2818 Chapel Hill Road
Gregoria’s Kitchen is a Cuban restaurant in a historic home/restaurant just south of where Chapel Hill Road crosses 15-501. There is not much parking in back so park at the Yates Baptist Church across the street or use their complimentary valet. First and foremost, Gregoria’s has a wonderful atmosphere.
The manager greeted us warmly, and an electronic harp player provided lively background music. Loads of happy patrons relaxed in welcoming red- and gold-toned rooms on the restaurant’s bottom floor. Without a reservation on a busy Friday night, we were seated upstairs at the hallway tables, which are less attractive.
The manager, however, shared that the rest of the rooms in the top floor were undergoing renovation and would be open for dining in about a week or two if all goes well. So likely, it’ll all have the same cozy feel of the downstairs soon.
For soda drinkers, they serve imported cokes in 8 oz. bottles. I tried the house cocktail called the Hemingway ($8), made with grapefruit juice, light rum, and dark rum infused with the house grenadine.
I’m not sure what infusing the dark rum contributes to the drink, but it was a nice blend of flavors, almost too sweet with the grenadine but the rum still came through.
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RumChata is a liqueur coming from the Agave Loco brand, and you can bet I squealed when I saw it on the shelf. Why? Because I love horchata, and an horchata made for imbibing sounded perfect to me. My expert background in foodie Spanish means I can translate their horchata con rum slogan easily into horchata with rum, and it’s a needed slogan because RumChata just doesn’t convey “horchata with rum” strongly enough on its own. Sarcasm aside, their proclamation of using real dairy cream was suspect, but not because of the real. You see, horchata is traditionally made with rice or nut milk, so lauding the use of dairy instead is a tad peculiar. A few countries do add dairy to the mix, but it’s not that common in my experience.
The texture is similar to an irish cream but smoother. The rum and cream combination gives it an interesting patchwork, layered look if you stare for a while.
No nose to speak of, but the taste is fantastic. It’s moderately thick, which means a cocktail would be the ideal use for it, but place a shot on the rocks, and you could convince yourself it’s a regular horchata spiked with rum. The spice levels are lovely, with mellow cinnamon being the most prominent among them. There is a disconnect between the cream and the bite of the rum that settles almost as a metallic tang on the tongue, but I don’t find it that off-putting.
This liqueur has great potential for me. So much so that a cocktail creation was necessary for exploring it more thoroughly. Or maybe I just wanted a cocktail. I present the Knackered Nougat!
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Bobbi’s Rum Punch
West 94th Street Pub
Bobbi’s Rum Punch is silver rum with orange and pineapple juices and a floater of Bacardi 151 and grenadine.
Well, it is supposed to have a floater, but based on the lack of layers and its singular color, I’d say all those ingredients are just mixed together. It would be prettier it they were floaters instead, but this is still a strong, tasty rum drink. In fact, I would say it’s at the perfect saturation point for rum in a cocktail. It’s potent, but that fruit flavor is strapping enough to resist overwhelming the taste buds.
I would love some lime with this drink, but otherwise, all it as it should be when you think of a tropical cooler that’ll knock you out in two.
Reviewed 13 July 12.