Restaurant reviews Archive

One of my favorite restaurants in Mexico City, for most of the time that I lived there, was Nicos, a neighborhood spot off a busy avenue in Azcapotzalco. Chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo has presided there for seven years, and his menu of traditional-but-creative Mexican food has turned the place into a citywide destination. He sources some of his recipes from colonial-era cookbooks; others might highlight a lesser-known chile or dish from a particular region. Vásquez’s parents opened the restaurant in 1957, and the neighborhood clearly adores the place — it can be impossible to get a table during the average […]

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The conchas at Mexico City’s Rosetta bakery are quilted in dark, chocolate-sugar diamonds. The rolls are dense but somehow airy; yeasty, but not too chewy or sweet. On a recent visit, I gobbled almost en entire chocolate concha before my coffee had even arrived. The secret to these conchas is slow fermentation and a small amount of yeast, which creates a soft, airier crumb, says chef and owner Elena Reygadas, who was hanging out at the bakery recently and answered a few of my questions. “We don’t put a lot of butter,” Reygadas says. “We want to respect the Mexican […]

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Some of my favorite tamales in the city are sold at Café de Raíz, a tiny Roma café near the Plaza Luis Cabrera. Owners Pola Carballo and her brother Mardonio Carballo offer a handful of varities daily, and they’re much better than what you usually find on the street or in cafés here. The tamal de arroz — made with actual rice grains, not rice flour — is almost like a comida corrida on a plate, with a thick layer of rice snuggled around a stripe of sweet-and-savory chicken picadillo filling. The tamal de frijol is one of the best […]

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El Parnita, a fonda in the Roma, calls itself an “antojería.” The word antojito can mean two things in Mexico — a corn-based street snack, or a little craving. So an antojería is a place where you’d find those two things. And fulfill your cravings, of course. The menu here is stocked with Vitamina T: tacos, tortas, tlacoyos. The presentation and flavor are more thoughtful than what you’d find on on the street. Stalks of jicama, a free appetizer for customers, arrive in a perky cluster doused with Valentina sauce. Another dish — a smoky, stuffed chile meco — comes […]

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Chiles en nogada season starts in Mexico City toward the end of July. By two weeks ago, I hadn’t even tasted one in Mexico yet, which I considered a personal flaw. (I’m hard on myself.) Then I met a new friend at the end of one of my mezcal tours. He’s a food enthusiast, too, and he suggested that we gather a group and spend the day tasting them. I loved this idea. I wrote him back: “Me encantaría!!” So he created a Google Map and we both added restaurant suggestions. Our criteria were that the restaurants needed to be […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Several months ago, a new friend mentioned she had a favorite restaurant in Polanco. I pride myself on keeping up with the latest restaurants, but she threw out a name I didn’t know: Dulcinea. The friend said it was kind of casual and cute, and she went there at least twice a week for fish tacos. She also said it was in Polanquito, which is the local name for the area south of Masaryk, encompassing Julio Verne, Oscar Wilde and Virgilio streets. It’s crammed with trendy restaurants and shops. My friend Martin and I had lunch at Dulcinea a few […]

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My friend Nick Gilman tells me that Casa Mexico — the restaurant I raved about earlier this year for its unique, regional Mexican dishes — has suddenly closed. Apparently the head chef, Enrique Briz, left sometime back and the restaurant slowly went downhill from there. It’s too bad. I really liked that place. Shame that they were only open for less than a year.

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Chef Carmen “Titita” Ramirez walks a straight, firm line when it comes to Mexican food traditions. She scoffs at chefs who think carnitas can be made with Coca-Cola and milk. Or any chef (even if he is American and famous) who promotes such a thing as “Mexican chimichurri.” Mexican food has a base and that base should be followed, says the chef, who runs the El Bajío restaurants in Mexico City. “This idea of fusion, it’s confusion,” Ramirez said in Spanish, while hosting a four-course meal at her restaurant’s Polanco location. “Yes, I’m a purist. Yes.” Ramirez learned her recipes […]

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