Epazote opened in April 2023 and is run by the Mexican-born Carrasco-Mendez family. It is everything you want in a family-owned and run restaurant; authentic Mexican cuisine, friendly service, beautiful presentation, and a desire to truly please the customer. The service is never hurried and true to the familial aspect is a little less polished, but that’s a minor quibble when everyone is so eager to please.
You can feel (and taste) the family’s love and passion for sharing their culture. For example, recently my hubby and I dined there with our gal pals Joanie, Doreen, Fredda, and Katja, and the owner came out from the kitchen to greet us. My friend Doreen asked if he had elotes, a traditional Mexican street food of corn on the cob dusted with spices, cotija cheese, and mayo. It wasn’t on the menu, but he made an order.
We ordered chips and salsa for the table and placed our drink orders. It’s only $7 for a good-sized Margarita served frozen, up, or on the rocks, with a choice of salt sugar or a spiced rim (if you’ve never had a spiced rim, try it!). The flavor selection includes, traditional, spicy, Jamaican, mango, strawberry, or tamarind. There is a nice variety of house specialty cocktails, Mexican beers, and wines, also reasonably priced.
It happened to be Taco Tuesday, so all tacos (except seafood) were being offered for $2.50. The options were steak, chicken, chorizo, carnitas, and two vegetarian options, rajas con crema (poblano pepper, onion, and corn in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with cotija cheese) and fungi (sauteed mushroom with onion and guajillo pepper topped with cotija cheese). All are usually $3.50. I had a pastor taco as an appetizer and it was bursting with flavor, moist chicken and a strong pineapple flavor served in a tiny double corn tortilla. Two bites at most but packed with flavor. I was glad it was small because when our entrees and sandwiches arrived, they were all gigantic portions.
At the recommendation of my Rick Schmutzler, who had visited previously, I ordered the Torta de Milanesa, a thin chicken cutlet, breaded and fried, topped with melted cheese served on traditional bolillo bread, and topped with, mayonnaise, refried beans, lettuce, onion, and avocado. It’s served with a side of chipotle dressing and jalapeños. It was perfectly prepared; the fried cutlet showed not a drop of grease and the chicken was still tender, while the coating offered a nice crunch. I was only able to finish half. Sandwiches and traditional Mexican lunch dishes (tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and chilaquiles) are in the $10-$15. We all ordered from that part of the menu, and all were quite pleased. Joanie ordered the chicken Milanesa, she thought it was overcooked and when the owner noticed she wasn’t eating it, he offered to make her another one or another dish. My vegetarian hubby ordered two vegetarian tacos, intending to order two seafood tacos afterward. He liked the veggie tacos so much; he just repeated his order. None of us was able to finish our meals and leftovers were boxed up for everyone and we were allowed to sit and chat as long as we wanted. It was like sitting at the kitchen table of an old friend’s house.
I almost hate to review and recommend Epazote, because once it’s discovered, there will be no more long leisurely meals spent with good food, good friends, and surrounded by family.
6206 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale