When opening his own local shop, Diego González chose the name Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is the second-most important in the state of Louisiana, located some 130 kilometers from New Orleans.
As you can imagine, the selection of the name was not by chance. Diego is very clear about what type of establishment he has in mind. It’s a pseudo-“Speakeasy,” with tropical cocktails and other “old school” elements that are fitting in a shop that represents the clear and honest way he is and wants to continue being.
Diego defines it as “Craft cocktails, great burgers and superb music,” and it’s true, we can’t be more in agreement. With the large bars, it’s not just about the drinks, nor just the music (what a relief to escape from the overplayed radio songs), nor just the food itself. But when you have the complete package, you only have to round it out with knowledge and hospitality, and they have more than enough to spare. Diego has been around the block a time or two, and Pedro, his right-hand man, is all service, work and talent.
The menu Diego and his team offer us is very clear, complete, concise, and fun. There are cocktails that take a lot of work to put together, but this complexity is explained in a very transparent way to the final customer. The flavors are clear and honest — no cheating — but at the same time complex. A clear example is their classic Blood and Sand, for which they age whiskey, vermouth, and cherry liqueur in the same barrel, and mix it with the missing ingredient, the orange, in this case, through a foam of said ingredient.
Another good example is their Manhattan — along with bourbon and angostura, it features their own vermouth, which isn’t more than the sum of various commercial vermouths that have been mixed until they reach a flavor that fits in with this type of cocktails.
There’s also space for lighter concoctions that are just as original, like Diego’s version of a Piña Colada, which they add shrub, a kind of vinegary fruit syrup.
The menu for hamburgers and tapas is along the same lines: four very well-made items, without more flourishes than the high-quality raw ingredients that go into them. We underestimated the hamburgers at Baton Rouge — they’re among the best in the city. Starting with a high-quality beef, life becomes much easier and more full of gratitude. It’s priceless to be able to eat dinner in a place like this, and at very competitive prices.
And let’s finish by talking about the music in this place, and of the whole atmosphere in general. Baton Rouge is located a few minutes from Sol, and becomes something of an oasis in this very touristic area. The restaurant has two floors, one fairly long, and although the bar is always our first option, really the rest of the place is very welcoming, elegant, and not over-decorated. And if Wilco is playing in the background, what else can we ask for?
Phone: +34 671 44 06 28
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7pm to 2am
Text: Mauri Jiménez
Photos: Marcos Ortiz