia.

In Mexico, take that same concept but spread refried beans, and as we do in Mexico, we make things more interesting I like to think, so while in southern Mexico they add pico de gallo, in my Monclovita la bella, we add cheese, chorizo and other things. I know, neither cheese nor chorizo are creations of my Mayan or Aztec uncles, they are also gifts from our conquistadores.

What is a trait known about Mexican and other central and south american countries? We like to party, we like to gather and celebrate, and we are friendly nations. We are huge when it comes to collaboration and we have many inventors, like Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena who invented the "Chromoscopic Adapter for Television Equipment". Because of Camarena we have color television.

Anyway, back to food matters. The first time I had a mollete was at the house of my friend Gabriel after a sleep over back in 1990. After a late night of Nintendo, playing with TMNT figures and hanging out in the rooftop, I remember walking up to the breakfast table and seeing bolillos sliced in half, spread with beans and melted cheese. The additives like pico de gallo, salsa and avocado were on the side for each one of us to put on our own pan con frijoles as I called it. As soon as I called this breakfast item with the wrong name, Gabriel corrected me and said, they're call molletes!

Earlier in July my friend and chef Gaston Corbala who has quite a resume in the culinary world here in San Diego, California, and now owner of Son Of A Toast located in the heart of North Park called to invite me to collaborate with him. I don't always cook tapas or create tapas for Cueva Bar. My immediate thought was "MOLLETE!" and after he agreed to my idea I debated for a week or two about offering the mollete with chorizo refried beans or simply refried beans. I went with the vegan refried beans given that he's in the middle of North Park and I know his closest neighborhood fans would probably appreciate the animal free legumes. So, honoring friendship, collaboration and the cross influence of world cuisine, you can now go to Son Of A Toast and order The Mollete Toast.

Cueva Bar in San Diego California offers a fusion tapas inspired menu with plenty of omnivore, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Our happy hour is from Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. Happy hour offerings are $2 off all food on menu and $3 off all drinks by the glass.

We're located in the eclectic University Heights neighborhood.

The team:

Jo: Co-founder/Corporate.

Oz: Co-founder/Executive Chef.

Mel: Sous Chef.

FOH: , Ghaidan

BOH: Patty, Nick

About the author:

I chef Oz write these blogs. I am a home cook gone pro when my wife Jo and I decided to open Cueva Bar, a fusion tapas bar and restaurant in San Diego California. I am passionate about offering a space where people gather for a good time, and to enjoy mindfully prepared tapas, made with love and passion by our culinary team. I'm all about inclusive peace, love, mutual respect, unity, kindness and compassion under the sun with liberty and justice for all.

Let tapas bring us together!


TEL 619-269-6612

2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116

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