Anafre

Mexican Seafood Eatery in D.C. Transforms into Pizzeria in Response to Pandemic

Chef Alfredo Solis said the seafood concept "just isn't as sustainable" in the pandemic era as the other concepts he operates, such as Mezcalero and El Sol.

Acclaimed Washington, D.C. Chef Alfredo Solis has temporarily converted Anafre, his Mexican seafood restaurant, into Anafre’s Pizza Pop-Up in response to the pandemic and customers’ changing dining preferences.

Instead of fare like fried Puerto Nuevo-style lobster and whole snapper with tomato broth, Anafre’s Pizza Pop-Up will mostly feature Mexican-inspired pizzas, which are more portable and pandemic-friendly. The menu will still include a few favorites from the original concept, such as the seafood nachos, and Solis indicated in a press release that the pizza focus will continue “for the duration of the pandemic.”

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Solis also owns the Mezcalero and El Sol restaurants, both of which offer Mexican street food.

“I love our concept at Anafre, and we had so much great momentum before the pandemic, but it just isn’t as sustainable as our other restaurant concepts,” Solis says. “In trying to see the brighter side of things, I’ve been wanting to spread my wings more and showcase some of the skills I’ve picked up along my chef journey. I’m proud to be a Mexican chef, but that doesn’t mean I can only make Mexican food.”

Menu items at Anafre’s Pizza Pop-Up include a Chile Relleno pizza made with blistered Poblano peppers, chihuahua cheese, Oaxaca cheese and chile de arbol sauce with a drizzle of sour cream, and the El Gallego, featuring octopus, chipotle aioli, fresh mozzarella, red onion, pickled jalapenos, avocado and cilantro. Slow-braised pork is the featured protein on the El Sol Chicharron, along with guajillo sauce, chihuahua cheese, cactus, onion and cilantro.

Signature cocktails will be offered as well, including the Autopista al Cielo, made with sotol, tequila or mezcal, ginger syrup, lime and pineapple.