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Brief Report - 10-days in Mexico City

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I returned to Chicago yesterday following a 10-day visit to Mexico City. My Mexico visits typically start/end in Mexico City and I tour-around various parts of the country in-between. This visit, however, the entire time was spent visiting the city and some of the surrounding/nearby areas.

During my visit I had the opportunity to eat in some restaurants, while at other times I ate in the homes of friends.

Some reaction/reflection about the visit:

Restaurant La Poblanita de Tacubaya

Probably the biggest disappointment for me, because I was expecting this restaurant featuring food from the state of Puebla have at someplace on the menu a dish featuring Mole Poblano - it didn't. One of the popular Mexico food weblogs - a guide update blog - featured this restaurant not too long ago and either I misunderstood what was written, or the author isn't/wasn't as familiar with the restaurant as it was made to seem. It wasn't that my chicken with Mole Rojo was bad - but that I chose this restaurant over another - a favorite - because I wanted to sample the Mole Poblano. Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec (in which the restaurant is situated) is a good place to explore and within easy reach of Colonia Condesa and Chapultepec Park. The sampling of one dish off of a menu doesn't allow for the forming of a balanced opinion about a restaurant, but as the result of this one visit I can say that I won't be going out of my way in the future to further explore the offerings.

Restaurant La Poblanita de Tacubaya
Luis G. Vieyra 12,
Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec
Open daily 9AM – 7PM

Pozoleria Los Tolucos

This is my 'go to' pozoleria in the D.F. People in Mexico City are as passionate about their choice of pozoleria as Chicagoans are when you ask them where to get the best Chicago-style hot dog or Italian Beef sandwich - there are as many opinions as their are pozolerias. A specialty of this Guerrero-style pozole house is 'Pozole Verde" - the green stuff . . . my favorite. Not only is one confronted with ordering a specific color of pozole the second question will be what meat you want in it. My preference is for chicken. This is a no-nonsense pozoleria almost laboratory-like in cleanliness and orderliness . . . with starched white-coated waiters moving back and forth like men taking part in a ballet or symphony, interacting with the three or four now health department-masked cooks working off to one side of the main dining room. This is a colonia/street where you'll find several pozolerias, and a couple of steak houses featuring meat from Argentina. Me, I stick to the Pozole. I stopped during the week, also, at Casa de Tono (accent mark missing) in historic Colonia Santa Maria la Ribera - where 'Pozole Rojo' is the featured meal. The Casa is an old home dating to the Porfiriano period and if you don’t watch your step you'll get trampled by the young male waiters as they race back and forth from customer tables to the kitchen, and bacfk, with bowls filled to the brim with hot pozole. Casa de Tono is now a 'chain' of restaurants - having recently opened its fifth location.

Pozoleria Los Tolucos
Juan Hernandez y Davalos 40
Colonia Algarin
Mexico, D.F.
10:00 to 21:00

La Casa de Tono (tone-yo)
Sabino 144
Colonia Santa Maria La Ribera
Mexico, D.F.

Restaurant Kolobok (Russian)

At one corner of the Alameda Santa Maria de la Ribera, across from the pretty park with the unusual kiosk, sits a restaurant featuring Russian food. Restaurant Kolobok is a comfortable place that makes a good rest spot after exploring the colonia. I walked over to the restaurant following a visit to Tepotzotlan (State of Mexico) and the return train ride on the new suburban train which terminates service at historic rail station Buenavista . . . less than a 10-minute, easy walk from this restaurant. My dinner choice was Pelmeni - a minced meat filling wrapped in a small, thin flour dough, boiled and served in a clear broth (probably chicken). The Pelmeni was nicely spiced, the dough tender to the fork and the broth a compliment. For dessert I ordered a 'Russian empanada' filled with freshly sliced green apple. The empanada resembled, at first sight, a presentation of Chicken Kiev . . . the dough was sweet and a nice compliment to the apple inside.

Restaurant Kolobok
Salvador Díaz Mirón #87 (esquina Dr. Atl)
Colonia Santa María la Ribera
Mexico, D.F.
Teléfono: 5541 - 7085
http://www.kolobok.com.mx/

Restaurant La Polar

For fans of birria (a group in which I will not claim membership) the temple at which one worships in Mexico is La Polar, in Colonia San Rafael. The restaurant has been in business at the same location sitting alongside the busy expressway Circuito Interior for more than 75-years. It's a lively place, full of people - many families - enjoying themselves and enjoying the many strolling mariachi and other musicians. I don't dislike birria, but I don't like it enough to stray too far looking for it. This was a good meal, though.

Restaurant La Polar
129 Calle Guillermo Prieto
Colonia San Rafael
Mexco, D.F.

Canto de Sirenas

Canto de Sirenas is a heavenly place, for folks who enjoy seafood. The restaurant has been in business for a couple or several generations now - occupying three or four storefronts on the same street in the after-dark 'sketchy' Colonia Tlaxpana . . . steps from the Circuito Interior expressway (and a 'stones throw' from La Polar (on the other side of the Circuito). The restaurant provides a good experience because the seafood is fresh, well prepared to order and everyone surrounding you - including the employees - are having so much fun. My dinner was what turned out to be a plate-sized pan-seared filet of white fish covered with an ample helping of garlic - a favorite dish of mine. If you're not familiar with Mexico City - very familiar with that urban environment) - don't take the risk of using a bus or walking to get to the restaurant - take a taxi.

Canto de Sirenas
Axayácatl 89
Colonia Tlaxpana
Mexico, D.F.
9 to 21 HRS

I tried attaching a few photos but that exercise did not go well. When, later this week, I upload my trip photos to an online album I’ll post a link for those of you who’d like to view the meals.

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  1. ". . . and a couple of steak houses featuring meat from Argentina."

    You should definitely look at the very recent CH thread discussing Argentinian beef in Mexico. (Just below your post.) Apparently, there's no such thing in Mexico.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/632828

    2 Replies
    1. re: dlglidden

      Since I haven't eaten at the Argentinian steak houses I referred to maybe I should have better described what they offer as "Argentinian-style" or "as prepared in Argentina". Maybe beef from Argentina isn't allowed as an import into Mexico, but maybe it is - I'll wait for an authoritative link to that information before accepting the comment from one person as fact. ;-) Now, having said that - I did a brief search on the topic, using google and the result has been that if Mexico does prohibit the import of beef from Argentina such a prohibition should be easily understood - given what's being published about inconsistent inspections in Argentina, the manner in which beef is being produced, etc. (assuming the p;ublished material is accurate). As I said in earlier remarks, I'll take pozole any day of the week over a steakhouse in Mexico. Thanks.

      1. re: gomexico

        Sometime when you're in Guadalajara, I strongly recommend comida at La Matera, an Argentine-style steak house at Av. México #2891, corner of Calle Nelson. Order the churrasco, or the vacío. Either of those cuts, perfectly cooked exactly as you order them, will change your mind about steakhouses in Mexico. I promise.

        Kolobok is fun, Col. Sta. María de la Ribera is terrific, and La Casa de Toño is great. Glad you had a good time!

        Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

    2. Thanks for your report....I am going to be in El De eFe this weekend and I am going to try the Russian Place and La Casa de Toño....On the other hand, I miss Chicago and its restaurants.

      1. I adore La Polar! And I am one of those people who likes birria. It's seriously amazing there. And I like the mariachis too... although sometimes it's a bit loud.

        1. Below appears a link to a new online album of mine featuring restaurant and food photos in Mexico. It's a 'work in progress.' Photos display differently on different computer monitors, and though these photos look much better on my home laptop than on my office monitor, I hope they display well enough for you to enjoy. Other albums in the collection contain about 4,500 other photos from Mexico.

          http://travel.webshots.com/album/5734...

          1 Reply
          1. re: gomexico

            They displayed quite nicely on my computer here at work. Thanks for sharing.

          2. Thank you for posting about Kolobok. I didn´t know about this great Russian fondita in Mexico City. We went to have lunch there last Sunday....everything was excellent, the service, price, variety of the dishes, hygiene and of course, flavor...We had shúba, blancanieve salad, pelmeni, befstroganov, kotléta, gulyash, sýrnik and kompot to drink. We went to the one in Sta María la Ribera, and i was concern about safety, but we parked in front of Kolobok and the park in front and everything around felt safe.