Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mexican Food

Food in Mexico City....unfortunately we can only eat so much in two days and the list of places we wanted to try was long. The night after we arrived we went to La Casa de Las Sirenas and ate on the third floor terrace with a magnificent view of the back of the Catedral Metropolitana. As the sky darkened the lights came on the towers and dome of the Catedral. It was a different view and the Catedral was silhouetted against a broad expanse of sky. Very beautiful. Ned had heard that he should try escamoles. So he ordered them. According to John Kessler's article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution there are a number of ways to prepare escamoles or ant larva. Ned liked it but thought it would make a better appetizer to share at the table than having it for a main course. I had a half of a Rock Cornish hen in a delicate mole sauce with a mango salsa. Add a bottle of wine and we had a lovely relaxing dinner. By the way, after dinner we walked through the Zocalo and back to our hotel and we felt quite safe. The next morning we had breakfast at Cafe Tacuba. I didn't want much so I ordered a biscuit and their famous cafe con leche. The presentation of the coffee is beautiful and the coffee was delicious. The biscuit was good but more like a shortbread than a Texas biscuit. Ned had the huevos de albanil in a green sauce and he said it was one of the best huevos de albanil he has had in a restaurant. While we were sitting there I noticed the tile work which reaches up about four feet on the wall. The tile was very beautiful with tile murals spaced along the edge. It looked so right, so familiar and then it dawned on me it looked like Uriarte tiles. I looked a little closer and sure enough the murals were signed....Uriarte. I've collected Uriarte pottery for maybe 20 years so I always love seeing it in unexpected places. After walking and touring museums until our feet were ready to drop off we decided to have comida at Los Girasoles. We sat at the outside tables and took forever reading the menu. Their recipes are old original recipes from cooks and chefs in Mexico City. We had eaten there once sometime ago and enjoyed going back. Ned had a sabana de res, steak pressed very thin, that was rolled around chicharrones and topped with caramelized onions and two sauces, one a tomatillo sauce and the other a bean sauce. I had medallions of beef on a bed of rice and dressed with a sauce of peanuts, chipoltes and cream. That evening we couldn't face another plate of food so we went to La Opera Bar and had a drink and people watched.

The next morning we tried a restaurant near our hotel and loved it only to find that it is a chain. Nevertheless, Potzollcalli served up an excellent breakfast. I had the eggs divorciados and Ned had the Mexicanos. Good service, lots of good coffee and it was delicious and beautifully plated. While we were eating another table ordered the Parrillia para dos which is served on a chafing dish. Chicken, beef, chirizo, onion and who knows what else was looked great and was definitely enough for two. There is always a next time. Before we left town we had one more chance to eat. This time we sat at an sidewalk cafe on Gante. While we people watched, Ned had soup and I had a baguette with chicken.

There are still places I've read about and we want to try from this New York Times article by Mark Bittman. But they will have to wait for the next trip to the big city.


Anonymous said...

Hi Billie - Great reports on the trip. How did you find the prices there for food, lodging etc.?

Thanks - John

Billie said...

John, the hotel was nice, not grande, but nice and it was about $50/nite in the middle of the historic center. The main course at the two nice restaurants were about 13 to 20 dollars. So for being in one of the major cities of the world, I think it was quite reasonable.