Momocho puts new spin on margarita – black ant salt

Black ant salt.

I was going to give this article a more narrative start but in the journalism biz that would be called “Burying the lede.”

Momocho-Margaritas
The Momocho margarita sampler featuring hibiscus with sugar rim in the foreground, blood orange with chili lime rim in the background and in the middle it’s ginger-honey with a black ant salt rim. Yep. (Jeannene Mathis-Bertosa)

So… black ant salt.

Not wanting to deal with the crazy, drunk, green-clad bar crowds celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, Jeannene and I  decided to “counterprogram” and go to a Mexican place, one of the best in the Cleveland area – Momocho, 1835 Fulton Road in the heart of Ohio City.

(And yes, for Cinco de Mayo we’ll be going to The Harp.)

We started off sharing a margarita sampler ($15) with our choices being a hibiscus with sugar rim, blood orange with a chili lime salt rim and a ginger-honey with “black ant salt”… no wait, that’s not what the server suggested.

Black ant salt.

And yes, it’s exactly what it sounded like – black ants freeze-dried and pulverized and then mixed with salt. The server said it would give the drink a more earthy flavor. That is a nice compliment to the ginger so we rolled with it. But really, it ended up not being that adventurous as the texture of the ants was quite close to the salt it was mixed with and I mostly got just a salty taste from the mixture.

But anyways, all three margaritas went well with the crab and pickled corn guacamole ($9.50) and Momocho’s chips that are absolutely spot on – perfectly salted and not greasy at all but yet not dried out either.

After that, our sampler trio was empty so I went with a blood orange margarita with just standard salt and Jeannene went with her beloved cucumber margarita (each $9).

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Momocho’s pepita and pecan crusted trout comes with a mouth-watering mustard crema and green beans that even a carnivore would enjoy. (Jeannene Mathis-Bertosa)

My main course was the trout ($22.50)  – a moist fish with skin on one side and the other covered in crunchy pumpkin seeds and pecans with all of it covered in a mustard crema that is the perfect complement to a margarita. And under it are some sofrito green beans, such garlicy goodness.

Momocho-Pork Chop
Momocho’s pork chop smothered in a tangy mole sauce. (Jeannene Mathis-Bertosa)

Jeannene had the pork chop ($21) that came right off the set of The Flintstones. The mole-smothered giant piece of meat must have been good as she didn’t need a doggy bag.

I would definitely recommend this place. And if you especially  want to impress a date or gross out an older relative?

Black ant salt.


John Bertosa says the most exotic things he’s eaten is snake … so ants were nothing.

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