I rank Mexico #1 in terms of food in Latin America. I mean, they have T.J.I. Fridays and Chili's Grill & Bar Restaurant!
All kidding aside the food really is tremendous. It is distinctly Mexican unlike in Argentina where they are known for Italian food and beef. Or Brazil where the staple is a tasteless farofa and Colombia/Venezuela with the bland arepas. Peru is pretty good though. But with Mexico even the poor man's set meal is delish.
I ate well, saving my cash with budget accommodations which are also more social and fun. With this tradeoff I often ate out at top restaurants with great food and atmosphere. I ate at the budget options too.
At Cafe Tacuba, a famous old fashion restaurant in Mexico City, I ordered the Mole Poblano. As one of the more labor intensive dishes to prepare its cooked with dozens of ingredients from chile to chocolate.
In Mexico City's most exclusive neighborhood I dined at Azul Condesa, a restaurant ran by Chef Ricardo Munoz. The restaurant pays attention to detail with sparkling lemonade any many Mexican fusion dishes. The actual physical location is gorgeous. Its filled with tropical plants and trees in almost every dining room.
Oaxaca is a city with not much going on. That is why I picked out the finest restaurant for a quiet but long afternoon lunch at Los Danzantes
. What you see below is the "Hierba santa rellena de quesillo y queso de cabra con salsa de miltomate." which translates to…..a leaf stuff with local cheese around a tomato fruit based sauce.
The dining room at Los Danzantes was also beautiful. The type where you can sit for hours nursing drink after drink.
Back in Mexico City I ate lunch in Coyoacan at a fancy restaurant centered around the suburb's main plaza. Coyoacan is a small town wrapped inside the massive Mexico City. I ordered some shrimp stuffed with cheese and herbs. The rice was probably the best part of the entire meal.
One evening in Oaxaca I led some non-Spanish speaking New Zealander's around the city with the goal of finding something for dinner. Rather than walk around indecisively I suggested one of the few places with people eating inside. I suggested we order Chiles en Nogada, a famous dish. What you see below is a chile stuffed with tuna fish. They topped it with pomegranate which is very traditional apparently. The meal was awful. I felt terrible for insisting they try this so I demanded that they let me pay for their meals.
Once in Guanajuato I realized there is not much to do during the day either. I spotted a really nice looking place one day and decided I would eat there at some point. atmosphere was special. It looked out onto the church and plaza with mariachis and shoe shiners. Inside they had old fashion seating that looked like it was from the 1920's except it was immaculate. The food was only decent. I ordered a shrimp appetizer and for my meal, enchiladas mineros. Enchiladas mineros are a dish made famous in Guanajuato by the miners.
Towards the end of my dozen or so days in Guanajuato I made it to the main market. For less than $2USD I ordered two fish ceviche tacos. They tasted outstanding.
Finally, while on the go I found this woman cooking up quesadillas. The line was pretty big but she cooked them up quickly. What impressed me most is the sanitation. Rather than handle coins and bills with the same hands she used to cook with, she instead pulled out a plastic baggie each time.
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