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Need a Rec for great spots in Guadadlajara

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RoyRon Aug 4, 2006 05:56 PM

We are going to be in Guadalajara next week for about 4 days. Does anyone have any really spots we should try?

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    Earl Grey RE: RoyRon Aug 6, 2006 05:03 PM

    There's a chain called Karne Garibaldi that is famous (Guiness?) for its fast service but the real treat is the dish 'carne en su jugo' which I dream about to this day.

    Cafe Madrid is a great high-art deco diner. The scene is in the morning when all the business folks are doing their thing. Good chilaquiles. El Tacazo is a good taquieria in the center.

    I love this town. It's very urban but it's also very easy and the folks from Jalisco tend to be very polite, proud and helpful. It is kind of convervative yet tolerant, if that makes any sense.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Earl Grey
      DiningDiva RE: Earl Grey Aug 6, 2006 07:20 PM

      I'm going to be in Guadalajara beginning on August 18th and I'll second the rec for Karne Garabaldi. It's certainly not fancy, but it is very good. Carne en su jugo is the dish to order and you want to order it with everything, the beans, the bacon, the works.

      There is a great birria place about 10 minutes south of the aeropuurto on the road to Ajijic. It's huge so you can't miss it. Seats about 1,000 people. The only meat offered is goat and it's delicious. You will get thick totopos and salsa when you sit down and you can also order appetizers to start if you want. But birria is the main deal; it starts with the consume and the requisite plate of add-ins, cilantro, onion and lime wedges that you use to doctor the sublime consume to your taste. Then comes the goat that is oh so meltingly tender under it's crispy glazed exterior, along with wonderful corn tortilla. Wrap the meat in a tortilla, add some of the table sauce and you're good to go.

      Go on a weekend when the place is hopping. Multiple mariachi bands and large extended families out for the day. If you order drinks, likely as not the bottle will be put on your table with a starting line and you'll be charged only for what you drink.

      Try it even if you think you don't like goat.

    2. DiningDiva RE: RoyRon Aug 7, 2006 03:06 AM

      The 2nd and 3rd floors at the Mercado Libertad offer an unbeliveable number of choices at which to eat. Try the tortas ahogadas, or drowned tortas. A torta (sandwich) that is covered with chile sauce, or birria, or tacos, or fish, or Thai, or Chinese, or sushi, even hamburgesas. The fondas in the market are numerous and reasonably priced.

      If you're into market dining, the Abastos market also offers a huge number of choices. Abastos is the primary commerical produce market in Guadalajara, and as such, is not frequented by many tourists. If you're a foodie and produce is your thing, Abastos will be of interest; if not, then skip it, or just go for the breakfast or lunch.

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        RoyRon RE: RoyRon Aug 7, 2006 06:21 PM

        Thanks to everyone for the great recs. I will let you know what we end up trying once I am back in Boston next week.

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          RoyRon RE: RoyRon Aug 14, 2006 03:52 PM

          Just got back from Guadalajara and tried the following places. Los Arcos for Mexican style seafood was very good. Had the fish ceviche and a grilled red snapper. Both were excellent. My DC had a shrimp mole and thought it was the best mole she had tasted during this trip. She is a huge mole fan. We also tried a place in Tlaguepaque (sp?) called El Patio. Traditional Mexican but very good.I had the carnitas and my DC had the chicken enchiladas. Both were very good as was the guacamole and the nice freshly made corn tortillas. We also tried a place called SantoMarco whic was described to us as "gourmet Mexican" It was a very nice place (atmosphere wise) but the food waS nothing memorable. Good but not great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RoyRon
            cristina RE: RoyRon Aug 14, 2006 04:11 PM

            Well rats...I didn't see this post until today (8/14) or I would have sent you my phone number here in Guadalajara. Next time!

            Unfortunately, you dined at primarily tourist destinations where the food is less than wonderful. Even El Patio, beautiful though it is, has mediocre food compared to other places in the city.

            The 'gourmet Mexican' restaurant where you ate was the quite lovely Sacromonte. I've eaten there several times and the food is uneven--good meals, bad meals, but no spectacular meals. The best thing on the menu, IMHO, is the blue cheese soup. That and a salad and you can't eat anything else.

            Dining Diva's recommendations are right on the money--naturally, those are places she's eaten with me. :^D Chances are we'll hit at least one of them while she's here visiting. And there are others...not many others, for a city this size, but other fantastic places. But the best food by far in Guadalajara is served from street stands, or little restaurants just one generation removed from street stands.

            Come back and we'll go out on a taco crawl, and I'll take you to Karne Garibaldi. I was just there on Saturday evening--the place was jammed to the rafters. The carne en su jugo was incredible, as always.

            And would you believe that on Sunday I dined at El Chololo, the birria restaurant near the airport? It was exactly as Dining Diva remembers it--the mariachis were in full swing, the place was packed with hungry families, and my friend and I snarfed down the birria, tortillas, frijolitos and consomé like there was no tomorrow.

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