For this edition of Bartender Spotlight, we set our focus on the East Bay at Tay Ho in Downtown Oakland. Tay Ho recently brought bartender Esteban Ballesteros (who also tends bar at Bull Valley Roadhouse) on board to help revamp their cocktail program. Tay Ho is definitely a hidden gem when it comes to great Vietnamese cuisine, along with superb cocktails, thanks to Esteban.
We sat down with Esteban and asked him a few questions about his current favorites and go-to's:
What is your favorite drink?
I would say the Old Fashioned is my all-time favorite. It’s a classic and when it’s well done, it’s so enjoyable.
Favorite bar snack?
I would say fries with ketchup or aioli. And if they are sweet potato fries, that would be even better. Also, the falafel at Starline Social Club.
I like Nick and Noras.
Favorite Bay Area bar?
Well I have a few favorites. And this is not in any particular order: Penrose is a really nice bar; very beautiful. I like Cafe Du Nord in the City. And Bull Valley Roadhouse, of course. I don’t know if that counts as the Bay Area. But it is the Bay Area, right?
Favorite bar tool?
My Seamless Plain Mixing Glass. So elegant and so easy to use. I really like these mixing glasses.