Sober Masa | Photo by Mélissa Hom
Sober Masa | Photo by Mélissa Hom
Mexican chef Zack Wangeman uses food to spark conversation about his culture. After working at award-winning restaurants around the world like Per Se and Celler de Can Roca and Etxebarri in Spain, the Oaxaca-born cook took to entrepreneurship earlier this year and opened Sobre Masa in Brooklyn, his very first permanent restaurant.
The Williamsburg coffee-bar hybrid saw rapid success, leading Zack and his wife, Diana, a medical school graduate and daughter of a prominent Oaxacan restaurateur, to recently open Sobre Masa Tortilleria, a more interpretation. ambitious initial concept which has just started welcoming guests to Bushwick.
The Wangemans’ initial vision for the Bushwick tortilleria was simple: they needed a factory, separate from the Williamsburg coffee shop, where they could make their famous corn tortillas and sell them at wholesale. But as the couple searched for a home base to operate the Sobre Masa tortilla brand, they discovered vacant retail space next to the Morgan L stop that prompted them to rethink their business plan.
“We have found a great location where we have our tortilla factory and retail store up front, as well as a taqueria in the back with a variety of tacos and cocktails focused on Mexican spirits,” Zack explains. . Sobre Masa Tortilleria also sells groceries and Mexican products and will soon start serving Oaxacan coffee and homemade Mexican pastries in the morning.
The front room opens onto a glass-fronted kitchen, allowing visitors to get a close-up view of the factory that produces thousands of tortillas every day. The rear opens up to a 60-seat glass-roofed dining room and horseshoe-shaped bar, framed by live plants, Oaxacan art, and, of course, corn.
The masa used in Sobre Masa’s hand-made tortillas is made daily with a rotating selection of over a dozen ancestral varieties of corn from Mexico. Corn undergoes nixtamalization, a preparation method that increases nutrients, removes toxins, and makes it suitable for use in dough. The end product is not only delicious, it’s healthy.
Following: How to make your own masa at home
To fully appreciate the love poured into each Sobre Masa tortilla, the Wangemans offer Tortilleria diners a small menu of tacos and specialties that highlight the flavors of corn, with proteins like al pastor marinated pineapple vinegar. , short rib bistec and garlic cauliflower. Each order of tacos comes with an assortment of salsas.
“When someone visits our tortilleria and enjoys our tacos,” Zack explains, “they contribute to a community of producers and distributors to promote the culture and region of Mexico. “
The cocktail menu, designed by beverage director Gaston Graffigna (Bua, The Winslow), complements the spot’s general philosophy of bringing the flavors of Mexico to the United States. La Pasa is based on Uruapan rum infused with raisins with Granada Vallet bitters, Amontillado sherry and sweet vermouth; the corn-forward In the Clouds features fermented corn tejuino mixed with Paranubes rum, Nixta corn liquor and dehydrated lime; and the Pap Nitrogen acts like a mezcal martini, with ep Nitrogen infused vermouth, cardamaro, yellow chartreuse, olive bitters and a rotating garnish.
Sobre Masa Tortilleria is open without an appointment Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at 59 Harrison Place in Brooklyn.
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