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Everything posted by salomonrobyn

  1. I just returned from my yearly visit to Mexico City. This time I ate at the following places: 1) Mero Toro, Amsterdam 204 (Condesa, at Chilpancingo) 5564-7799. New restaurant from the Contramar owners. I only tried the appetizers. All of them were quite good, but the "callo de hacha" seems to be their signature appetizers and it is superb. Nice, airy location. 2) El Hidalguense, Campeche 155 (Roma, near Mercado Medellín), 5564-0538. Great place to try lamb barbacoa, made the traditional way. They also had escamoles and gusanos de maguey. They open only Fri-Sun for comida. It is a fonda. 3) La Veracruzana. Medellin 198 (Roma, at Chiapas), 5574 0474. Another fonda, this one specializes in seafood. Very good giant shrimps al mojo de ajo. OK fish fillets. Open daily for comida. 4) Pablo el Erizo, Montes de Oca 6 (Condesa, at Tamaulipas) 5211-9696. Another seafood place. Excellent tuna sashimi, nice grilled octopus and also nice escolar fish (?) in mezcal and red pepper sauce. Pleasant sidewalk tables. 5) El Bajio, Alejandro Dumas 7 (Polanco) 5281-8245. A few years ago I went to the original (and then only one) location on Cuitlahuac and it was a great experience. Naturally, this was not the same, although the Mole Xico con Pato is still a great dish. 6) Zefiro, San Jeronimo 24 (Centro, near Isabel La Catolica Metro station) 5709-7983. This is the restaurant from the culinary school at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana. Very nice place, excellent service by the students. I had the special menu of the day with nice appetizer, very good soup and OK main dish. 7) Contramar, Durango 200 (Roma) 5514-3169. This time I skipped my favourite pescado a la talla. Instead I had crab tacos a la mexicana and esmedregal fish (is it jack fish?) tacos al pastor. Both were really good. I was there early to avoid the crowds, and the service was excellent.
  2. Thanks. This sounds very nice. I'll try to drop by this weekend. Although I have never been at that mall, it seems to be walking distance (about 1.2km, i.e. about 15min) from the "El Angel" on Reforma. Just follow Rio Tiber north for 7 blocks and turn right on Melchor Ocampo (Circuito Interior)
  3. Thanks for the comments. I will take the information with me and I hope I'll have a chance of trying some of these places.
  4. Next month I'll be back in Mexico City. In addition to returning to Azul y Oro and trying Paxia, this time I would like to try Spanish (particularly Vasque) restaurants and also some fish restaurants. Some obvious choices are Tezka for the former and Contramar for the latter. I have been several times to Contramar, so I would like to try something new. I'm considering the following: Alaia, Puerto Geraria, Bakea, Biko, D.O., Xaak, La Mar, Puntarena, Entremar, Pampano. Any comments about these or alternatives would be appreciated.
  5. Last Tuesday I phoned the Healthy Butcher at Queen W looking for calf's liver. The guy who answered the phone told me that yes, they had it fresh from that morning. It was 6:20pm, so I hurried to get there before 7pm when they close. I got there at 6:50pm and there was no sign of any liver. They looked in the back -- no liver. The woman at the counter apologized, but I got really pissed off, since I could have gone somewhere else and gotten home before the big rainstorm. Anyway, I much rather get good service than old-world charm.
  6. Fiesta Farms is on Christie, halfway between Dupont and Bloor, on the West side. The sweetbreads there are quite inexpensive; however check the date on the package -- they are only brought to the store once per week, often on Thursdays.
  7. I don't know about restaurants, but often I get sweetbreads at Fiesta Farms (@ Christie). They seem to get them in middle of the week.
  8. For a recent visit to Paris, we selected restaurants with the help of this forum. I was very impressed with the quantity and quality of the information available here. This is a great resource! We were going to Morocco via Paris, so on the way there we ate lunch at Fables de la Fontaine. We loved the place: friendly, casual, inventive -- top marks. On the way back from Morocco, we decided to try another Constance restaurant, since we were staying nearby (Hotel Valadon which was also an excellent suggestion from this forum). Violon d'Ingres was good, professional, but somehow didn't leave the same impression as Fables. For Sunday night we had a reservation at Pasco, which is also near the hotel, but a relative who lives in Paris insisted on taking us to his local hangout -- Au Pied de Cochon. I don't understand why it is so popular, particularly since it is not particularly cheap, and the food is not better than what I cook at home. We also bought cheese at Marie-Anne Cantin, and while the product is excellent, the costumer service is cold but efficient.
  9. That's too bad. It was on my list for next visit. Jorge Toledo, who writes about restaurants in El Economista, consistently included it in his end-of-year column listing the years best. Here is what he said last January about Taqueria Beatriz (my translation): The best traditional tacos in the city are in Beatriz -- for 100 years at the same location (since the taqueria first open in 1907). They are prepared with extraordinary fat, warm, hand made tortillas, filled with ground chicharron, mole, barbocoa, moronga, and several other fillings, served with watery guacamole and green salsa.
  10. Another possibility is Tezka (Amberes 78, 9149-3000).
  11. Which butchers carry provimi calf's liver on a regular basis?
  12. El Bajio (the restaurant from Carmen Titita Ramírez Degollado) just opened a new branch in Polanco: Alejandro Dumas 7, Tel: 5281-8245
  13. Another posibility is Oro (www.ororestaurant.com)
  14. The Cha Cha Cha owner is an American who is very helpful providing advice to tourists. Therefore, it is reasonable that the foreign tourists go there to eat, particularly since the food is also quite good.
  15. The directions given under Bistro Rojo are for Bistro Mosaico. Bistro Rojo (or Rojo Bistrot) is nearby in the corner of Amsterdam and Parras. Frutos Prohibidos is very close to Bistro Mosaico. The new location of El Bajio is not in Condesa, but in Narvarte. The actual address is: Centro Comercial Parque Delta, Av. Cuauhtemoc 462, Tel 5538-4733 & 5530-7518. It is located just south of the Viaducto. La Taberna del Leon is one of Monica Patiño restaurants. Another one, which I recently visited and enjoyed, is Bistro MP in Polanco (Andres Bello 10). The food is Mexican/Asian. Where exactly is Bella Lulá? El Tizoncito has several branches including: Tamaulipas & Campeche (Condesa), Campeche & Cholula (Condesa), Londres between Genova & Amberes (Zona Rosa) and Aguayo & Cuauhtemoc (1 block from the main square in Coyoacan)
  16. The oriental supermakets usually have chicken bones bags for $1. St Andrews Poultry (at Kensington Market) always has very fresh meaty chicken backs with necks attached for $0.59/lb
  17. If you are flying to Veracruz, then it is better to explore places within Veracruz State, and leave the visit to Puebla for another trip. Puebla is easy to get to from Mexico City. It is not easy to visit El Tajin as a day trip from Veracruz or Xalapa. By car it takes about 2:30hrs from each of these two places to get to Papantla. When we visited El Tajin we were there early at opening time on a weekday and it started to rain. We had the place to ourselves (we saw only another couple visiting the ruins) and it was magical. BTW, another special place you might want to visit is Cuetzalan to see the Sunday market (the people from the nearby villages concentrate there on Sunday). There are also hikes among coffee groves to see waterfalls and there are huge caves to explore (a guide with flashlight is available at the entrance). Cuetzalan is in the State of Puebla on the other side of the mountains from Papantla. It is possible to get there from Xalapa going West to Perote, then North to Teziutlan, then West to Zacapoaxtla, then North to Cuetzalan.
  18. Driving from Mexico City to Xalapa takes 3.5 hrs (300km), while DF to Veracruz is 4hrs (400km). Puebla is on the way (125km from Mexico City) and it is very much worth spending a day there enjoying the sights and superb food. Note that the Mexico City airport is in the East end of the city, so one doesn't have to cross the whole city to take the highway to Puebla. With a car you can also stop in Cacaxtla (near Puebla) and see the fascinating prehispanic murals. If you don't want to drive, you can take the bus to Puebla right from the airport (at least one departure per hour) and in Puebla you can rent a car. If you want to avoid Puebla, you can go anywhere in Veracruz State from the TAPO bus terminal (a few minutes from the airport). Or you can fly to Veracruz with Mexicana for about US$200 return. This is fabulous information, and I really appreciate it. I did a little research on Veracruz last weekend, and looked into going, but there weren't any frequent flyer seats available to Veracruz for our timeframe. So I'm tentatively holding tickets for Michoacan. I guess I could fly into Mexico City and drive to Veracruz as an option, since I'd want a car anyway, but that's a bit of a distance, right? I'll have to research a bit more. ←
  19. And in Coatepec there is Tio Yeyo, a fabulous restaurant that offers about 20 different ways of preparing trout. I'm going to get on my soapbox for one of the most untouristed areas for Americans-- the state of Veracruz. I think the cuisine is varied (mountains vs coast) and most of all DELICIOUS. Chocolate is not as big as it is in Oaxaca, but you have incredible seafood (Huachinango a la Veracruzana is the most famous dish), one great Mole-- Mole de Xico, interesting culture with lots of African influence, archeology in both North and South--Totonac and Olmec, wonderful music (danzon and son jarocho), interesting foodie trips for coffee (Coatepec and Huatusco) and vanilla (Papantla). Veracruz is probably the most Spanish of Mexican states and mestizo culture is very strong. Indigenous people are mostly seen in the northern part of the state near Papantla. One of the unique features of the cuisine is the influence of Africa and the Carribbean, especially in the Sotavento region. Many AfroMexicans live in the Sotavento and the areas around Tamiahua. I have eaten in Raquel Torres' restaurants in Xalapa and they were incredible. I have heard that you can set up cooking classes individually with her, but I believe they are only available in Spanish. Raquel is a noted authority on Veracruzan cuisine and the author of several cookbooks in Spanish. I have seen references to her in Diana Kennedy's and other author's works. The cities in Veracruz are smaller and more manageable, but it's harder to get around without a car and you would have to change hotels at least once. (Veracruz and another one in the Xalapa area) The markets, I must admit are not as spectacular as the Mercado de abastos in Oaxaca or La Merced in Mexico City, but Mercado Jauregui in Xalapa had half of the stands set up for spiritual help, and you can get a"cleansing" should you need a spiritual shot in the arm. Tianguises (farmers markets) are set up in neighborhoods as opposed to the having the shopping meccas of major permanent markets. Safety-- the political situation in Veracruz is very stable. It is one of the most prosperous states in Mexico and with normal precautions, you will be fine. The main problem I see is language. In my experience, Oaxaca was very tourist friendly and English is widely spoken--not so in Veracruz, but that also gives you a more authentic experience. My ideal itinerary for a first time visitor would be: "El Puerto" Veracruz City/Boca del Rio--For the seafood eating alone..great music too Some of the best places to eat are in Boca del Rio. Non- food eating activities include San Juan del Ulua, El Malecon, The Aquarium (best in Latin America) Also RUN do not walk to la Gran Cafe de la Parroquia for wonderful cafe con leche and breakfast. Tlacotalpan--Unesco world heritage site and sugar cane producing area--also regionally known for their confectionary. Agustin Lara's hometown too. Xalapa/Xico/Coatepec-- Stay in Coatepec spend time trying delicious local coffee, Mole in Xico and the amazing Museo de Antropologia--2nd best in Mexico in Xalapa. The waterfall in Xico is also really cool Raquel Torres' restaurants are also a must. Santa Ana's hacienda is very interesting as well and nicely restored. If you have more time than a week, I would recommend either Catemaco or Papantla. Due to distances, it's hard to do both (opposite ends of the state). Catemaco has the amazing lake, birdwatching and plenty of local color--it is the home of annual Witch festival. Papantla has vanilla and the knockout archeological site of El Tajin. On your way you can also stop in Panuco to eat the Giant Tamal that's around 6ft long. Anyway, consider Veracruz. Pick up a guidebook and see if it works for you. PM me if you have any questions. Caarina ←
  20. I was recently in Morelia and Patzcuaro. In Morelia I ate at Los Mirasoles, which was pretty good. I considerd trying San Miguelito, but it is not at walking distance from Downtown. In Patzcuaro, El Primer Piso was better than Doña Paca.
  21. An even simpler market possibility is to go on Tuesday morning to the Mercado Sobre Ruedas in Colonia Condesa. Mercados Sobre Ruedas are street markets which take place once a week in different parts of the city, where the locals buy their fruits and vegetables. The only one I have actually been is the one that takes place in Calle Pachuca between Av. Veracruz and Calle Juan de la Barrera. The selection is excellent and the vendors are friendly (ready to give you a piece to try). Afterwards you can go to Contramar for seafood (about 7 blocks away along Av Durango).
  22. Don Chon is open on Saturday (closes on Sunday). The problem with the area East of El Zocalo is that in many streets the street vendors take over the whole street so it becomes difficult for taxis to get there. However, two weeks ago I took a taxi to Mercado Sonora without any trouble (the traffic along Fray Servando is not affected by vendors). After Mercado Sonora I walked 2 blocks to get to La Merced, and from there Don Chon is 5 blocks away. The whole area is very busy, and it doesn't feel dangerous, at least during daytime. Of course, you also need to plan how to get back from there. I wonder if Don Chon will be able to call a taxi for you, but you can either walk to el Zocalo and get a taxi from one of the hotels there, or perhaps use the Metro (two convenient stations are La Merced and Pino Suarez). Remember that hailing a taxi from the street is not recommended.
  23. The Cardenal in the Sheraton is convenient if you are near Bellas Artes, Alameda, Franz Mayer house. The one in Palma is the original Don Chon is more an anthropological experience than a culinary one. La Merced and the sorrounding area can be very interesting to visit. Can you eat good chiles in nogada after the end of the pomegranate season? The bullet hole story refers to Cantina La Opera (in Av Cinco de Mayo), not to Cafe Tacuba. I'm surprised that Izote is not in the list under Polanco. Is there a branch of Fonda del Recuerdo in San Angel? The original is in Colonia Veronica Anzures, in a different part of town.
  24. I did go to Casa Merlos (behind the Escuela Preparatoria # 4, which is on Av. Observatorio) on a Friday afternoon (around 3:15pm). We had to wait about 15min for a table. It is a fairly simple, inexpensive restaurant. We had very tasty, very traditional poblano dishes (chalupas, mole with turkey, rajas). I will definetely go back in my next trip and try other dishes. Note that it is only open for lunch and closes Mon, Tue & Wed. We need to do more research; I have yet to discover a truly excellent Oaxacan, Poblano or Veracruzano place here...and these are 3 of the most elaborate cuisines... ← ←
  25. I have heard that Casa Merlos is an excellent place for Puebla dishes. I'll try to go there in my next trip and I'll report. We need to do more research; I have yet to discover a truly excellent Oaxacan, Poblano or Veracruzano place here...and these are 3 of the most elaborate cuisines... ←
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