We were craving a drink over the weekend. But do we want beer or Bloody or something else? At 4th Street, it's all about those micheladas inside Alta Baja Market! And if you didn't know they came in more than one flavor, for shame! That is what we are here for— to give a mini lesson in pairing those savory cocktails with a few bites from the kitchen. (Note: La Ultima is a super-sized version of two listed below, so we've opted to not include it. Bigger note: co-owner Delilah Snell is the wife of our Mexican-in-Chief, who had nothing to do with this post 'cause he's ethical like that)
La Santanera: Classically served with lime, Modelo Especial and a "Christmas" salt rim. When in doubt, begin with this refresher!
Have with: Avocado toast, featuring farmers market veggies and herbs.
Pairing notes: Citrus notes in the michelada and toast brighten the creamy snack.
La Mera Mera: Featuring Negra Modelo, Guelaguetza's "I Heart Michelada" mix, plus green chile salt rim.
Have with: Morning bagel with cream cheese, vegetables, avocado and citrus pepper.
Pairing notes: You don't need bacon or sausage to have a tasty breakfast, according to Alta Baja. Mera Mera's hot sauce component is quelled with creamy spread. But the slivers of red onion still provide bite.
La Malandrina: A tropical twist on this already refreshing drink. The spicy concoction comes from a blend of serranos and avocado. Modelo Especial fills it, while chile-dipped cucumber garnishes.
Have with: Seasonal veggie fritatta. Enough said.
Pairing notes: It's not easy being green, but this michelada knows how by balancing out our eggy dish with its heat.
La Traviesa: A dreamy coconut and pineapple blend makes you long for a tropical getaway. A cinnamon and sugar rim and Negra Modelo wrap things up.
Have with: Blue corn waffle made with mix from New Mexico brand Heritage Mill. Topped with fruit and fresh whipped cream.
Pairing notes: We've tried their Heritage Mill cornbread before, and knew this slightly sweet duo would put a smile on any diner's face.
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La Chiquita: Served with Modelo Especial and a chile-mango slice, this morning pick-me-up is made special with passion fruit.
Have with: Chorizo breakfast tacos. Cheesy eggs and pico de gallo make a good first impression.
Pairing notes: Sweet meets heat, thanks to meat from Electric City Butcher. It's a match made in michelada heaven.
Alta Baja Market, 201 E. 4th St., Santa Ana, (714) 783-BAJA; altabajamarket.com