elborracho.jpg
Miss Kittie: Jefaza (Spanish for "Big Boss Lady")
The Watering Hole: El Borracho Taqueria y Cantina , 1521 First Ave., 206-652-2461.

The Atmosphere: While the

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El Borracho Makes the Most of Market Culture

elborracho.jpg
Miss Kittie: Jefaza (Spanish for "Big Boss Lady")
The Watering Hole: El Borracho Taqueria y Cantina, 1521 First Ave., 206-652-2461.

The Atmosphere: While the culinary content of Pike Place Market broadly appeals to anyone worshiping at the altar of Seasonal Slow Food, culturally speaking, eating and drinking in the Market generally falls into one of two categories: Tourist Destination or Locals Only. While out-of-town visitors undoubtedly stumble into Kittie Davidovich's tequilia-fueled taqueria, it's generally happy, hard-scrabbled Market workers you'll see stumbling out.

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After a day of tossing fish in the trenches or purveying produce while dodging strollers, Davidovich's regulars belly up to her bar for traditional carnitas (pork shoulder braised in Mexican Coca-Cola) or one of her many signature vegan dishes (quesadillas with soyrizo and Yukon Gold potatoes), and potent margaritas, made inexpensively and frill-free or built from house-infused liquors.

The Barkeep: Part of the reason the rowdy fish mongers and tattooed merchants flock to El Borracho is Davidovich's long-standing place in the close-knit Market community. She tended bar at institutional Market watering hole Lowell's for ten years and always wanted to open her own place. She and partner Adam Pomerleau took over the former Pan African space in August of 2012 with the intent of creating a low-key, affordable space for the people Davidovich had already been serving for a decade.

The Drink: "I've learned that people still don't really have that much money, and I don't want people sipping on a $10 for an hour," she says, gesturing to the "El Cheapo" margarita she's just plunked down in front of me, along with a mystery shot of some sort. "I rather they have a couple and walk out feeling like they got their money's worth. It's not light on booze, it's made with housemade sour mix, and where can you get a decent drink for $4? Plus, calling it "El Cheapo" just makes me laugh. The shot glass contains a generous, icey pour of "The Confusion," tequila infused with the same fresh pineapple they use in their tacos al pastor and Madagascar vanillia pods they buy from neighboring Market Spice. "It can be kind of dangerous since you can't really taste the tequila," she warns. "And it's also only $5. It's important for us to keep our prices cheap."

The Verdict: Bargain-priced margaritas can go horribly wrong, usually via the shortcut of syrupy bottled mixes or a stingy, weak pour. True to her claims, Davidovich's 'ritas are just right: bright with lime and brimming with enough booze to take the edge off of any tourist trauma the imbiber may have encountered during the course of their day. "The Confusion" is a pleasant anomaly: a tropical-flavored fusion that tastes natural, not like an overly sweet Smirnoff concoction. Just don't forget to lay a proper foundation so that you don't take on the traits of the establishment's namesake ("The Drunk"). At $1 a piece, you can't afford not to order a carnitas taco (or four).

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