Tim Foolery

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Dining Out:Mexico City

One of the reasons we chose to visit Mexico City was for the food.  We love Mexican food and one of my favorite quick trips was a few years ago where I traveled to Cancun (ugh, I know) and took a Mexican Cooking Class a the Ritz Carlton – and it was amazing.    From that point on, I made Mexican food a priority when I cook and when I go out.  Mexico City is the perfect destination for food.

So, where did we end up going?  Unfortunately, we didn’t hit any street vendors, MS was a little too skittish, as his previous visit to Mexico City ended with him getting quite ill.  We ended up eating at a nice mix of restaurants:

La Fonda del Refugio (166 Londres Avenue): We ate here for dinner our first night in town. This place was a little difficult for us to find – mostly because the TripAdvisor App for Mexico City really sucked – but more on that in a different post.  The margaritas at La Fonda del Refugio were really amazing (even better than the ones I make…and that’s saying a lot).  I kicked off the meal with the Chicken Tortilla Soup which was just average and I had the enchiladas verdes which were pretty tasty, but the sauce had so much garlic it burned my mouth a bit and overpowered the otherwise great flavors.  I would definitely revisit for the great margaritas – but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here though.

Pujol (Francisco Petrarca 254): Our second night in Mexico City, we managed to score reservations (with less than 24 hours notice) at this restaurant, which at the time of our visit was ranked the 15th best restaurant in the world.  We had early reservations (18h30) and were seated immediately upon arrival.  The prix-fix menu was great with modern takes on classic Mexican dishes – for example, an amazing elote con mayonesa – or baby ear corn with mayo – a high end version of the classic Mexican street dish.  I enjoyed the food here a lot – I was less impressed with the sommelier though.  After reviewing the wine list, I asked the somme to recommend a bottle for about 1,000 pesos – his first recommendation was for 2,800…then his second at 3,500. I reminded him my price point — which he then suggested a 600 peso.  There were many options in that price point too — I had to pick out the wine myself.  It turned out to be an acceptable decision, nothing stellar though.  Although Pujol is rated the 15th best restaurant in the world, the meal sure wasn’t the 15th best I’ve ever eaten — don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the meal/experience, but I wouldn’t even place this meal in my top 100 meals ever.

Agua y Sal Cevicheria (Campos Eliseos 199-A):  We hit this place our third night in Mexico City – it was in the heart of the douchy area that we really didn’t want to spend much time in.  This place had huge selection of ceviches and some great seafood entrees as well.  This was also the first place where I completely understood what the servers were saying (while they spoke Spanish).  They spoke so clearly and slowly, it was a breath of fresh air.  We had a couple different ceviches to start with and then each had a fish entree – mine was with a diabola sauce, which was way too spicy and overpowered the fish.  I say this as a guy who loves spicy food.

Astrid y Gaston (Alfred Tennyson No. 117): Our final dinner in Mexico City was at this little Peruvian gem. MS had eaten at this small chain restaurant while in Chile and really enjoyed it.  We showed up for 20h00 reservations and were seated outside, near the fireplace.  We were by far the most under-dressed people around – and by under-dressed I mean we were the ones wearing the least amount of cold weather clothes.  It was about 18C during dinner, which was great for us, but the citizens of Mexico City were quite cold.  Being a Peruvian restaurant, Astrid y Gaston also has some great ceviches.  We started off our meal with a pisco sour and some great tuna cevhice.  I had a very tasty duck entree.  The service at AyG was pretty top notch and I look forward to revisiting this specific restaurant and other locations throughout South America.

The food we had in Mexico City was pretty good all in all. I do wish we had some local to direct us to the best street food vendors – like we had in Shanghai.  Next time.

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