A bright green mural of a three-headed dog bids us a dopey welcome. This is the eponymous mongrel and, from what Mongrel bar offers, I can only assume that each slobbering head represents their three specialties: food, booze, and raw animal charisma. It’s scruffy and eclectic, with a promise of pisco sours and a list of beer specials scrawled on the underside of mounted skateboards. Behind the bar, their full collection of spirits is on show amongst licks of devil’s ivy sprouting from repurposes liquor bottles. It’s looks just like my dank cave, only staffed and with cleaner floors. This is my kind of bar.
Touting themselves as flavour pimps, the Mongrel team pledge to make sweet, dirty love to your tastebuds in exchange for legal tender. Their food is designed with a Peruvian slant, but sort of takes a bit from everywhere. The real joy is the serving suggestion that calls for a confederacy of friends and lashings of local craft beer.
Expect no delicate servings with an array of fresh ceviche, tacos, hefty sandwiches, cheesy tequeños, and the Peruvian answer to loaded fries heating up the menu. Every item highlights Mongrel’s food philosophy that puts ethically sourced and locally produced ingredients at the fore, so you know it’s damn well tasty.
To drink, the bartenders are into shaking things up with cocktails like a black truffle martini, a matcha green tea sour, or a pisco spritz which is super refreshing now that summer is arriving almost a whole month early. A constant rotation of cans and taps from local breweries keep the sudsy offerings fresh and exciting, and you can pledge your allegiance to their local focus with a slick piece of Mongrel merch.
Swing by Mongrel for a sundowner and a quick bite, or settle in for the mother of all sessions. They’re a flexible lot with hearts of pure mango.
Image credit: Grace Elizabeth Images for The Urban List