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NYTimes has a guide to the city...     Travel section  

And I want to thank you for getting back with us and letting us know how it went.   All too often, folks give advice and recommendations and suggestions...   And then never hear nuttin'.   Fr

I'm not surprised. I think the whole Rancho Gordo thing is a scam. Mexico has pinto beans, black beans, and green beans. All these other things Rancho is selling are synthetic. Just wait.

You are going to have to have a talk with your wife about flying.


So proud of her.. She did great on all the flights.. The last flight from PXM Puerto Escondido was a mini van with wings.. She did great.. And on the landing home, she did even better.. I bought her first class tickets for the flight home and she said, "First class means, you die first" So, she was not upset when they bumped us down to coach.. And I was happy for the refund.

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Casa Oaxaca Cafe:


So we took a short taxi ride from our hotel to the restaurant.. Taxis in town are normally 30 pesos or like $1.80, if you get really crazy it can cost you 50 pesos of $3.00 dollars.. So we took the taxi to Casa Oaxaca Cafe.. it's gorgeous..


It must not rain a lot in Oaxaca City as most of these gorgeous places have very little roofing.. Some have no roof, or a partial roof, or just some tarp or plexi-glass and some decent gutter system on the roof and not much else..



interior:Tree Growing everywhere



There is a long gutter that runs along the place with holes in it.. This must water the plants.. Very cool




Ah yah, so the chocolate here is good.. I am not a big chocolate and cinnamon guy but, here it's more subtle than what I have had.. You can either have chocolate with milk or water: I opt for the Milk in most cases..




With the hot chocolate came really wonderful carrot cake:



We started with an assortment of the memelitas.. Memelitas meaning, "little meme" Just kidding are fabulous.. just made obviously by two woman standing in the kitchen..



We got grilled beef and cheese in an Agua de Chile salsa.. Very lovely.. I love beef and I love cheese.. I just really wanted something with a lot of cheese.. this did not disappoint..



MISS A and I also split, chicken enchiladas. with more cheese and cream..




Delicious breakfast.. We went on to get massages and hang out for a bit, walk around for a few miles.. And try not to eat for a little while.

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Walked through a market on the way to the next place for lunch:




Fruit is the most surprising. They have green oranges, orange limes.. Just the colors and the size and the health of all the fruit is shocking.. It's so bright and fresh and beautiful..




Fresh Huitlacoche is everywhere:




And their chickens are so much more pretty than ours.. and healthy looking




and the eggs are so much more marrow-y than ours.

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Next stop, Yu Ne Nisa:


This is a spot the Ulterior Epicure told me about.. He said this is a must and I agree.. It's a lady that has been cooking on the first floor of her house for over 40 years.. I am not sure and either is she, if she is allowed to be doing this but, she said, no one has bothered her.. When we spoke of the food, when we spoke of the experiences we wanted to have, we were talking about places just like this..

A woman, who has been cooking her entire life, owns this small little place that happens to be on the first floor of her house. From what I gathered in Spanish, she has been opened for 40 years.. She makes everything from scratch and everything is traditional and fan-freaking-tastic..

Most cooks, well the good ones, are cocky.. If you are not passionate and confident in your cooking, chances are there is a reason.. This woman has confidence in spades.. I mean, if you are a cook and you don't think your food is great, well than you are just too lazy or not competent enough to do anything about it.. When I told her, and I mean, I honestly told her, i was eating the best tamale I have ever had, she replied, In Spanish "Si, Si, all of my food is going to be the best food you have ever tried.. I make the best Mole, other people around here don't know how to make mole.. Their mole is too sweet, I use 1 kilo of chocolate in every 10 kilos of mole I make.. Other places use way too much chocolate, Mole is not a Chocolate Sauce.. But, all my food is great.. I have chefs from around the world come here, just to try my food." When you are right you are right.. And you know what, this woman backed it up..

We just asked her to cook for us and she just killed it.. The best tamale I have ever had, the best Pork Mole I have ever had, the best Chile Relleno I ever had.. Just dish after dish came out of the kitchen.. We sat and hung out and drank mezcal and beers and she would come out and talk to us and go back and cook..

This woman lives and breathes Oaxacan Food.. Mole courses through her veins.. Should not be missed.





We started with tamales:


Look at these cute little guys:



The masa here is hand ground by her.. So, it's going to be some of the best masa you ever had.. Tamales are normally too dense for me.. They are just these thick hockey pucks.. Here it was fluffy, it was soft, it was delicious.. And the fact that they were so cute and tiny, well that was awesome too:


Best tamale I ever had:







This was an interesting thing for me.. It was a potato cake with she said mustard and mayo and zucchini.. It was delicious and served with the traditional crispy tostadas with the holes in it:





Out comes a collection of little bites and fresh housemade cheese:




All delicious: But this stood out


Chile relleno.. A tiny chile, i forgot the name but, noticed them all over town.. Favorite stuffed chile ever










Chicken and pork mole: Pork is better in my opinion




Unfortunately, I can't eat the way I use to.. So, we had to ask her to stop serving food.. We promised to come back but, we lied.. We left for the beach before we could return.

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No doubt, Oaxaca is a very touristy area.. Well, for certain the downtown part.. And with tourists come touristy spots.. I am not one of those Americans that walk around ignoring other Americans nor am I one of those tourists that go out and seek others as well.. It was Saturday night and we had just walked 4 miles back to the hotel, then slept a bit, then went for a Mezcal tasting at Mezcaloteca which is an awesome little spot.. Run by this woman Sylvia I want to say, she is super knowledgeable and friendly and not to mention pretty before the Mezcal.. This is a small bar dedicated to educating people about the wonders of mezcal.. Reservation only, you receive three different types of mezcal and a brief overview on the production and appreciation of Mezcal.. Staff is friendly, passionate and incredibly knowledgeable.. They make a point to seek out small producers of traditionally made mezcal and promote and support their efforts.. It's a wonderful place and should be among one of your first drinking stops in Oaxaca.. Reservations sound difficult but, we called about an hour before we came and they were happy to have us.. They are actually starting to import to the US soon and they are going to be doing a Mezcal event at Cosme soon.. I will let people know when that happens as we are on their sign up sheet..


But back to the touristy stuff. There are a lot of touristy places, a lot of Italian places, a lot of hybrid and new sort of places.. We were starving and got rejected from Casa Oaxaca and a few other places on our list.. So we ended up at this mezcal place that had a TV playing football, a several groups of Americans and a Cuban Musical Duo..


The menu read like something in Brooklyn or close but, we were hangry and needed something to hold us over..


I ordered pig feet escabeche with oregano or something to that affect.. This was super fatty and went amazing with the tostadas they gave us.. The crunch and the fat all worked..





Chicharrones with guacamole and salsa:



And miss A got shrimp quesadillas.. The quesadillas had swiss cheese.. WHile perhaps exotic there, in no time or place was this a good combination of flavors.. This was the last of the three apps we ordered and it was our signal to go.. Well, that and the Cuban band competing with the television and the tables of woo hoo girls that arrived shortly after..


Ramblers, lets get rambling:


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So from there we walked some more, went to some more shops and eventually made our way to Los Danzantes.. This is a beautiful, gorgeous space.. It's part of the slow food movement and it's another one of those places that has a partial roof.. Not to mention a pool in the room and not to mention no bar.. Well there is a bar but, no chairs or stools and they allow the staff to stand there or place bused plates there instead of say, picking up another 30 paying customers who would like to either have a drink or eat, or even both..


The waste of space is enough to make a New Yorker cry but, they seem to be doing ok..





Miss A and I sat off to the right side which has couches and an area where we sat and talked and had some more mezcal and a ordered a salad.. At this point, we were not too hungry because of the the rest of the day and well, all of this corn and cheese is enough to make someone want a salad..


So we ordered the salad and it was not very good.. Firstly, we had to ask for a second cute little salad dressing bowl as the one barely wet the top portion of the lettuces.. The second dressing revealed an incredibly boring salad dressing..In fact, I don't think they added an acid.. It was only because of the oranges they provided for the mezcal did we add any acid.. But, the seeds in the salad were some of the biggest and crunchiest and seediest seeds I ever had.. Like the best seeds I have ever had..


The mezcal was not bad, the room was so grown up and cool.. We sat there like royalty and hung out for a couple of hours enjoying the room. They also gave us bread and butter that was better than the salad..



We called it a night and were excited to do so because, the next day, we were hitting the oldest Market in Meso-America, Tlacolula market

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You are going to have to have a talk with your wife about flying.


So proud of her.. She did great on all the flights.. The last flight from PXM Puerto Escondido was a mini van with wings.. She did great.. And on the landing home, she did even better.. I bought her first class tickets for the flight home and she said, "First class means, you die first" So, she was not upset when they bumped us down to coach.. And I was happy for the refund.



At least now you know that in Mexico there is the chicken bus and there is the chicken bus with theoretical internet.

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