You definitely don’t need to know Spanish to understand our menu or place your order, but it can be fun to recognize the meaning of some of the words we use! Here’s a language guide to a few of our menu items that will give you a deeper appreciation of their significance.
You’ll see the word queso on our menu a lot. Most Americans already know this, but in case you don’t, queso means cheese in Spanish. And though you might be tempted to think our queso fundido appetizer—a warm blend of Monterey jack, pepper jack, mozzarella and jalapeño with green onion and tortilla chips—is called that because it’s a “fun” appetizer to eat and share, fundido actually means molten. Queso fundido is basically a delectable volcano of cheese!
Sencillo means easy, or simple, and our nacho sencillo plate is just that—a basic vegetarian nacho of chips, beans, cheeses, olives, jalapeños, and scallions. The perfect starter plate!
Asada and asado mean the same thing—roasted. Carne asada literally means roasted meat, or steak, and the asada spices are a specific blend of lime, chipotle, chili, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and pepper. Our pollo asado means roasted chicken, and we serve ours with a side of nopales salad, which is a salad of cactus! Though that might sound prickly, all the spines are removed, and the flesh of the cactus is both tender and tasty. Give it a try!
Pollo con Mole Rojo
As we just learned, pollo means chicken, but con mole rojo? That’s a mouthful! (No pun intended.) Mole is a very special Mexican sauce made from chili peppers and chocolate. Rojo means red, and con is with— put it together, and you have “chicken with red chili-chocolate sauce.” The red style comes from the state of Jalisco—we also offer poblano pollo mole, which is the Oaxaca-style brown mole. This sauce might sound weird, but it’s savory, not sweet, and if you’ve never had mole you’ve got to try it—it’s one of the most delicious and intriguing flavors in Mexico! We’re proud to offer two styles.
COCTEL ESPECIAL (SPECIAL COCKTAILS)
The michelada is a classic Mexican twist on a beer—you take a lager, add lime juice, spices, and tomato juice, and the result is a kind of poor man’s Bloody Mary. The word michelada comes from the verb mezclar, or to mix. Caballero has two meanings, depending on where you’re located. In the Southwestern US, it’s another word for cowboy, while in Mexico or Spain it’s usually used to refer to a gentleman. This is because caballo means horse, and in places like Texas, horse riders are rough-and-tumble riders and ropers, while elsewhere owning a horse usually signifies that you have lots of money (like water polo players!). So whether you want to feel like a bronco roper or a wealthy aristocrat, we’ve got the michelada for you!
Un beso means a kiss, and we call our tamarind aqua fresca (tamarind juice), mango juice, and coconut rum cocktail un beso because, like a kiss, it’s so sweet!
Come into Nana’s to try a menu full of exciting Spanish words and phrases—this was just a taste!