A new Haitian restaurant in Mexico City

UPDATE: See the reader comments below. It appears this restaurant has closed.

A few weeks ago, my friend David mentioned a new Haitian restaurant he’d heard about in Santa Maria la Ribera. I think I’d had a little too much wine, so I crowed, “Oh my god, Haitian food! We have to go! Haitian food!” Not that I even knew what Haitian food was.

One thing about Mexico City is, we do not get a lot of ethnic foods. There’s a growing Korean neighborhood in the Zona Rosa with fantastic cuisine; other than that, it’s Mexican and some mediocre attempts at Thai and Indian.

I wanted to try Haitian food out of pure curiosity, so David, Jesus and I stopped by the fonda last week. Jesus originally found the place and wrote about it on his blog.

It turns out Haitians eat a lot of fried things. Every plate on the menu had some sort of fried meat, fried fish or fried plantain.

Fried pork and sliced, fried plantains, served with potato salad and cole slaw

This rice is eaten with a thin, tomatoey salsa.

The food was fine. My favorites were the flaky fried fish, and the spicy coleslaw that accompanied everything. (I later found out the coleslaw contained either habanero or manzano chile.)

The service, however, was outstanding. Our waitress Alejandra had a lovely smile, and she asked where we were from and what our names were. She told us she’d been in Mexico for almost 3 years, and that she was a doctoral student at the UNAM. She spoke lilting, French-tinged Spanish.

Our server, Alejandra.

The food wasn’t so spectacular that I’d recommend making a special trip here, based on eating fried Haitian delicacies. But if you’re curious about Haitian food, and you want to support a family that’s getting its first foothold in Mexico City, this place is worth seeking out. The vibe here is comfortable and friendly.

Le Bon Gout, a Haitian fonda
Manuel Carpio 99 #1C, near the corner of Dr. Atl
Note: The entrance is on Dr. Atl. From the corner of Dr. Atl and Manuel Carpio, walk toward the Oaxacan cafe (away from the park). The fonda is just past the Oaxacan café.

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14 Responses to “A new Haitian restaurant in Mexico City”
  1. graciela

    Jajjaa! I started laughing at “Oh my God, Haitian food! We have to go!” Having spend many summers in Haiti as a child, my memories of Haitian food aren’t bad, but wouldn’t invoke any sort of enthusiasm. The first thing that came to mind when I read your post title was peanut butter. One summer during an embargo, we ate french bread with peanut butter for every meal. All summer! A causa del embargo, there was nothing else. No jelly, almost no rice or beans. Just peanut butter and bread, 3 meals a day for 3 months. I’m glad that’s not what you got !

    • Lesley

      Wow. I’m a little embarrassed now for being so enthusiastic… didn’t think about things like embargoes and the fact that people probably didn’t have a lot to eat there. I can’t believe you ate PB for three months. Can you still eat it today?

      • graciela

        Don’t be embarrassed! It’s the best way to approach life, why not be excited for everything new? Its all a matter of what we know, I know Haiti, you’ve been places, like India, that I’ve only dreamed of going.

        To put it further in perspective, the year we ate only PB, many Haitians were literally eating dirt.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/29/food.internationalaidanddevelopment

        No, I still don’t eat peanut butter much, occasionally with apples, never on bread. Actually I dislike bread and only eat it if absolutely necessary.

        But it is a good reminder of how fortunate we are, you and I can explore and eat solely based on what sounds good to us!

        ps Soon I’ll be a Téllez too

        • Lesley

          Cool! Congratulations. I’m not sure where you are, but we’re not very populous outside Mexico and Spain, in my experience.

  2. kay curtis

    I think that foods from other countries are picking up speed in Mexico. In Guanajuato we have a nice little Japanese place (with an appropriately limited menu) and a Russian place whose owner is from Chernoble and a couple of OK Italian places. There is also a fastfood Wok place where you choose your vegies, protein and sauce and get a carry-away box with chopsticks. All these except on Italian have come in the last 2>3 years.

    • Lesley

      Hi Kay: There’s actually a Russian place in Santa Maria la Ribera, too. It’s okay. I haven’t been able to get into their empanadas. The fast food Wok place sounds like something you’d see in the United States — I wonder if that’s where the influence is coming from?

  3. Alicia

    Hey Leslie,
    just got back from a month in Europe where I ate loads of great french food in Francia and loads of comfort food in my patria Germany… it was so nice and I wish I could bring you some of this food, as you are always so curious about other cousines and dishes!
    It’s great you went and tried this Haitian restaurant; in Mexico City I truly miss the variety of international restaurants we have in Europe. Gosh, a decent Indian or Thai restaurant would be so great! Although I think there are some great Japanese restaurants here in Mexico City.
    Have you tried the new Vapiano in Plaza Carso yet? It serves fresh Italian food, I’m sure you’d like it… .
    And for French food I recomend “La ruete des vines” in Puebla. Have a nice week!

    Un abrazo, Alicia

    • Lesley

      Hola Alicia: Thanks for all the great tips. Very sweet of you to want to bring back European treats for me. :-) You’re right about the good Japanese restaurants here — I’ve heard raves about Nagaoka in Col. Napoles and Tori Tori in Condesa. My friend Alice also tells me that you can find pretty good Chinese food here, kind of randomly spread out in Palmas and the Centro.

      Will have to check out the French place next time I’m in Puebla!

  4. Jesus Chairez

    Glad you blogged about the new Haitian restaurant in Col. Santa Maria la Ribera. The people are so lovely and kind. Thanks for the mention too. You take great pics as well!! :-)

  5. I look at the food you have posted and reminds me of some of our dishes.

  6. Raoul Berret Jr.

    Hello to all,

    A Haitian restaurant in Mexico City! A first!! I visited Mexico a couple of times, and would have enjoyed eating a meal form my homeland as a way to treat my Mexican friends. I am not sure of the menu at “Le Bon Gout”, but Griot (fried pork) with yellow rice, red beans and fried plantains is a staple of my dear country. If on the menu, try my one of my favorites: Djondjon (Mushroom rice) with conch… A real delicacy!

    Bon Appetit!

    Raoul Berret Jr.

    • Lesley

      Thanks for sharing Raoul! I haven’t been to the restaurant since I posted, so hopefully they’re still open. The mushroom rice you mentioned sounds fabulous.

  7. lu

    im so happy that the Mexican goverment is helping out the Haitian people,and yes im going to the Haitian restaurant is support their business

  8. EF

    Sorry to say, this restaurant is no more. I went looking for it yesterday and there is no sign of it, just another El Globo.

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