PalReal is the pinnacle of the Guadalajara coffee experience, where you will rub shoulders with celebrity chefs, epicureans and hipsters from all over. The partnership between roaster, barista, designer and chef has turned a bunch of talented kids into local celebrities. These are the pioneers who are changing the direction of the local coffee scene. Expect well educated baristas, a variety of coffees to try from all across Mexico and spectacular menu in a beautiful setting.
Chef Fabian Delgado has grown up to be one of the best chefs in Guadalajara. He loves Mexico and has looked outside of Jalisco for inspiration for his menu. Many of the specials are constantly updated to include hard to find ingredients from small producers and support small farmers. I think he has the best salads in the city. While everyone else is overdressing their salads to hide questionable greens, Fabian is a minimalist who is trying to show off the spectacular lettuces that he has found.
There are a couple of staples on the menu at palReal that everyone needs to try on their first couple of visits. The encacahuatadas with pork belly are spectacular. They are lightly fried tortillas filled with requeson chees and bathed in a peanut and chile sauce. The peanut sauce is traditional in the State of Veracruz but altogether unknown in Jalisco. Second is the lonche de pancita. It is a basically a pork bell sandwich, but the best damn pork belly sandwich you will find within a 500 mile radius.
Chef Fabian is constantly traveling and the menu is constantly traveling. After a recent trip to Oaxaca he brought back to big suitcases filled with exotic chiles, cocoa beans and other spices that were featured on the menu for months. Working with other talented chefs from across Mexico, Chef Fabian has picked up a few ideas that have added depth to his dishes. The burnt chile powder on his squash blossom and tomato salad gives the dish a lingering smokey flavor and highlights unique chiles that not many people are aware of.
First of all, palReal would not be what it is today without the incredible coffee program. The combination of master barista and master roaster working in house means that every employee has a solid understanding of what makes great coffee. Everyone is able to chat you up about where the coffee comes from, what methods the farmers use at this particular farm, and recommend some great coffee drinks. I recommend starting with a shot of espresso, moving on to a V60 pour over with your breakfast and having a Mexican mocha for dessert.