We finished up in McAllen, TX and decided to go out for a good Texas meal before leaving the state. We found a place down the street from our hotel called Republic of the Rio Grande. Even better, we found a nice spot on their patio, right next to the fountain. The beer list was mostly domestic drafts and some Mexican import bottles, so I ordered a Negra Modelo.
The first tip that this may not be the best restaurant was when they brought my beer with a frosted mug with a big lime wedge attached, but I thought, “that’s what the tourists typically prefer, so I’ll let it slide.”
I was proud of my pour, and it had a good creamy head on it. It was brown in color and very clear. It smelled a sweet, malty, and slightly nutty (I’d almost say caramelly, but I probably use that adjective too much) aroma. The body was on light and creamy and the flavor was malty and nutty. I didn’t really notice any hop flavors at all, but it was obviously balanced on the maltier side. The thing I really noticed was a very clean finish, which made is surprisingly refreshing for a beer that was on the maltier side of things.
It really was a great beer for the situation – a hot Texas evening on the patio. It seems like it would go well with any type of flavor, and the maltiness and crisp finish might actually lend itself well to spicier Mexican foods. I had the fiesta nachos and was really disappointed with the food – it tasted like they put Velveeta cheese on it and then put it in the oven (I thought you put nachos in the oven to melt shredded cheese). Instead, it made the cheese dry and rubbery.
Although the meal wasn’t great, the Negra Modelo was good, and I think I may have to reach for a 6 pack of this for our taco night dinners instead of Corona.