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Aug 11, 2008 10:14 AM

Oaxaca with kids?

I'm heading to Oaxaca next week - this time a very happy occasion - my wedding. Traveling with our two families will be interesting. I have a six year old nephew who is a picky eater. (Any tips on how to say that in Spanish???) He doesn't eat corn (sigh...) or much beyond apples, plain pasta, chicken and meat. We're planning a few things around him, but not everything.

Any tips on places to take kids?

We're headed to Marco Polo with the hopes that they have a hamburger or a chicken - something non fish for him. Does anyone know if Marco Polo has non - fish options?

Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. I haven't been there recently, but my recollection is that Marco Polo is seafood--no meat. Will your nephew realize he's eating a corn tortilla or is it only the kernels he objects to? Oaxaca is a corn tortilla place, not flour. There are many places around town that serve tortas (big Mexican subs), so that would be an option. Most restaurants have a lot of meat choices.

    1. We just returned from Oaxaca and Marco Polo is definitely just seafood. We found a delicious Italian restaurant Viejo Lira at 100 Pino Suarez with great pizza and a large selection of pastas. We found it through a couple with an 11yr old and they had tried a number of dishes and felt it could hold it's own in San Francisco (their home).

      1 Reply
      1. re: cocinera

        Thanks all! We ended up at El Che one night for steaks. We were also able to negotiate some grilled chicken and grilled plain steak at various locations. Pizza was another big hit. And, by the way, in case you want to know - picky eater is comedor criticon!

      2. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding plain pasta in the more gringo-friendly places near the zocalo, as well as in the cafe-restaurants around Santo Domingo church. Near Santo Domingo are also a few Italian restaurants.

        There's lots of rotisserie chicken around--and also, most of the places that serve mole cook their chicken plain, and put the sauce on top after it's done. Just say: Para el nino, mole negro... sin mole.

        Nearly every Oaxacan restaurant will offer tasajo, which is nothing more than a very thin, plain, grilled steak. Think carne asada before it's cut up into little pieces. My picky six-year-old did very well with a plate of tasajo, typically served with beans, tortillas, and a plain salad of shredded lettuce, tomato, and avocado. They'll be happy to give your nephew more avocado if he likes it. They'll be happy to be nice to him, in general--they love kids.

        Most of the apples you'll find are from Washington, but order an ensalada de frutas and you're likely to get beautiful stuff.

        To say "picky eater," wait until they ask "que le gusta comer?" (what does he like to eat?), then respond "Quien sabe?" (pronounced kyen sah-bay: who knows?) and roll your eyes.

        1. the Spanish term is "melindroso". We went once to a Mexican restaurant in Oaxaca, my oldest was 2 at the time. We ordered gusanos de maguey with made-right-at-the-site tortillas (recién hechas) and guacamole. I told my kid that they were like French fries and he was enjoying them. American Uncle E comes out from the bathroom and he informs my kid " you know what you´re eating? those are WORMS!!!" My son goes "well, they are good!" and keeps on eating.....Good options would be tasajo (very tender and thin salty beef) quesillo (very similar to cheese string but better) And PLEASE go to the mercado near Santo Domingo and buy him an ice cream "nieve de leche quemada" and agua fresca, tell him it´s much better than doctor pepper, the durazno flavor is served with 3 preserved prisco peaches and pecans, and the "horchata con pitaya" has a beautifull pink color and tastes good too. At a restaurant "el biche pobre" the speciality is "botana surtida" with a variety of 9 or 10 Oaxacan appetizers, the dish is pretty cheap too, he must like something on this plate, besides the chile relleno, nothing else was hot and my kids adore the black bean tamale. The dough is very white, which make the contrast with the black beans intersting ant between the dough and the corn husk they place and avocado leaf, the aroma, mmmm....*Always tell the waiter "no come picante, nada de picante"

          1 Reply
          1. re: Xacinta

            There are excellent nieves on the plaza outside the Basilica as well. It does make a difference who you go to. Malena's is our choice. Agua de sandia (watermelon juice) and limonade are widely available and tasty.

          2. If he likes pancakes take him to nuevo mundo coffee roaster, M. Bravo 206. There are other options for kids too.
            Also try a good latte or espresso.