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First Call is a weekly Voracious feature in which our writers walk into a bar and ask the bartender to make us his or her

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Primera Llamada at La Casa del Mojito

casadelmojito.jpg

First Call is a weekly Voracious feature in which our writers walk into a bar and ask the bartender to make us his or her favorite drink.

Agua Hole: La Casa del Mojito, 5253 University Way NE,

Bartender (and server, apparently it's pretty slow here on a Tuesday night): Jason Wrenchey

Okay, Jason, make me what you drink, I know the name suggests otherwise, but seriously, if you don't normally drink the mojitos, I won't tell. (Okay, clearly I will tell.)

Jason comes back with three minty, limey rum concoctions (I have two companions, these aren't all for me). "It's a mojito," he says. "It's my favorite."

Really?

Jason laughs.

Okay, but if you weren't having a mojito (oh, this is quite nice) what would you be drinking?

"It's a tough question. If I wasn't drinking a mojito [he pauses and ponders] probably a Crown and Coke."

Even if he faked it for the sake of the restaurant, I have to admit, a Crown and Coke would be far less lovely than the drink I'm sipping. Mojitos make me a little leery. Some barkeeps go heavy on the simple syrup, turning the drink into little more than an alcopop. But clearly there's no added sugar in this one, making it cool, refreshing, and -- as my boozing companions and I discovered -- a quick way to get a little drunker than you meant too. "I think I'm going to have to wait for the food before I finish this," Sarah observed. "It's pretty strong."

A discussion followed about whether a bigger straw/faster drunk would be an even better idea than waiting. Clearly we needed something in our stomachs.

The food is Cuban and muy delicioso. Sarah and I split a camarones (shrimp) entrée with rice and a South American version of pineapple-mango chutney. Matt ordered a plate of tostones--fried green plantains with a savory mojito sauce. The citrus/seafood/fried/minty/booze combination made it feel, for a brief moment, like summer.

Which made me very grateful to Jason as I bundled up in a scarf and down jacket before journeying back into the frigid night air. I'll have to return in mid-February when the interminable days of dreary winter have put us Seattleites firmly into a depressive funk. Bartender, bring me a mojito, por favor!

 
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