Where to eat in Mexico City: Con Sabor a Tixtla

Con Sabor a Tixtla, a fonda in the Col. Roma. Photo by Martin de la Torre.

I stumbled on Con Sabor a Tixtla by chance.

I’d been wandering around the Roma neighborhood, looking for a few new places to add to Eat Mexico’s Taco Tour, when I saw a chalkboard menu propped up on the sidewalk. Colorful tables and umbrellas had been spread out in a neat row, and baskets of paper flowers dangled underneath the awning.

The cheeriness of it all made me stop. And so did the menu. This place offered “tacos guerrerenses.” What were those?

As soon as I sat down, the waiter dropped off a little bowl of toasted pumpkin seeds. They didn’t taste like any pumpkin seeds I’d had before. Sheathed in their papery armor, they were crunchy and warm and tasted like the sun.

Then came a little bowl of beans, another botanita provided by the house. And then, on the waiter’s recommendation, I ordered a mole verde taco.

Like the pumpkin seeds, this mole was unique — herbal, assertive, not subtle as green moles normally are. (Marilau would call these pipianes.) The waiter explained that the mole contained a mix of hoja santa, avocado leaf, pumpkin seeds and something called hoja de mole. Most of the ingredients were brought directly from Tixtla, a small town in Guerrero state.

Then this man, whom I’d later find out was Alfredo, one of the owners, volunteered another nugget: his mother cooked all of the food.

At that moment, I felt really, really lucky to be living in Mexico.

I ended up adding Con Sabor a Tixtla to my Taco Tour, and I’ve since gone back several times. It’s right around the corner from my cooking school and Mercado Medellín, so when I’m in the neighborhood, I like to stop and say hi to Alfredo, who runs the place with his brother Juan Patricio. Once I even saw Yuri and Edmundo there — they’re big fans of the place, too.

The food, prepared by Alfredo and Juan Patricio’s mother Enedina Bello, consistently tastes like it’s been cooked with love and care. The menu focuses on typical items from Tixtla, so they’re items you rarely see anywhere else. Besides the herbal mole, there’s fiambre, a mix of marinated meats and crunchy bits of chorizo served with white bread; Tixtla-style tostadas with sweet-and-sour dressing, and pollo enchipotlado, or chicken stewed with tomatoes, raisins and chipotle peppers.

And the salsas — the salsas! The ensaladita de rábano, made from hoja santa stems, lime, onion and radish, waps you over the head with its simplicity. A smoky, creamy salsa de jalapeño con aceite tastes like it contains avocado, but it’s actually just jalapeños fried with onion and garlic, and blended with olive oil. I wanted to gulp it down like milk in a cereal bowl.

Con Sabor a Tixtla recently added a list of platos fuertes to the menu, and they do a special pozole guerrerense once a week. But if you go, you must get the fiambre. The meat is falling-apart tender, and seasoned simply but dazzlingly — the kind of seasoning I wish I could emulate as a home cook. It’s served on a bed of lettuce that’s dressed the same salsa agridulce that comes with the tostadas. The dressing tastes like something you’d get at an Asian restaurant, which makes sense, considering Acapulco (Guerrero state’s biggest city) was Mexico’s major port to Asia and the Philippines for 250 years.

On my last visit to Con Sabor a Tixtla, my friend Martin and I found ourselves sopping up the fiambre sauce with hunks of bread, even though we were stuffed. Here’s the plate before we tore into it.

Here are a few more photos of the place. If you’re in the mood for a visit, it’s located at Manzanillo 45b, in between Coahuila and Campeche. They don’t have a website, but they do have a Facebook page.

UPDATE: Con Sabor a Tixtla has moved! You can find them now at Chiapas 173, near the corner of Medellín. They’re right next door to the pastes shop. The fonda also now has a website.


Alfredo Vargas, one of the owners

Barbacoa de pollo, or chicken marinated in a guajillo adobo and cooked with hoja santa, avocado leaf and pineapple.

A taco entomatado, comprised of pork in a tomatillo sauce

Homemade pickled chiltepín chiles, a necessary accompaniment

An array of salsas. Photo by Martin de la Torre.

The family behind Con Sabor a Tixtla: Alfredo, on the left, Juan Patricio and Enedina.

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22 Responses to “Where to eat in Mexico City: Con Sabor a Tixtla”
  1. glen

    that’s what I love about Mexico — you never know what you’ll find around the next corner – This place looks great!

  2. Jesus Chairez

    Looks great. Something to try when I get there in the Summer.

  3. JuCa

    That’s the kind of special spots that you don’t know about them when you live there :(

    But it’s good to know where I can find them, so next time I go to Mexico City, Con Sabor a Tixtla will be required stop.

    Thanks for such a great and tasty blog :)

  4. Armando Piña

    Hola Mija,

    I knew something was up in your life cuz we handn’t heard from you in a while. I hope your situations has a benevolent outcome (that is my prayer for you).

    I am not catholic and wanted to know if there were any special lenten foods? I know that’s a big part of Mexican tradition.

    I want you to know I rely on your blog because I am living vicariously through you. Wanted to go live there but my mother is still living and can’t really do that.

    Some day I’ll be a part of the ex-pats out there living la vida bohemia. lol

    Cuideses mija,

    Armando

  5. Claudia

    Welcome back! What a great find, so jealous of you!

  6. Jay C.

    Mechanical problems left me in DF for one more night. Went by around 9pm and they were closed!!! But it is a cutely painted place and it turns out one of our friends used to have his offices in the same building. Gonna have to make it there next time.

    • Lesley

      Hi Jay: Yep, I forgot to mention, the place closes at 5:30 p.m. Sorry about that. Hope you make it there another time!

  7. Don Cuevas

    Thanks, Lesley. That sounds great. It’s on my list of stops on our next visit. (In 9 days!)

    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

  8. norma

    I just love to find these little gems….

  9. Alicia

    Dear Lesley, I love your blog! It’s a great place to learn more about food in my new home city and country! :)
    Oye, me puedes recomendar un par de buenos restaurantes (precio da igual, aunque yo prefiero no gastar una lanota) en el D.F.?? Van a venir mis papis de Alemania y les quiero llevar a comer a chidos lugares… pués, definitivamente a mi lugar favorito de Tacos y de Pozole aquí en mi barrio y al mercado donde hay unos mariscos para chuparse los dedos! Pero si, please, recomiendame un par de restaurantes buenos!

    • William

      99.99 – Comida Yucateca. Fonda with lots of tables. Go to Humbertos. Moras No. 347 Col. Del Valle. Tel. 55 59 87 62. Lunch only. Make sure you get there early if not the wait is very long. $

      Mercado de comida mexicana en el Centro de Coyoacán. 100% Fonda atmosphere. Imagine a regular market Medellin, etc.) except here each stand sells Mexican Food. They are all competition to each other. The beauty of this place: each stand sells something different. There is only one guy selling pozole, an other sells flautas, etc. This is where I go and buy pozole to take home. Only lunch. After lunch take a stroll at the plaza zocalo) and have an ice cream. $

      La Poblanita – Fonda that serves alcohol – which is always nice to have. Mole is the speciality. Luis G. Vieyra No. 12 Col. San Miguel Chapultepec. Tel 26 14 47 07 and 26 14 33 14. Only lunch. Get there early if not the wait is very long. $$

      Sanborns – Don’t laugh. This is a fonda. High class but still a fonda. They are the inventors of our traditional Mexican Enchiladas Suizas – yes they were the ones who put cheese on top of them and in the oven to melt. Go to the one at Madero street at the Centro Histórico. Carlos Slim will appreciate your visit. BUT first go and have a drink at el Bar La Opera – ask any waiter to show you the bullet hole where the revolutionary Doroteo Arango better known as Pancho Villa shot his rifle. While he has having lunch here his men were having lunch at Sanborns at the corner.

      Doña Lula – Comida Oaxaqueña. Av. Revolución No. 1318 Col. Guadalupe Inn. Tel. 55 93 71 09. You know a Mexican restaurant is good by their tortillas and salsas. Both are excellent. My recommendation is to have lunch here and not dinner. $$

      El Bajío – Very good Mexican Food. Alejandro Dumas No. 7 Polanco Across the street from Hard Rock Cafe. Get there early since this restaurant has the 3 Bs as in Bueno, Bonito y Barato. Tel. 52 81 82 46 and 52 81 82 45. Reservations are a must. $$

      El Rey del Pavo – Tortas & Tacos. Very good and “expensive” considering the normal prices for Tortas n’ Tacos. If you like bacalao their torta is second to none. Address: Palma at Centro Historico. Go there for lunch. If you happen to be there at the hour, step outside and watch the cuckoo clock in action! $$

      La Hostería de Santo Domingo – Traditional Mexican restaurant at Centro Histórico precisely at Santo Domingo Street. Very famous for their chiles en nogada – yes they serve them al year round. $$

      Dulcinea – Chef Lucy Acuña. Oscar Wilde No. 29 in Polanco (what they call Polanquito). Dinner or lunch. Tel 52 80 89 09. $$$

      El Cardenal –Extraordinary Mexican Restaurant. Palma No. 23 at Centro Histórico (this is the original restaurant) Tel. 55 21 30 80 and Avenida Juarez No. 70 where the Hotel Sheraton is. Tel. 55 18 66 32/33. Reservations are a must. $$$

      La Taberna del León – Chef Mónica Patiño. Plaza Loreto (Revolución esquina con Río Magdalena). Expensive but probably one of the best restaurants in Mexico. Open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are a must. Attire: formal. You might consider finishing your parents visit to Mexico here. Everything is exquisite. $$$$$

      These are my favorite Mexican restaurants in town.

      Good luck y ¡Buen Provecho!

    • Lesley

      Hola Alicia: Te mando un correo con algunos recomendaciones. Espero que te sirva. Saludos!

      • Alicia

        Hola William, muchas gracias por las recomendaciones!
        Hola Lesley, gracias, eres muy linda, espero tu mail!

        Vaya, son las 10 de la mañana y ya tengo ganas de ir a comer!!

  10. William

    Hi Lesley,

    Just a short note to tell you that I had lunch today at Con Sabor a Tixtla. While waiting to be served I asked the waiter if Juan Pablo or Alfredo were there. Juan Pablo was sitting at the table right next to us (I invited my boss) and jumped when he heard his name. They nearly died when I asked if Doña Enedina was there. I stood up and shook their hands and told them that Lesley, the writer, recommend this place.

    My boss ordered two tacos de barbacoa which in reality were four tacos since they serve one chicken piece with two tortillas.

    I ordered the cecina enchilada which is not as soft as the one you get else where but it was very good. The combination of the pork meat marinated with the adobo and the freshly cut pineapple reminded me of the tacos al pastor. Although this was better.

    Then for dessert we walked over to the Mercado Medellin. I asked where the Helados delCcubano were and we both had helado de nata which was very good. My only disappointment was that I did not order two scoops since I finished the ice cream before getting to the car!

    I tired posting pictures of the food I ordered but was not able to.

    I’m ready for your next discovery at la Colonia Roma.
    All the best!

    William.

  11. indialeigh

    Lesley, great to get a blog from you. Hoping all is ok. I LOVE your blog even though I am vegan…I take what morsels I can. Mexico is still on my list. Perhaps later on in the year…I’ll get that vegan tour with you one day!

    Keep writing…please. The media would have us believe Mexico is a bad place to visit…you show us otherwise.

    India-leigh

  12. Ken Arroyo

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    Tixtla is a nice town with a very interesting history. It was the first capital of Guerrero and situated along the original Royal Road to Acapulco in colonial times (which explains the Asian flavours).

    • Lesley

      Hi Ken: It’s funny, after visiting the fonda so many times, ahora tengo muchas ganas de visitar! One day.

    • Adriana Villarreal

      ….Nice to know this! Thank you!

  13. Con Sabor a Tixtla

    Dear Lesley and all of her readers,
    First, thanks so much for the lovely review. We appreciate it! We are very fortunate to have done well in our first year (thanks to loyal customers like you!) so we are moving to a new, bigger and more attractive location, only a few blocks away. Starting May 1st you can find us at CHIAPAS 173, BETWEEN MONTERREY AND MEDELLIN streets, still in the Roma. We have expanded our menu and now we even serve beers and micheladas every day from 12 to 5pm.

    Also, we’d like your readers to know that we have staff members at the restaurant who speak English so they shouldn’t feel intimidated to visit us even if they don’t speak Spanish.

    We look forward to serving you and your readers very soon in our new location!
    All the best!

    Sincerely,
    The Con Sabor a Tixtla staff

  14. Lindsay

    Wonderful! I am so happy I stumbled upon this blog. I will visit in May. I love food and Im going to eat my way across Mexico City :)

  15. Don Cuevas

    On Sunday, we walked by Con Sabor a Tixtla en route to the Fonda La Veracruzana, on the corner of Medellín and Chiapas. We’ll make every effort to get to Con Sabor a Tixtla on our next visit.
    I was just looking a their attractive new website, http://www.consaboratixtla.com/sabor_a_tixtla.php
    The menu has many tempting offerings, and distinctly regional dishes. The decor is cute, too!

    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

  16. James

    Con Sabor a Tixtla has now moved to Chiapas 206 on the corner of Medellin and Manzanillo – a little closer to Insurgentes.

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