As some of y’all may know, my much-anticipated trip to Le Mexique was interrupted by a very nasty thing that got a hold of me (not the H1N1, which my friend Marissa caught while there), and I had to return early to the States – but I did spend nearly a week on the ground, and underground, too, in the zippy Mexico City subway, eating and drinking all ’round the city to my tummy’s delight.
Oh, sweet taco heaven! Give me some chile-dusted chicharrones, some limes and an ice-cold Negra Modelo, and I’m a happy girl.
Like the Chilangos (slang for natives who live in Mexico City), we mostly grazed, Marissa and I, snacking up and down every street that we’d find. We’d stop for a Mexican Coke (made with cane sugar, not corn syrup), and wander around a bit, and look at stuff….
We saw all sorts of tlacoyos, stuffed with frijoles and queso…
Then we’d wish that we hadn’t eaten the pile of chilaquiles for breakfast, which, though yummy, filled us up way too much.
One morning, we got up early, hopped on the subway, and went to Churreria El Moro (Lazaro Cardenas 42), the city’s famous hot chocolate-and-churros place for breakfast. Light, cinnamony and still warm, these crispy Mexican donuts were oh-so-delicious and perfect dipping companions to the hot chocolate. Problem is, the churros run out before the chocolate does.
We snacked on flautas at a family-run stand in the San Juan food market that specializes in the cigar-like crispy fried snacks; ate fried quesadillas on the street (note common theme: fried), just around the corner from our hotel in the trendy Condesa neighborhood for dinner one night (at the recommendation of our cab driver), and went to Pujol (Francisco Petrarca 254 in Polanco), which is Mexican-meets-molecular cuisine – here, our chicharones came in a glass tube layered with guacamole that we sucked out, and the “quesadilla” was liquified, served in a tiny shot glass on the side.
My favorite place was El Bajio (Av. Cuitlahuac 2709) which Lisa Fain (aka Homesick Texan) told me about – simple, traditional Mexican cuisine with super-fresh salsas, including this dark, sweet-hot one (on the bottom), made with dried chipotles and cane sugar (I got the recipe from Carmen “Titita” Ramirez, the owher/chef, and I’ll be sharing it with y’all here later).
We ordered up Panuchos Yucatecos (black beans, cochinita pibil, onions and habaneros) for an appetizer, and margaritas, of course. See me eyeing the last one? Mine!
And had beer-tequila soaked pork tacos for dinner, which were really amazing (recipe to come for those, too).
There was lots more…we made nearly a dozen different stuffed chiles at the Centro Culinario Ambrosia one day, moles and tamales another, and cooked up of the country’s signature desserts. I’ll be sharing it all with you, right here, as soon as I can translate these recipes from Spanish to English. Or Spanish to French to English. Three fun made-in-Mexico videos are coming, too, so stay tuned.
Right now, I’m going to go drink another Dr Pepper, and pop a Cipro. See ya later, gator.