Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bartender Andres, honored again in OnTap magazine

Last Month it was the Old Town Crier, this month Andres (Chucho) gets the nod from OnTap!
OnTap Click here
Want to get away to the Caribbean but can’t afford it? Head over to Mango Mike’s in Alexandria for a couple of hours and hang out with bartender Andres Lazo while he serves up a specialty margarita, pina colada or mimosa. As Andres will tell you, you just can’t go wrong at the Sunday brunch with island flare at Mango Mike’s.

On Tap: How did you get into bartending?
Andres Lazo: I started behind the bar shucking oysters and became a bartender from there.

OT: What’s the greatest part about working at Mango Mike’s?
AL: It’s a lot of fun working with the people here. I’ve been working with some of them for 25 years.

OT: What are the must-have items behind the bar?
AL: Bacardi Rum and a bottle opener.

OT: What’s the best thing about being the guy behind the bar?
AL: You girls are the best thing. I met my wife bartending 11 years ago.

OT: Do you have any advice for aspiring bartenders?
AL: Work hard and don’t be lazy.

OT: What’s the most popular drink for brunch?
AL: Mimosas.

OT: How many bottles of Champagne do you go through during brunch?
AL: Because we have an all-you-can-drink menu of mimosas, we go through three to four cases any Sunday.

OT: Do you have a signature drink?
AL: I don’t have a name for it but my customers love it. There are about eight different kinds of rum in it.

OT: It’s a hot summer day and you’re sitting on the patio outside. What’s the best drink to have?
AL: A frozen mango margarita. It’s our special margarita — it’s orange and really good. It’s one of those rare frozen drinks you have more than a few of.

OT: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from bartending?
AL: It’s like being a kindergarten teacher except they are older now. You have to have a lot of patience.

OT: If you could open a bar, where would you open it and what would you call it?
AL: I’d name it ChuCho’s [my nickname] and open it in Arlington.

OT: Have you had any celebrity encounters?
AL: Matthew McConaughey came in once at our old location to watch the Redskins game. He was really drunk and wore a bandanna.

OT: Did he have his shirt on?
AL: Yes.

OT: Do you have a favorite hangout?
AL: My house in Annandale. It’s great.

Catch Andres after 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Sundays during brunch at Mango Mike’s.

Mango Mike’s: 4580 Duke St., Alexandria, VA; 703-370-3800;


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