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#31 StephanieL

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences, Orik. I have 9 days' worth of lunches & dinners in Mexico City to plan, and while the lovely Cristina has given me some good ones (Azul Centrico is definitely on my list) I need some cheaper recs too.
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#32 rancho_gordo

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:58 PM

I liked Azul COndesa but on reflection, I'd be hard pressed to come back with so many other options now.
I'd eat every meal at Pujol, if I could.
Don't forget Nicos. Chef Gerardo Vasquez Lugo is fast becoming the Voice for all things in the kitchen and speaks at every conference. He's smart and the food is interesting and often incredible. He has a thing for ingredients, which is kind of rare and I'd happily pass a comida there given the chance. His sister runs another Nicos in Queretero.
I dream of Contramar.....possibly my favorite place on the planet.

But I'm no expert. I tend never to have more than a day in DF, as much as I like it.

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#33 Sneakeater

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

I'm curious about Contramar. I liked it fine -- but not nearly as much as you.

What about it do you love so much?

I'm not being argumentative. I'm genuinely curious. I certainly would privilege your reactions to Mexican food over mine.
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#34 rancho_gordo

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:19 AM

I'm curious about Contramar. I liked it fine -- but not nearly as much as you.

What about it do you love so much?

I'm not being argumentative. I'm genuinely curious. I certainly would privilege your reactions to Mexican food over mine.


I'm not sure! I'll have to think about it.
I know I'm not keen on the fish carnitas. I think that one is silly. But I do think about the pulp en epazote. Is it aguachile, where it's like sushi but sitting on a plate of chile water? I can live off of that stuff. I remember some fried little balls loaded with flavor.
I think it's not cheap but the servings are generous.
The staff knows me enough to make me feel like a sport.
I find the room kind of glam.
I'll think about it more but I really do love the place.

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#35 Orik

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:27 AM

Thanks, rg, I appreciate it and I think of you every time I'm served totopos with stuff at the beginning of a meal. (chivitas, most recently)

I've also read a couple of references to La Capital, which seems like a hipster take on a cantina. So many places to try and I'm no uhockey.
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#36 rancho_gordo

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:00 PM

Found these:

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

It's funny, I was talking to the chef at Nicos and was laughing how in New York so many people expect guacamole as a tableside dish and how they sometimes complain if it isn't made at tableside, thinking he'd agree with me that it was silly. He looked very offended and said, "we do it too! I think it's a very elegant presentation!" I'm sure he's not alone. So enjoy your totopos. Mexican food is based on a mixing of cultures. I'm learning to relax. We have bigger problems these days!

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#37 Orik

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:13 PM

It's funny, I was talking to the chef at Nicos and was laughing how in New York so many people expect guacamole as a tableside dish and how they sometimes complain if it isn't made at tableside, thinking he'd agree with me that it was silly. He looked very offended and said, "we do it too! I think it's a very elegant presentation!" I'm sure he's not alone. So enjoy your totopos. Mexican food is based on a mixing of cultures. I'm learning to relax. We have bigger problems these days!


Yes, exactly, I saw the Nicos presentation on some blogs. In the hipster place here they serve excellent tostadas instead of the totopos by default but if you order guacamole they'll make baked "totopos" covered in their own version of tajin just to drive the point home, an ironic take on a tradition that probably comes from tourist places but is de rigueur in every cocteleria. There's also a sort of local/insider thing where you can get guacamole for $45 or you can get two avocados for $25 and make the guacamole yourself with the lime and cilantro and salsas, which of course every head of household is immediately driven to display when there's a tourist around.
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#38 Orik

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:45 AM

I'd eat every meal at Pujol, if I could.


I see your point. What a lovely place.
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#39 rancho_gordo

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 05:08 PM


I'd eat every meal at Pujol, if I could.


I see your point. What a lovely place.


are you still here? I am, sort of. I'm in Coatepec (veracruz) but would love to break tortillas with you on my way back if you are still here.

"Gay people exist. There's nothing we can do in public policy that makes more of us exist, or less of us exist. And you guys have been arguing for a generation that public policy ought to essentially demean gay people as a way of expressing disapproval of the fact that we exist, but you don't make any less of us exist. You just are arguing in favor of more discrimination, and more discrimination doesn't make straight people's lives any better." -Rachel Maddow to Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed


#40 Orik

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:30 PM



I'd eat every meal at Pujol, if I could.


I see your point. What a lovely place.


are you still here? I am, sort of. I'm in Coatepec (veracruz) but would love to break tortillas with you on my way back if you are still here.


Until Monday lunch. Went to Nicos today, also very lovely - I'm sure they won't forget our meal as the tableside preparation of escamoles resulted in a minor fire. I noticed some Xoxoc products at the fancy grocery store around the corner, but was too full to even look at food - is it related to the restaurant?

eta: well, maybe longer:

http://www.telegraph...ck-and-ash.html

I saw it on the flight in and was wondering what it was.
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#41 Sneakeater

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:22 PM

Escamoles are flammable?
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#42 Orik

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:32 AM

Escamoles are flammable?


Escamoles not so much, what's flammable is the waiter preparing them noticing his burner is running low on fuel and asking his buddy to just ladle more of it (you know, the blue stuff they use for table side preps) right into the fire... the burning fuel obviously drops onto the cork surface underneath, ignites it as well as the tortilla basket nearby. Hilarity ensues.



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#43 Sneakeater

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:02 AM

Fifteen or twenty years from now, flaming ant eggs will be such a classic dish that no one will remember their origin.
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#44 Orik

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:45 PM

Fifteen or twenty years from now, flaming ant eggs will be such a classic dish that no one will remember their origin.


Maybe in cocktail form - flaming escaMoes.

Anyway, here they are before the fire:

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And after:

Posted Image


They were delicious, best I've ever eaten (not that I've eaten that many) but I don't know if the slow food snail displayed proudly on the door would approve of them being previously frozen. A dish of tongue Veracruz style was messy but also excellent (it occurred to me that Veracruz preps are often very similar to Venezuelan - like, this sauce is a somewhat lighter version of what's used for carne mechada based empanada stuffing).

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As is usually the case in Mexico, rice offered with the tongue was horrible, but who cares.

Banana leaf wrapped robalo stuffed with mushrooms and nopales was fine, but not very interesting. A dessert of super flaky mascarpone and fruit pastry was excellent and not terribly sweet.

Overall, a traditional restaurant that works very well and where everything is much better than it needs to be.

p.s. the wine comes in Riedel glasses
p.s.2. also had some botanas but I was running so high on masa at that point that I couldn't really appreciate them.
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#45 Orik

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:04 PM

I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences, Orik. I have 9 days' worth of lunches & dinners in Mexico City to plan, and while the lovely Cristina has given me some good ones (Azul Centrico is definitely on my list) I need some cheaper recs too.


Cristina obviously knows her stuff, so I'm not talking about her, but there's this weird dynamic going on in Mexico City where a handful of bloggers/writers/tour organizers dominate the food discussion and they all seem to have some very strong preferences that color their opinions (and I'm not going to say any of them receive kickbacks, they just get into strong relationships with some places). Like, one of them can tell you that Pujol is very stuffy (no it ain't) and everyone wears a tie (only one to be seen during dinner) or that El Califa is amazing (no, just perfectly ordinary versions of street food for people who fear street food) so read carefully.

We did end up going to Azul Condesa, because it was the only thing that fit into the schedule that day (had a flight to catch and traffic can be sort of unexpected) and it's pretty good (I agree with RG - not one of your first 5-6 choices, but if you're there for 9 days and you've been to pujol, el bajio, etc. then why not) if you ignore the plate snatching service style (this type of service is offset in DF by the parties that take a good part of 2 hours to arrive for lunch) - cochinita pibil panuchos were very good and their famous cream of cilantro was surprising, mild, and nice, but a tamal of swiss chard was dry and bland (there's a certain health food theme to the menu, which might have meant they didn't use enough lard). Of the main courses - shrimps in pipian was fine, not sure I'd order it again even though there wasn't anything wrong with it, and duck bunuelos (see pic below, not mine) in mole were great fun:

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I never said that