For everyone that loves tacos, this has been a great summer to be in New Orleans. Del Fuego opened last month, that other local blog in town highlighted Mexican restaurants, and now, Araña has opened on Magazine Street.
So we took a date to its opening weekend to see whether it could stand up to the impressive fare already around town. How’d they do?
Araña is nestled into the old Byblos location, right next to the Bulldog. There’s the standard outdoor seating for those of us who enjoy a little air with our drinking. Inside, is a full-service bar that takes up quite a bit of space, with seating surrounding the u-shaped bar. It’s cozy – almost too cozy. Expect to get jostled once or twice by accident if the restaurant’s crowded and you’re not seated in a booth.
The most interesting aspect of the decor is also its most frustrating. One entire wall is taken up by a bright red light, covered with a Spider web. (Further research shows Araña means spider in Spanish. Neat!) First warning: Arachnophobes should just stay away. Second warning: That light is bright.
Seriously bright. As in, my date went from brunette to full-on Weasley while seated under it. She also repeatedly asked me why I was blushing, before we both realized what was going on. If you’re on a first date, and you didn’t meet on HotForEdSheeran.net, then you’ll want to sit at the bar or on the other side of the restaurant.
Is it just us, or is ridiculously large selections of only one kind of alcohol the new thing to do? Araña’s tequila menu might not seem as large as Barrel Proof’s 10 pages of whiskey options, but it’s more than enough for a tequila connoisseur. In addition, everyone can enjoy at least a few different choices with their helpful flights menu. 4 tequilas starting at $10? Do you hear that? It’s the sound of your moral compass flying out the window.
The real star of the night were the margaritas. Or specifically, their Jalapeno Pineapple Cilantro margarita. It sounded like a ridiculous menu item at the time, but finishing more than my fair share of a pitcher of it, it deserves every one of its fourteen syllables. It’s alcoholic, slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and all-around delicious. You can impressively taste each of the ingredients, and it goes down smooth. Other restaurants in the area: step up your margarita game.
You’ll notice the pictures below get slightly blurrier as the night goes on. You have the Jalapeno Pinapple Cilantro margarita to thank for that.
Every Mexican meal I’ve had starts off with either queso or guacamole, and after a quick coin flip, guac was our pick. Maybe we should’ve done Rock Paper Scissors. Unlike the margarita, where its many ingredients lend it subtle textures – the guacamole tasted like avocado. Pure avocado. Slightly disappointing considering the rest of the menu performed wonderfully.
Seeing it is a taco restaurant, we ventured to get as many as could fit in our mouths. The Carne Asada taco was delicious and meaty, while the Esquites Y Nopales (corn and cactus for you Gringos) taco was the delicious without any meat. It’s a great option for vegetarians. The Baja fish taco was also freaking tasty, with a perfect beer batter. Seriously, we don’t know what they were using, but it was some of the best batter we ever had. And that’s coming from people who have ate a disproportionate amount of deep-fried food. The only taco-regret we had was the Al Pastor, which was disappointingly dry. Needless to say, I washed it down with some extra margarita. Desserts were tasty and simply presented.
Araña Review Recap
Go for the: Tasty tacos (especially the beer-battered ones)
Stay for the: Libations. Tequila flights and spicy margaritas are impressive.
Watch out for: The Guacamole, and looking like a Ginger on the red half side. Seriously, it’s like they never heard of Roxanne.
Wrap it Up Red Beans: While the foods a notch above the average, it’s Araña’s drinks (and perfect nightlife location) that give you a reason to visit.
Have you been yet? Have you recovered? What did you think? Tell us about it in our Comments Section!