This month, in honor of Mother’s Day (and all females in general), you don’t want to miss the “Mujeres de Valor” art exhibit at Puerto Alegre, curated by Bird Levy. On May 8th, they’ll host an opening reception for the exhibit, which showcases the power of women in arts, business, and our community.
“We wanted to celebrate all women, and to hold out to all women that we are phenomenal,” said Amparo Vigil, one of Puerto Alegre’s owners. The family-owned restaurant in the Mission also recently just released their “YO” “Phenomenal Woman” — “YO” “Mujer Fenomenal” t-shirts which patrons can purchase in black. Proceeds from all the t-shirt sales also go toward the “Black Lives Matter” movement and “March for Our Lives.”
Family-owned restaurants that span decades are already far and few in between in the ever-changing landscape of the San Francisco restaurant scene. Restaurants that operate as partial art galleries are even more rare, but Puerto Alegre manages to successfully achieve both. It all started over ten years ago, for Carnaval San Francisco, when Amparo was inspired to bring Carnaval to the restaurant. She turned to a loyal customer and friend Daniel Chimowitz, who was also a photographer, and he filled the walls with beautiful and vibrant Carnaval images. Patrons and staff alike were enamoured, and the rest is history.
Since then, the restaurant has been featuring various themed exhibits including an annual Frida Art show and an annual Dia de Los Muertos show, all shows curated by very special people including Bird Levy, Calixto Robles, and Francisco Franco and other local artists. There are also Tuesday afternoon receptions from 3-5 PM that feature a panel with the artist to speak on their process, where patrons can enjoy complimentary taquitos, guacamole, black refried beans, and order up your favorite margarita at the bar.
“We’ll continue to build more shows.” Amparo said. They’re currently displaying their “Arte en Resistencia”-themed show, curated by Calixto Robles for the second year, displaying posters from the San Francisco Poster Syndicate.
Of course, Puerto Alegre is also an authentic restaurant that’s been serving delicious Mexican fare for decades now. Back in the day, their offerings consisted of your usual tacos, enchiladas, and the like. Today, it’s grown into so much more — patrons can enjoy from a wide selection and enjoy items like their housemade special mole poblano (red), mole potosino (green), or their very popular pozole verde. Amparo personally loves their tacos especiales and chicharrones rojos, “The special sauce made with chicharrones rojos is to live for,” she claims.
Of course, we can’t end without mentioning their famous margaritas — the restaurant has over 50 brands of top shelf tequila and features margaritas ranging from their popular “Especial,” made with Hornitos Reposado, or the “Plata,” made with Sauza Tres Generaciones.
So, make your way over to Puerto Alegre’s. Browse some amazing art, order up a plate, and take it all in while washing it down with a margarita (or two).