Mexico City has no shortage of stellar cafes and every morning (and afternoon), we’d find a new one to try. On our fifth day, we headed to Quentin Cafe as a starting point to spend the day in the Roma neighborhood.
You know what else is in Roma? Parque Mexico, which is probably my favorite park on earth for one very important reason: dogs. So. Many. Dogs. A pack of huskies taking a nap off leash? No big deal. An Afghan hound, a great dane, and a handful of Australian Shepherds taking a jog? Yeah, this is normal. A couple beagles and a golden retriever making friends with a samoyed? This is just par for the course at Parque Mexico. I could spend all day here.
But we had more things to eat so we walked over to Tacos Don Juan for delicious tacos piled high with meat and slathered with avocado and nopales and all manner of fiery, flavorful salsas.
We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling Roma and stopping for a honey croissant at Panaderia Rosetta before heading to the storied Pujol in Condesa.
“Street snacks” to start.
Elotes ahumados. I’ll have 500 more of these, thanks.
Chaytoe squash with spiny lobster pico. A light and fresh palate cleanser.
Softshell crab, cucumber, daikon, and shiso. Okay yeah, I’ll have 500 more of these too please.
Barbacoa ox tonuge, black beans, and cactus.
Mole madre 1739 days, mole nuevo. Infamous.
The mole was served with hoja santa tortillas.
Tamarind sorbet. I would buy this by the gallon if I could.
Coffee tamal, ginger ice cream, and honeycomb.
Without a doubt the best, most ethereal churros I’ve ever tasted.
So yeah, Pujol lives up to the hype. I’m thankful that we were able to experience this meal.
On our last morning in CDMX, we had one last coffee at our favorite Chiquito Cafe and got ready for lunch at Maximo Bistrot Local. Eduardo Garcia is the chef and founder at Maximo Bistrot. Garcia was born in Mexico and raised in the U.S. After he was deported twice, Garcia started his own restaurant in Mexico City, Maximo Bistrot. The restaurant serves another purpose in that it provides a place for deported immigrants like himself, a chance to find work that not only pays the bills but also provides a deep sense of pride. Today, Garcia is considered one of Mexico’s top chefs and runs several restaurants.
Sea urchin tostada. This was my favorite course of the meal and could have happily eaten just this and called it a day.
Roasted beets, fig, and pomegranate.
Pappardelle with ragu.
French toast with berry compote.
And just like that, it was over. I hope to not let another decade pass by before my next trip to Mexico. Anthony Bourdain said it best: Our brother from another mother. A country, with whom, like it or not, we are inexorably, deeply involved, in a close but often uncomfortable embrace. Look at it. It’s beautiful. It has some of the most ravishingly beautiful beaches on earth. Mountains, desert, jungle. Beautiful colonial architecture, a tragic, elegant, violent, ludicrous, heroic, lamentable, heartbreaking history.