A bebedero is something designed to quench your thirst, which The Bebedero certainly does. But this restaurant will also make you savor delicious Veracruzean dishes that might transport you to the Gulf of Mexico and its ocean scent. Veracruz is the pearl of the bay and seafood, shrimp, octopus, and fresh fish abound in its cuisine. Due to the hot weather, salads and rehydrating soups are very popular, as are the different antojitos offered by the street vendors.
The soul of this upscale kitchen is a Mexican couple, the co-owners of The Bebedero, who met working in another local restaurant and decided to try something by themselves. Yuliana Perez Vasquez is originally from Veracruz and Cesar Gazpar Perez is from Puebla. They are young but passionate and talented chefs. “We are obsessed with the pure Mexican flavor,” says Yuliana.
Ceviche with corn chips is a good way to start a meal before trying the seafood stew or the grilled red snapper. If you fancy more of a Puebla treat, then the Chile Relleno is excellent. Yuliana told us a secret: her mom makes the tamales fresh for the restaurant every day. And if you save any hunger for dessert, the Tres Leches cake is great.
Another important facet of Bebedero is the central bar, commanded by the experienced bartender and traveler River Hawkins, who is also a co-owner. He put together the best Tequila and Mezcal collection in Virginia and he loves to share his knowledge about the rich stories and fascinating process of creating these liquors from Agave plants. The always-refreshing margaritas are the bestsellers, but there is so much more to offer. Tequila flights with sangrita, gusano salt and an orange slice are available for those looking to try something new. And you will find all the cocktails you can imagine with Mezcal or Tequila, with all the salts, syrups and spices crafted in house by Hawkins.
The space is beautifully decorated with artwork by local artists Chicho Lorenzo, Jessica Dorff, Chantal and River Hawkins himself. The ambiance will remind you of the hip restaurant-galleries that dot Wynwood, Miami. Food, drinks and art until 2 a.m. on the weekends.
Phone: (434) 234-3763
Hours: Mon – Wed from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thu 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Fri 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sat 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Text and photo: Edu Bayer