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Mexico City Dining


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I'd say, go to Don Chon by all means. I loved it. For the food (although admittedly in large part because the food was so "interesting"). (And I thought the ant eggs were just delicious. So there!) I walked there, alone, with no qualms -- but then, I'm a male who lives in Brooklyn, so maybe I'm less bothered by possibly questionable street scenes.

For the little it's worth I FAR FAR FAR preferred Aguila y Sol to Izote.

As for Tezka, if you're not planning to go to Spain, I for one wouldn't miss it. (If you are planning to go to Spain, then go to Arzak and free up this dining slot.) I think that was one of the best meals I had in 2005. As far as dress code goes, I guess I always wear a sport coat everywhere when I'm in a city -- but I can still look pretty scruffy, and I was treated like gold there.

Edited by Sneakeater (log)
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Wow, thanks everyone for the help so far.

I arrive in Mexico City on the 3rd after the Day of the Dead celebrations.

I was wrong on Fonda del Recuerdo being in San Angel - I really meant to add Paxia.

Ruth thanks for the link for addresses and hours.

Sneakeater - your previous post was one I read previously, thanks for all the detailed information.

Historic area - I am planning to be in that area on Saturday & go to Don Chon. But based on Ruth's information it looks like it is closed. The link provided showed for Don Chon Lun. a Sab. de 12:00 a 19:00 hrs which I thought was Monday thru Saturday. What about the Ciscero-Centeraio?

Are taxi's bad on Saturday in that area?

El Tajin was on my list at one time - not sure why I took it off?

Tezka - I was considering dining at on the way to the hotel from the airport. Since it is in a hotel I thought I could have the bell hops watch the luggage - do you think this would work? Any others in a hotel? Spain is probably a few years out for me.

Izote - seems to have those that loved it and those that were disappointed in about a 50/50 mix so I dropped it from the list.

Merced - looked pretty interesting from pictures. So reading said this was a dangerous area.? I don't get spooked to easily but dont want to take any serious risks.

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If you like food markets, el Merced is a must. I did not feel uncomfortable there during the middle of a Saturday. I was with a group, but we were split up all over the place. As with anyplace, one needs to use common sense and be aware of on'e surroundings.

I only ate at a few of the places you mentioned (or didn't). One place that I would strongly recommend and it is on your list, is Pujol. There is some very exciting and delicious cooking going on there.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Another place to consider would be Ricardo Munoz Zurita's Oro y Azul on the UNAM Campus.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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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.

Wow, thanks everyone for the help so far.

I arrive in Mexico City on the 3rd after the Day of the Dead celebrations.

I was wrong on Fonda del Recuerdo being in San Angel - I really meant to add Paxia.

Ruth thanks for the link for addresses and hours.

Sneakeater - your previous post was one I read previously, thanks for all the detailed information.

Historic area -  I am planning to be in that area on Saturday & go to Don Chon.  But based on Ruth's information it looks like it is closed.  The link provided showed for Don Chon Lun. a Sab. de 12:00 a 19:00 hrs which I thought was Monday thru Saturday.  What about the Ciscero-Centeraio?

Are taxi's bad on Saturday in that area? 

El Tajin was on my list at one time - not sure why I took it off?

Tezka - I was considering dining at on the way to the hotel from the airport.  Since it is in a hotel I thought I could have the bell hops watch the luggage - do you think this would work?  Any others in a hotel?  Spain is probably a few years out for me.

Izote - seems to have those that loved it and those that were disappointed in about a 50/50 mix so I dropped it from the list.

Merced - looked pretty interesting from pictures.  So reading said this was a dangerous area.?  I don't get spooked to easily but dont want to take any serious risks.

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Robyn, I love the craziness of the Merced, sights, smells, and trash all over but that being said -- it is not for tourists on their own. I wouldn't take a bag, camera or ANYTHING that would single me out as a non- native. If you want a market experience that is shockingly colorful and has everything the Merced has but is more manageable -- the San Juan Market on Calle Pugibet (closest corner Ave Luis Moya) closest Metro stop is Balderas (where you can stop into the Cuidadela crafts market ) and then walk east on the major avenue which is Chapultepec/Dr. Rio de la Loza (it changes names in this spot), look for the building high "Torre de Telephonos de Mexico", and turn left on Calle Luis Moya until Calle Pugibet where you would turn right and the market entrance is half way down the street. The vendors are friendly, don't mind pictures (recent book by anthropologist Jose Iturriaga) and will give you tastes of almost everything.

I love my city, but La merced on a Saturday is for the locals pushing,shoving and bargaining and remember NO pictures.

Definitely go to Pujol Chef Enrique Olvera is a must, but so is Martha Chapas Aguila y Sol and you still might make it for the all black Day of the Dead menu, if you are in Coyoacan go to El Tajin, the altares will not be all removed, you'll still catch some and if you want send me a message -- I live here and I want everyone to visit and ENJOY.

My site is still under construction but go to www.mexicosoulandessence.com and take a look.

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I'll throw my vote in for El Tajín, a definite not-to-be-missed restaurant.

And I'll throw in a whole-hearted two thumbs up for Izote. GO!

Azul y Oro, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita's restaurant at UNAM, is also on the do-not-miss list.

And there's a terrific Oaxacan restaurant near Barranca del Muerto--La Bella Lulá. I don't have the address--maybe Ruth has it.

So many places to eat...wish I were back in the DF right now.

On the other hand, I'm leaving in 15 minutes to join a friend for birria, the best in the Guadalajara area. Maybe the best ever.

What's new at Mexico Cooks!?

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I really meant to add Paxia.

Paxia (Av. de la Paz 47) 5550 8355 is a very good choice; I have been several times. Try the Sopes de Cochinita and the Pozole de Mariscos. But don't be tempted by the silly flavored margaritas, they're too sweet, like something I'm sure you can get at home!

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I would add to this list:

La Taberna del León

Altamirano 46 (in the Plaza Loreto, an old paper factory made into a shopping center, near San Angel)

tel.5916-2110

It is a lovely old-house setting with excellent Mexi-Euro dishes that use locally grown ingredients a la Slow food.

Puro Corazón

Monte de Piedad 11

Up on the roof overlooking the Zocalo, amazing view, very good traditional dishes. Only for comida.

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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).

Robyn, I love the craziness of the Merced, sights, smells, and trash all over but that being said -- it is not for tourists on their own. I wouldn't take a bag, camera or ANYTHING that would single me out as a non- native. If you want a market experience that is shockingly colorful and has  everything the Merced has but is more manageable -- the San Juan Market on Calle Pugibet (closest corner Ave Luis Moya) closest Metro stop is Balderas (where you can stop into the Cuidadela crafts market )  and then walk east on  the major avenue which is Chapultepec/Dr. Rio de la Loza (it changes names in this spot), look for the building high "Torre de Telephonos de Mexico", and turn left on Calle Luis Moya until Calle Pugibet where you would turn right and the market entrance is half way down the street. The vendors are friendly, don't mind pictures (recent book by anthropologist Jose Iturriaga) and will give you tastes of almost everything.

I love my city, but La merced on a Saturday is for the locals pushing,shoving and bargaining and remember NO pictures.

Definitely go to Pujol Chef Enrique Olvera is a must, but so is Martha Chapas Aguila y Sol and you still might make it for the all black Day of the Dead menu, if you are in Coyoacan go to El Tajin, the altares will not be all removed, you'll still catch some and if you want send me a message -- I live here and I want everyone to visit and ENJOY.

My site is still under construction but go to www.mexicosoulandessence.com and take a look.

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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).

We refer to these as "Tianguis" not "mercado sobre ruedas". (the latter may be an official name but if you asked for it people would look at you like you were crazy!)They are European style street markets which take place one day a week throughout the city. The Condesa one, is, I agree, one of the best, and there are several good stands at which to eat: the flautas, the carnitas and the seafood stand near the fish vendor are worth the trip.

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It has been a couple of years since I have been there but Danubios was amazing. the best octopus in its own ink I have ever had.

[/quote

Danubio

Uruguay No3 . Col. Centro. Centro Histórico. Mexico DF. 55120912 y 55210976

is an old standard, and in my opinon is a mixed bag, as institutions go, but the Camarones al Ajillo is great!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

My trip is nearing. I'm very excited. Thanks for all the advice here and on other threads. I have a question about reservations. How far in advance to I need to reserve for some of the better known restuarants? IE: Aguila y Sol, Tezka, Pujol?

Thanks.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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In making my list to print out (in case I can't get online for some reason in DF), I gathered everyone's comments about the restaurants I'm interested in for my upcoming trip. I thought it might be helpful for all of you.

This list doesn't include every single restaurant discussed on these boards, just the ones I thought I might try. I'm mostly planning on staying away from French, Japanese and Italian when I go to

DF because it's so good here in NYC and I want to eat Mexican food while I"m there.

Because who is making the comments can make a difference, I've included the user names of people after their comments.

Here you go:

Aguila y Sol.

Molière 42 and Masaryk Col. Polanco Res. Tel. 5281 8354

“Aguila y Sol was in some ways a corrective to Izote. I liked it very much.

It may seem shallow to begin with this, but the first striking difference was in their respective physical plants. Izote looks like a storefront restaurant in a strip mall (which is what it is, although being on Av. Presidente Mazaryk in Polanca it's a very ritzy strip mall). Aguila y Sol looks like a place to dine, with a nice multi-leveled interior, a beautiful bar, and at least two attractive dining rooms. Maybe we shouldn't care about such things, but some of us do.

But the real difference is in the food concept. Izote's menu is essentially a bunch of gussied-up versions of regional specialties, along with a few trendy international-style dishes (such as theabroma's Tina Turner foie gras appetizer). What Aguila y Sol appears to be attempting to do, in contrast, is to take characteristic Mexican ingredients and see what can be done with them. To use foreign cooking methods on local ingredients. And to subject foreign ingredients to local cooking methods. The goal seemed to be to expand Mexican cuisine by creating good and interesting new dishes, rather than by tarting up old ones.

Well, there was another, probably more important difference. The level of excution at Aguila y Sol seemed miles ahead to me of the level of execution at Izote. I get the feeling from reading here that Izote is inconsistent. The night I was there, the food seemed indifferently attended to, almost like chain food. At Aguila y Sol, each dish seemed to be cooked and assembled with great care.

My appetizer was a vegetable tart featuring an unfamilar green vegetable whose name began with "h", with a chile sauce and a lot of gunky cheese (parmesan with some goat for that all-important gunk factor). (I love gunky cheese, and any cuisine that will give it to me.) Here, the primary interest was in the unfamiliar green vegetable -- but the point is how well it was set off.

My main was a fillet of beef. What's good about fillet of beef, of course, is that when properly prepared it's meltingly tender and has great mouth feel. And what's bad about it, of course, is that it doesn't have a whole heck of lot of flavor. No problem here. They topped the fillet (excellently prepared, as I'd come to expect by that point) with not one but two sauces: a chile sauce in which it apparently was cooked, and a cheese sauce ladelled on at the table. There was a real depth of flavor here. And on the side, more gunky cheese! This time a sort of gratin, although of what I can't tell you.

(I should note here that there were a lot of ingredients and things I'm leaving out, both because I've forgotten about them in the weeks since this meal and because I don't have enough Spanish, or sufficient familiarity with Mexican cooking, to have known what they were in the first place.)

I found desserts throughout Mexico City to be pretty unmemorable, so I was surprised here both at how hard it was to choose from the dessert menu at Aguila y Sol, and at how good my choice turned out to be. It was a mamey creme brulee accompanied by a carnation petal jelly (sometimes I was shocked at how far my halting Spanish took me). A total success.” sneakeater

Azul y Oro

on the UNAM Campus.

Another place to consider. docsconz

The food is sublime. I dined there in mid-December; the meal included espagueti negro, a perfectly al dente spaghetti with black huitlacoche sauce so delicious, rich, and buttery that it was difficult not to lick the plate. My main course was ravioles de pato (the raviolis looked like four-sided crisply fried wontons, stuffed with tender duck meat) served with a complexly flavored mole, sautéed rounds of calabacitas and fresh red raspberries. The mole was poured by the waiter from a little silver pitcher: you tell me how much you want, señora. Then he left the pot on the table and of course I ended up adding more, and then more. The mole was so rich and complex and picante, the duck was so ducky, the raspberries...

Dessert was a hollowed pear poached in red wine, stuffed with turrón (nougat) and served bathed in a slightly sweetened red wine reduction. A drizzle of chocolate and a tiny ball of vanilla ice cream completed the dessert plate.

The place is usually filled up with business and academic types for comida and stays open until nine in the evening.

Don't miss it. It's worth the trip to the UNAM. esperanza

Bistro Mosaico

Michoacán 10, Condesa. good french bistro. nickarte

Bistro Rojo

Av. Amsterdam 70, Colonia Condesa always excellent for French bistro food, nickarte

(Michoacan between Insurgantes y Amsterdam, next door to Specia). We had an excellent meal. It is a very busy place and they don't take reservations, but the surroundings are very pleasant and there are good places to spend the waiting time: salomonrobyn

Cafe El Popular

at Avenida 5 de Mayo #52, tel. 5518-6081. They are open 24 hours and the food is good and inexpensive. There is always a wait during "comida" hours, usually 2-4 PM. Breakfasts are hearty, well prepared and a great way to start the tour of the Centro Historic for me. Ruth

Cafe de Tacuba,

Tacuba 28, Centro Historico-pretty, old traditional place- food is OK, but great old ambiance. nickarte

Cafe La Blanca

on Cinco de Mayo and Isabel La Catolica in the Centro. They serve strong coffee, just the way I like it. My partner has more adventurous morning taste buds and goes for lengua ala Veracruzana. Breakfast of champins! shelora

Casa Lamm

for breakfast - a swish location in the Colonia Reforma, with floor to ceiling windows were you can enjoy a bottomless cup of coffee (a Veracruz/Chiapas blend), exquisite pastries while watching the morning sunlight peak through the trees.

For breakfast - fresh mandarina juice followed by grilled tender nopal alternated with grilled panela cheese sitting pretty in a pleasantly picante green salsa. shelora

Condesa DF hotel

on Ave. Veracruz for a great view and relaxed snacking on the roof top terrace. Ruth

Contramar

Durango 200 tel. 5514-9217 (near Plaza Madrid- colonia Roma/Condesa)

Fabulous Mex/California seafood, informal, but you need a reservation, only for Comida (open 1-6 everyday) nickarte

This hot spot on the cusp of Roma and La Condessa is reported to be everyone's favorite Mexico City seafood restaurant. It certainly was absolutely packed at lunch. Although it looks like a stupid trendoid watering hole, the food is actually quite good, in a middle-brow sort of way.

Appetizer: scrambled eggs with tuna cured to resemble bacon in taste and texture. While it could have been merely clever, it actually tasted good.

Main: shrimp in a tequila tomato sauce. No clever conceptualizing here. Just a delicious sauce on some OK shrimp. (Had the shrimp themselves been of better quality -- similar to the ones I had on the coast during the non-DF part of this trip -- my approval rating of this dish would have gone through the ceiling.) sneakeater

Coox Hanal

Isabel la Catolica 83, 2nd floor, near c/Mesones, (Centro Historico)

Incredible Yucatecan food- only for lunch. Try: Sopa de Lima, Panuchos, Pan de Cazon, horchata to drink. Very cheap! nickarte

Danubio

Uruguay no.3 (near eje Cenral Centro Historico)

5512-0912, 5518-1205

Great seafood, old-time place in centro. Try the “camarones al ajillo”! nickarte

El Bajio,

in condesa: just opened after 35 years a second spot, in Parque Delta on Ave. Cuahetemoc Ruth in Condechi

El Candelero,

For a truly wild experience, try El Candelero, 1333 Insurgentes Sur. The food is actually quite good. But it is rather overwhelmed by the 15 foot fountain full of gardenias, the cave of the mulattos, the bamboo grove, the 12 foot tufted seat in the blacl-painted ladies's room, the crowns I am told hover over the johns in the men's room. It's what I have always imagined the House of the Rising Sun might have looked like if the proprietor had the money that the owners of this establishment obviouslyhave crossed with the interior decoration of someone who wanted to break every politically correct taboo they could think of. caroline

El Cardenal,

Also housed in the new Sherton Centro Historico, this restaurant is hands down the best. Superb service, excellent food, interesting wine list.

El Cardenal is renowned for their authentic dishes with seasonal specialties such as flor de maguey, with escamoles and gusanos readily available all year round.

We started with the fresh green salsa with tomatillos, cilantro and chile serano. It was brought to the table in a molcajete garnished with avacado slices and cheese. We enjoyed this while the maitre'd made Ceasar's tableside. We chose a bottle of Santo Tomas Tempranillo (2003) for our plato fuertes of filete de res with an usual mole of xoconostle and chile guajillo. Earthy and perfect.

My partner had the pechuga de pollo rolled and stuffed with huazontle, served with a salsa verde.

We finished with the sweetest espresso I've had in a long time - a perfectly pulled shot.

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect meal on our last day in D.F. This meal was preceded by a boat ride in Xoxomilco, something we have wanted to do since our first trip to Mexico, 12 years ago. It didn't disappoint. shelora

El Moro

Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas, near calle Republica de Uruguay. Old tradicional place for Mexican Chocolate and churros 24 hours a day, down tour blocks from the Torre Latinoamericana. nickarte

churreria el moro, one of the last chocolate and churro shops left in the DF. It's on Lazaro Cardenas, east side, just a block or so south of its intersection with Calle Uruguay. 24/7 French, Spanish, and Mexican style chocolate, and freshly made churros, cooked in an enormous vat covered with glazed blue tiles and set in the window. There is also a chocolateria in the Condesa, not to far from Flor de Lis, but at the mo' I cannot recall the name. El Moro is an institution, and being just around the corner from Panaderia La Ideal, (on Uruguay, where they have panes dulces shaped like caiman) its all a big nosh and a lot of fun. theabroma

I had churros and chocolate at El Morro last month. Perhaps it was an off day because while the chocolate was wonderfully delicious the churros were, most decidedly, not wonderfully delicious. They were, unfortunately, rather leaden and tasted of old grease. We were, however, awfully amused by the abundance of security cameras on premises. kalypso

El Raco

on Ave. Sonora (across from Parque Mexico), catalan style, for their salt baked huachinango Ruth

El Tajin

Teléfono: 56 59 57 59 / 56 59 44 47

Dirección: Miguel Ángel de Quevedo, Num. 687

Colonia:Cuadrante de San Francisco

Referencia: dentro del Centro Cultural Veracruzano

Horario: Lun. a Dom. de 13:00 a 18:00 hrs.

where the owner Alicia De'Angeli has been wowing them for years. The grand dame of the cities culinary scene does Veracruzan style exquisitely. Ruth

El Tajín in Coyoacán. The owner/chef, Alicia Gironella d'Angelis, is one of the deservedly best known Mexican food experts in the world. If the chicken with hoja santa is on the menu, oh my god--do not miss it. That chicken is the reason I recently planted an hoja santa plant. Plant is almost big enough to start using the leaves and I will strive to replicate the recipe. esperanza esperanza

Flor de Lis

in the Condesa for tamales. That is THE tamaleria that's not in a market or a cart on the street in Mexico. I have cookbooks, including the Maiz volume from CONACULTA's Recetario Indigena series that has a recipe for Chiles Rellenos 'Flor de Lis' wherein you roast and peel the ole poblano, and whip yourself up some batter and heat up the oil, and then you stuff that sucker with a tamal from Flor de Lis. theabroma

Fonda del Refugio

Liverpool 166 tel. 5525-5352 (Zona Rosa)

The old tourist standard, still good though. nickarte

The place was practically empty for comida on new years eve day, we still enjoyed the same exquisite food coming out of the talented kitchen with many sangritas and cazadores. shelora

Fonda Don Chon

Fonda Don Chon is just fabulous. Period. And escamoles sauteed and served with a special guacamole are one of my all time favorites. It's just that I've never been sufficiently tequilazo-ed when they've had jumiles or beetles to finally succumb.

Chon. I think I can state categorically that I will never visit Mexico City without eating at this well-known restaurant. An unprepossessing place in an unprepossessing neighborhood, it specializes in pre-Hispanic cuisine. It's one of those places where the whole menu is so interesting that you find it hard to choose. And everything I had was a winner.

Having already had fried grasshoppers and maguey worms in my life, I opted to start with the red ant eggs (escamoles). They were sauteed in butter with mushrooms and served with a green sauce and a bunch of tortillas in which to roll them. Fooled by a false analogy to fish eggs, I expected them to be salty. They weren't. If anything, the main flavor was the butter they were sauteed in, with a slight overtone that I can't describe because it wasn't like anything else I've had. The texture was soft but not gummy or mushy. Like any dish that tastes mainly of butter, it was absolutely delicious.

For my main course, I chose the venison in green pipian, mainly because I'd never had mexican venison before (a lack to be corrected in spades before this trip was over) and because I find it hard not to order venison during its season no matter where I am. This dish was very good, but mainly because of the tangy, ever-so-slightly-sour pipian that covered it. As for the venison itself, well, that's the problem with inexpensive restaurants like this one: the meat usually isn't very good. (I've often thought that if that if some investor would go in and make it possible for that Pueblan/Oaxacan restaurant on 10th Ave. near 46th St. in Manhattan -- the one whose name is "[Word beginning with a 'T'] del Valle" -- to serve quality meats to go with their fabulous moles, it would be one of the best restaurants in Manhattan, instead of just being one of the best values.) Of course, I suppose it's possible that these are poverty cuisines that developed all these great sauces to compensate for the low quality of the available meat.

Anyway, I can't wait to return to Chon. sneakeater

Chon is more an anthropological experience than a culinary one. La Merced and the sorrounding area can be very interesting to visit.

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. salomonrobyn

Fonda San Angel

on the Plaza Jacinto ( Saturday artesanias market) ruth

Frutos Prohibidos

Amsterdam 244 for help with the hang over in the form of great fresh juice combinations Ruth

Hacienda los Morales

is a grande dame, but one whose tiara sparkles and who still enchants with her coquetry. It is not trendy, it is not wierd. It is true alta cocina Mexicana, at its best, and it is consistent. It is not a place to see and be seen, and it is not for the ADD palate: it is not a place for sport diners.

The shredded venison w/naranja agria and achiote is called dzik, and it is a very traditional Yucatecan dish ... made with the indigenous tiny deer of the region (now an endangered species, so good ole white tail is usually substituted. I remember it being one of the good things I had at Izote. It was the chewy, vulcanized tamales and the foie gras with a topping of shredded ancho chile in a sweet sour sauce that really put me into orbit: the topping was like one of Tina Turner's old Pvt Dancer wigs, sweetened, and cooked to a fare-thee-well. theabroma

Izote

in a walk. Do a search, there's a thread somewhere here with a writeup I did about year ago. Late October 2004. esperanza

meal was very good but not spectacular, tho' the chile relleno on the app. menu came close. Very crowded but very good service. Crowd was primarily English speaking ex-pats. Got to meet Patricia Quintana who was quite gracious. kalypso

La Taberna del León

Altamirano 46 (in the Plaza Loreto, an old paper factory made into a shopping center, near San Angel)

tel.5916-2110

It is a lovely old-house setting with excellent Mexi-Euro dishes that use locally grown ingredients a la Slow food. nickarte

Mercado de Comidas,

Coyoacán

A few blocks from central plaza in Coyoacán; there is an outdoor seafood restaurant that is fabulous (look for the long,long tables) but we go for the INCREDIBLE tostada stand inside in the middle- has to be seen to believed-heaping platters of filling- even our friends from Paris were amazed. nickarte

La Bella Lulá

a terrific Oaxacan restaurant near Barranca del Muerto. esperanza

Paxia

(Av. de la Paz 47) 5550 8355 is a very good choice; I have been several times. Try the Sopes de Cochinita and the Pozole de Mariscos. But don't be tempted by the silly flavored margaritas, they're too sweet, like something I'm sure you can get at home! nickarte

Puro Corazón

Monte de Piedad 11

Up on the roof overlooking the Zocalo, amazing view, very good traditional dishes. Only for comida.

Restaurante Los Danzantes

Plaza Jardín Centenario No. 12, Col. Villa Coyoacán

right on the plaza is great for people watching and for sampling 140 of the finest mezcals Mexico has to offer. The food can be super or just so-so, and I wouldn't take the risk if this were my only meal in this area. I would go instead to El Tajin. Ruth

Tezka.

Amberes 78, Hotel Royal Zona Rosa

Tel. 5228 9918

Tezka is, as far as I know, the only restaurant operated by Juan Mari Arzak beside his legendary place in San Sebastian, Spain. My understanding, however, is that Arzak doesn't serve even as executive chef at Tezka, but rather leaves the kitchen in the hands of a young Basque protege whose name I don't know.

So your first question is going to be, is eating at Tezka a mind-boggling experience the way eating at Arzak is? The answer to that is, no.

That will lead to your second question, does eating at Tezka approximate the mind-boggling experience of eating at Arzak? The answer to that is, no.

Which will lead to your third question, is Tezka an excellent restaurant that one would be eager to revisit? The answer to that is a resounding, yes.

Arzak beats Tezka in audacity. Tezka features all sorts of unanticipated combinations of ingredients and technique, whereas Arzak is sort of unanticipated with a bullet. And the food at Tezka is excellent to Arzak's amazing.

But here's what they have in common: unlike at (say) WD-50 in New York, the food doesn't seem experimental. Once you start eating, you stop thinking about how new and unique everything is and think only about good and satisfying it is. You don't get the feeling you're on some new frontier of cuisine; it's more like you're eating things that could be classics except that no one happened to think of them before.

I have to make a confession now: I can't really remember a single thing I ate at Tezka. I'd like to joke and say that my mind just stopped operating after 10 days of vacation, but what I really think it is, is that everything was so unexpected and different that I have no mental referents (no dishes in my memory files to compare them to), so I have no cues for remembering them. Fish appetizer, venison main, what was dessert again? It was all superlative. (I do have to say that the venison, just as a piece of meat, was about the best I've had in years. How do they make venison moist and nearly fork tender, I wonder? Without in any compromising the flavor, either.)

Is it some kind of shame that the best food I had in Mexico City wasn't Mexican? No, as I said above, Mexico City is a big cosmopolitan city. Why should the best food there be Mexican? Chances are that the best food you'd eat on vacation in New York wouldn't be American. (It's tough to get a table at Per Se.)

The chef's name is Bruno Oteiza

I understand that Arzak visits at least quarterly ... can we find out when????!!!!! And the name, Tezka, comes from the name of the Dark Lord of the indigenous pantheon, Tezcatlipoca, Lord of the Smoiking Mirror.

They truncated it to Texca, and then replaced the Nahuatl 'x' with a more typical-looking z from Basque orthography.

I really admire your review: I have not yet eaten at Arzak, but I understand the comparison, and it is so wonderful to see a wonderful restaurant - in this case Tezka - not be shunted to the side simply because it is not like Arzak. sneakeater

The chef's name is Bruno Oteiza

I understand that Arzak visits at least quarterly ... can we find out when????!!!!! And the name, Tezka, comes from the name of the Dark Lord of the indigenous pantheon, Tezcatlipoca, Lord of the Smoiking Mirror.

They truncated it to Texca, and then replaced the Nahuatl 'x' with a more typical-looking z from Basque orthography.

I really admire your review: I have not yet eaten at Arzak, but I understand the comparison, and it is so wonderful to see a wonderful restaurant - in this case Tezka - not be shunted to the side simply because it is not like Arzak.

Due to an unexpected alignment of stars in October, I had dinner w/friends in Yountville. A member of the party is a purveyor to the restaurant, and the chef was in that night, and took charge of our tasting menu. It went on in a blissful, yet unrelenting way. I can certainly relate to the help that a mental/sensory frame of reference can provide: I wat batting about 50 percent on that one. I was in heaven, but utterly exhausted by that meal. It took literally a couple of days to get back to balance. I cannot, nor do I understand how anyone can eat like that with anything approaching frequency.

Thank the gods for Arzak, and thank them again, and equally, for Tezka. And thanks moreover for that thoughtful review. Theabroma

Ticoncito

in the condesa for tacos al pastor Ruth in Condechi

Edited by Liz Johnson (log)

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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El Moro

Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas, near calle Republica de Uruguay. Old tradicional place for Mexican Chocolate and churros 24 hours a day, down tour blocks from the Torre Latinoamericana. nickarte

churreria el moro, one of the last chocolate and churro shops left in the DF. It's on Lazaro Cardenas, east side, just a block or so south of its intersection with Calle Uruguay. 24/7 French, Spanish, and Mexican style chocolate, and freshly made churros, cooked in an enormous vat covered with glazed blue tiles and set in the window. There is also a chocolateria in the Condesa, not to far from Flor de Lis, but at the mo' I cannot recall the name. El Moro is an institution, and being just around the corner from Panaderia La Ideal, (on Uruguay, where they have panes dulces shaped like caiman) its all a big nosh and a lot of fun. theabroma

I had churros and chocolate at El Morro last month. Perhaps it was an off day because while the chocolate was wonderfully delicious the churros were, most decidedly, not wonderfully delicious. They were, unfortunately, rather leaden and tasted of old grease. We were, however, awfully amused by the abundance of security cameras on premises. kalypso

Last time I was in the DF, made a point to go to El Moro. After having had chocolate and churros in Spain, I was really looking forward to the chocolate and churros in the DF because I assumed they'd be the same. At first, I was disappointed at El Moro because the chocolate, though delicious, was not the thick gooey delight that one gets in Spain.

So I studied the menu more closely and discovered that they had chocolate "Spanish style."

Of course, had to order it to see if that was what I was looking for.

And it was. So I'd recommend it to anyone that is looking for curros & chocolate a la Espana.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Breakfasts in el DF.

Some of my favorite memories of dining in the DF are breakfasts. I really, really loved El Cardenal (the original one), another place where one should order the hot chocolate to make the morning meal perfect.

And Liz, I'd suggest that just for tradition's sake, you also have a breakfast at the Sanborn's (the one with all the tile outside) in El Centro. I love the atmosphere of that place.

Rancho and I, along with a few others, had a magical trip to the DF and Taxco a while back. Admittedly, my dining companions probably added to the ambience, but I'd still recommend that you stop in there for breakfast one of your mornings.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Here's a link to some restaurant write-ups by StarChefs.com.

So far my fancy dining reservations are at Pujol, Aguila y Sol and Tezka.

Izote seemed too uneven. Do you all agree it's OK to miss?

What's great about Azul y Oro? Should I add that for a comida?

The long list above has a lot of the restaurants I'm interested in, should I be close by, but here's a few that are on the top of the list:

Contramar

El Tajin

El Moro

El Bajio

Fonda Don Chon

Taqueria El Farolito

I've also heard about:

Loredo 29 Hamburgo; 566-3636, and other locations

Los Almendros

Cicero-Centenario

Belinghausen

Arroyo

Any thoughts?

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Last time I was in the DF, made a point to go to El Moro.  After having had chocolate and churros in Spain, I was really looking forward to the chocolate and churros in the DF because I assumed they'd be the same.  At first, I was disappointed at El Moro because the chocolate, though delicious, was not the thick gooey delight that one gets in Spain.

So I studied the menu more closely and discovered that they had chocolate "Spanish style."

Of course, had to order it to see if that was what I was looking for.

And it was.  So I'd recommend it to anyone that is looking for curros & chocolate a la Espana.

OK great. I'll get there.

Breakfasts in el DF.

Some of my favorite memories of dining in the DF are breakfasts.  I really, really loved El Cardenal (the original one), another place where one should order the hot chocolate to make the morning meal perfect.

And Liz, I'd suggest that just for tradition's sake, you also have a breakfast at the Sanborn's (the one with all the tile outside) in El Centro.  I love the atmosphere of that place.

Rancho and I, along with a few others, had a magical trip to the DF and Taxco a while back.  Admittedly, my dining companions probably added to the ambience, but I'd still recommend that you stop in there for breakfast one of your mornings.

Thanks Jaymes. I forgot to add that. My husband's never been to Mexico and I agree, he needs to see Sanborn's in the house of tiles.

Where did you stay and eat in Taxco? We might do a day trip.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Here are some photos from the trip:

Mexico City & Taxco

I'll have to think a bit on the name of the hotel in Taxco (it's the one with the blue doors in the photo), but the best meal we had there was at a pozole shop just off of what I think was the main square. Utterly sublime. If you think you might actually go, I'll ask Rancho. That boy keeps such good notes!

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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