The Vital Signs of El Vitral
El Vitral Mexican Cuisine and Tequila Lounge located in the East Village section of downtown San Diego goes for authenticity: the décor is a blend of traditional Mexican elements with splashes of more modern pieces including complementary stained glass and gorgeous mosaic tiles. But it’s the tequila selection that really drives the message home, and since the venue opened in 2009, El Vitral’s staff began showcasing the tequila with a monthly event.
“El Vitral offers more than 250 types of tequilas, and the cocktails are made with fresh-squeezed juices such as grapefruit, orange and limes,” says Owner Pablo Becker. “Every Thursday of the month, El Vitral offers a tequila seminar for $30, which covers the cost of the class, a three-shot flight of tequila samples and a three-course meal, as well as a certificate of completion so you can have evidence of all that you learned.”
“We have a strong outreach program with the locals in downtown San Diego to include professional businesses and downtown residents,” explains Becker. A viral-word-of mouth campaign through Facebook and Twitter as well as a strong relationship with the San Diego Convention Center & Visitors Bureau has made this program very successful.
The weekly course/tasting (every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.), for instance, may feature Chimayo tequilas broken down with each dish. For that brand, Becker served up Tostadas De Salpicon with the blanco, Pozole Verde with the reposado and Mixto de Pollo with the añejo. During the dinner, the history of the tequila and why it goes with certain foods were discussed.