FALMOUTH – If you think Cape Cod is a strange place to find one of New England’s best Mexican restaurants, then you don’t know Añejo. Located along picturesque Main Street in Downtown Falmouth, Añejo Mexican Bistro and Tequila Bar is fun and festive. The walls are covered in Mexican inspired art. The bar is stocked with about 75 different tequilas, and no matter the season, the dining room is always filled with folks having a good time.
Jesse Kersey grew up in California. When he moved to Cape Cod, he missed the authentic Mexican food he had back home. So about six years ago, he opened Añejo, where guacamole is made to order at your table, margaritas are always mixed with fresh squeezed juices, and everything coming out of the kitchen is made from scratch.
“We don’t bring in a jar of sauce. We don’t bring in a can of anything. Everything is fresh and authentic,” Jesse assured.
While much of the menu at Añejo stays true to its roots, the kitchen also takes advantage of all the great local ingredients the Cape has to offer.
“We serve a lot of seafood. It’s one of the things that we’re proud of most is that we’ve taken Mexican food and we’ve been able to combine that with where we live, and that’s the Cape,” Jesse said.
There are appetizers like Carnitas and Clams, made with local cherrystones; a Crispy Scallop Tostada topped with pico de gallo and smoked bacon; and Lobster Taquitos that don’t skimp on the good stuff.
“You can tell that you’re eating lobster, whereas a lot of things might be hidden in there and they wonder what happened to the lobster. This, you know that you’re eating lobster,” Jesse said. Then once you add the guacamole and everything else to it, it’s great. It’s one of our most popular items.”
Since this is Cape Cod, a lot of customers might be in the mood for some Clam Chowder and a Stuffed Quahog. At Añejo they offer something a little different. Instead of chowder, there is a Chipotle Stung Lobster Bisque, and instead of a standard Stuffie, they serve Quahogs Rellenos.
“We have a quahog on our menu, which is a very Cape Cod thing, but all of the ingredients are ingredients from Mexico,” explained Jesse. “We use corn bread, which is a big thing in Mexico. We use chorizo, which is their sausage as opposed to a Portuguese chourico, which is what they use here on the Cape. So although it’s a Cape Cod flair, because it’s a quahog, it still stays within the authenticity of Mexican food.”
The Nachos here are also a bit different. Instead of the standard pub style pile, these are hand crafted and assembled with care.
“Instead of cutting the normal size triangular chip that you would see in normal nachos, our chip is about three times bigger, and we give you six of them. Then each nacho is individually constructed, so you’ll get every single ingredient on every single nacho,” Jesse described.
Of course, no Mexican meal is complete without some Guacamole. Since it is made right at your table, customization is encouraged.
“You can choose your ingredients: how much jalapenos you would like in it, how much cilantro you would like in it. So it’s just cool to be able to have the customer be in control of the kind of guacamole that they’re getting.”
When it comes to entrees at Añejo, there are lots of options. Seafood fans might order the Corn Flake Crusted Cod or the Ancho Maple Glazed Salmon. Meat eaters will love the Carne Asada, Classic Pork Carnitas, or Chicken Mole. The best thing to order might be the Tacos, because every single component of this dish is carefully considered.
“It’s about the salsas, the guacamole, getting the right char on the meat. There’s a lot that really goes into each flavor that you’re getting,” Jesse explained. “It’s the perfect combination of how much meat, versus the taco shell, versus the salsa, and how everything comes together.”
For dessert, there is really just one item you need to know, Añejo’s incredible Fried Ice Cream.
“We take a giant tub of ice cream and then they shave it down, turn it into a ball, and then dip it into corn flakes. From there, we flash fry it, just enough to get the corn flakes crispy, but not so much as to melt the ice cream. That goes into a homemade tortilla bowl, and then you top that with chocolate sauce, caramel, whipped cream, a nice cherry.”
You can find Añejo at 188 Main Street in Falmouth, and online at anejomexicanbistro.com.
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