If you think the lunch specials at Cody’s Café (and bar) look similar to the Mesa Café, well, you’d be right. The two locations are owned by the same people. And much like the Mesa Café, the bar at Cody’s ? standing all by itself at the Turnpike shopping center ? has drinks that are strong and don’t mess around.
Six seats are at the bar itself, and three tables line the wall opposite; one regular told us he found it a year after going to Cody’s for the food, never knowing it existed. Like our other favorite “lost bars” around town, Cody’s is the place to go when you don’t want to be seen.
But there’s nothing shameful about their Jake’s Bloody Mary. Bartender Melissa Bojorquez has been here three years, working her way up from server to take over the bar and pour drinks. Recipes come from the old Mesa Café, including this drink, which is double the size of the usual Bloody Mary and is named after one of the bartenders there. The vodka base is a mix of Absolut Citrus and Absolut Peppar, along with the house Bloody Mary mix, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and on certain days, horseradish. Add a healthy rim of celery salt and a lot of black pepper and this is one spicy mother. We’re told it’s very popular Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings.
Daily specials are on the board, and the Absolut Mandarin Cosmo is one of them, a very simple mix of Absolut Mandarin, triple sec and cranberry juice. Yet, it was just different enough ? the flavor of mandarin taking the place of the usual limes ? to warrant a second (and third and fourth) check.
We ended with the Denisetini, named after another hardworking Mesa Café transplant. This is a mix of equal parts Pearl Pomegranate vodka and Pearl Blueberry vodka. That would leave a clear drink, but the Denisetini adds a selection of mini blueberries to the bottom of the martini glass to imbue the alcohol with a steady rising mist of purple. Topped with a sprig of mint, this is one beautiful drink.
But for us, the drink we wanted to sample more was the Absolut Mandarin Cosmo. Return to Cody’s and you just might find us huddled in the corner, sipping it, watching the world go by. Just don’t tell anybody!
ABSOLUT MANDARIN COSMO
4 1/2 ounces Absolut Mandarin
2 swirls of triple sec
splash of cranberry juice
Chill martini glass. Swirl triple sec around glass and toss. Add vodka and top with cranberry. Garnish with lemon twist.
4898 Hollister Ave.