There are a few ways that you could describe the Drunken Worm. This hole-in-the-wall eatery looked to be barely there, from the street. Once we passed through the doorway, we discovered a cozy cantina filled with a variety of tequila and tacos. This Mexican cuisine destination sits at 1405 W. 39th Street and offers upwards of 70 tequila options. Sandwiched between an assortment of neighborhood nightclubs, funky restaurants, and unique boutiques, this place fights for the attention of passersby.
Inside Drunken Worm, it’s a little dark, much like we have found in cantinas in some of the Mexico border towns. After our eyes adjusted to this new light level, we were able to see the various decorations scattered around the space. A high ledge, above the main dining area, was filled with interesting memorabilia and advertisement pieces. At the end of the bar, we spotted a Catrina doll used to symbolize the Day of the Dead. Our hopes were high that we were about to experience some authentic dishes. At any rate, we knew we would be able to add this to our South of the Border options in Kansas City.
With COVID-19 in full progress, we had to wait to be seated. Our server offered up an overview of the appetizers, and we decided to start our evening with the Drunken Trio. This grouping includes fresh salsa, chunky guacamole, and some of their creamy Queso dip. A basket of fresh tortilla chips made the perfect vehicle to help guide the tasty trio to our mouths. One of the house margaritas would serve as a great compliment to this appetizer. While the hope had been for an authentic Mexican cuisine meal, we knew that the Queso had its origin in more of a Tex-Mex scenario. It has since made its way to all but the most authentic Mexican food menus.
Street Side Tacos
With a fresh margarita in front of me, I was looking to add some beef to my evening meal. When I spotted From The Street on the menu, it sounded like the perfect way to sample the food at Drunken Worm. This dish is comprised of four authentic street tacos made with soft corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, and choice of meat. I knew going in that the steak would be my pick and it would provide my mix of tequila and tacos. When they set the plate in front of me, I was already salivating. I believe that presentation is a big part of meal preparation, and they had it down pat. The true test came with the first bite, and I was not disappointed. The tacos had a nice flavor and they include a bowl of salsa verde to add a nice kick.
Crystal decided to go big or go home by ordering the Texas Tamales. The menu calls out a pair of tamales, so I bet she didn’t expect a big meal. What came out of the kitchen were two oversized tamales stuffed with seasoned pork. The delicious masa wraps are coated with enchilada sauce, pepper jack cheese, and queso fresco. As if that wasn’t enough to stuff her, the meal also includes sides of rice and beans. Let’s just say that she had more than she could finish, but the flavor was so well done that she gave it a good try.
Tequila and Tacos
Searching out these little “hidden gems” can be difficult at times, but it’s a labor of love. It gives us a chance to sample more of the unlimited variety that can be found around the Kansas City metro. An evening of tequila and tacos is the perfect way to spend date night and put us in the mood for some strolling along 39th Street. This eclectic neighborhood has some interesting stops and the potential to really take off in the future. What are your favorite restaurants in this area?
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