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Mexico City & Puebla report

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Belated post from March. Great food trip. We encountered a few hitches in terms of places being closed or getting locations or hours wrong. I should have posted an itinerary beforehand :-)

Friday:
El Globo : our Airbnb host gave us some garibaldis from the El Globo chain. Fun little cake covered in round sprinkles. Raspberry ones were my favorite flavor.

El Hidalguense : see photo below

Street vendor roughly on the corner of Av. Medellin and Calle Campeche in Roma Norte : really good (frozen) bacalao, olive, and raisin torta with avocado slices. No other vendor we saw had this on our trip.

Arena Mexico : street food surrounded the arena, but nothing looked very good. Lots of fried items that had been sitting around. Inside, popcorn held us over as we watched Lucha Libre.

Frontera restaurant on Obregon : photo below

Saturday:

Café de Raiz : the mild Tamal de Arroz was a perfect foil for the roasted tomato salsa, probably my favorite salsa of the trip. The tamal is apparently a specialty of Veracruz. The chilaquiles were identical to one we had elsewhere--- soggy chips and a good quality green salsa. I prefer stale chips with more crunch. Eggs with chorizo were overcooked, but chorizo was good. Bean tamale was kind of dry. The roasted tomato salsa was similar to that used by Papalote in San Francisco.

El Huequito : their al pastor was so good, we returned later on our trip. Light smokiness, great char, but not at all dry. Great as a single taco, but even better as the special (pile of meat topped with cheese) or as a torta.
Note their locations and hours at : http://www.elhuequito.com.mx/index.ph... . The Gante No.1 location was easy to find and a good pair with El Zocalo. We wandered in a sketchy part of town with lots of closed plumbing supply stores in a failed effort to find their Ayuntamiento location another night.

Street food, west border of Plaza Garibaldi : photo below

Churreria el moro : bustling place with good churros and hot chocolate.

Sunday

Las ranas: árabes items, one a taco one and one as either a sandwich--- a torta or a cemita (I forget). The sandwich bread was similar to, and a bit drier than, fresh bread from Turkish restaurants. Meat was good.

Cholula : we got some spiced crickets and nuts on the walk up to Great Pyramid of Cholula, and some refreshing mango dipped in chile after we descended. We then head to Plaza de la concordia. This could have been a park in the US--- families were picnicing while live musicians played songs like Sweet Home Alabama. Various street foods were being sold, we got some overcooked corn covered in mayo and cotija cheese.

Antigua Taqueria La Oriental : this was the original location of this chain. There were two entrances or next door restaurants for this. We chose the smaller one, and that may have been the mistake. The meat for the tacos arabes didn't have much flavor and was excessively oily. It was served on a flour tortilla no better than what I can get in the supermarket in the US.

Small shop on 4 Pte. between 7 Nte. and 9 Nte: As a late night snack, we got molotes from the left shop of two adjacent shops making molotes. We watched the woman form the dough by hand, loosening it up with a spoonful of oil taken right from the deep frier. The pan for deep frying these gets lots of little charred bits in it, so they were straining out oil constantly. The molotes there were made by placing meat on a ~9" round of thick but flattened masa, folding it in half with a loose seal, deep frying it, and then splitting it open to apply salsa and crema. My picture doesn't do this justice, but it was gigantic and delicious, perhaps my favorite item on the trip.

Monday
Puebla: Small shop on Calle 4s b/w Ave 7 & Ave 9 Oriente (photo below

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El Mural de Los Poblanos : we got lost trying to find something recommended on Chowhound, and decided to instead go to a place recommended by the NY Times. At fifteen USD, this meal seemed very expensive, so we were skeptical at first. It was great! The specialty there was a tasting of moles. You have a choice of protein and we chose the chicken, which was a bit dry. But the moles are what we were there for. The green pipian was mild and pleasant. The mole poblano was better than anything I've had in the US--- complex flavor and no particular ingredient stood out. Another was sweetened with pineapple, and another was dominated by a single nutty flavory. It was great to be able to try these different types of moles in one sitting.

Azul Condessa : back in Mexico City, we came here for dinner. A neighborhood blackout didn't affect the kitchen, and made for an unexpected and romantic candlelit dinner. The enchiladas with black mole and the fresh fish Tixin were great, but the standout item was a "Buñuelos rellenos de pato rostizado," fried wontons filled with duck and topped with a black mole.

Airport: various Mexican fast food savory items were pretty bad. The silver lining was the Garibaldi's we got here from El Globo for the ride home.

Final thoughts:

I'm glad I did research on the names of street foods and meats--- there are lots of options on the menus. The only other place I've eaten street foods is in China, where the vendors had so few items you could just point at what looked good.

GPS on an iPhone still works when data is turned off, and will geotag your photos. I wouldn't have remembered the locations of some of the street food places otherwise.

The abundance of street foods with fresh masa was eye opening and worth the trip! I wish we'd had one more day in Puebla. It's a different item of course, but the al pastor at El Huequito in Mexico City eclipsed the arabes we ate in Puebla, neither of which places had outstanding food. I would easily have traded arabes at those places for opportunities to try chalupas, chanclas, guajolotes and pelonas elsewhere.

Oh, in my last minute planning, I somehow didn't know about Mercado de Sabores Poblanos http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/832599 !

1. El Hidalguense

The set of three barbacoa tacos were fatty and great. Gusanos de maguey (maguey worms) tacos were ... an expensive dish, even by American standards (200 pesos = $15 USD). Reminded me of uncleaned squid--- good charring and taste on the outside, but I didn't care for the sliminess of the inside.

2. Frontera restaurant on Obregon

The side of beautifully charred onions stood out over our main dishes.

3. Café de Raiz

4. Bus stop at Teotihuacan

Balls of dough held together with sticky and sweet stuff. Very tasty.

5. Street food, west border of Plaza Garibaldi :

After watching the mariachi bands at 10pm and getting pulque, we got a nopales and cheese sandwich made with a split piece of grilled masa cakes as buns. I might be misremembering, but I think she called this a tlacoyo. Perfect late snack.

6. Small shop on 4 Pte. between 7 Nte. and 9 Nte

7. Puebla: Small shop on Calle 4s b/w Ave 7 & Ave 9 Oriente

8. Puebla: Small shop on Calle 4s b/w Ave 7 & Ave 9 Oriente

My first and only fresh masa quesadilla outclassed the best flour quesadillas I've ever, or will ever, eat. This one was filled with squash blossoms and cheese and was a fantastic breakfast.

9. El Mural de Los Poblanos

10. El Huequito

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  1. GREAT report!

    #4...the 'balls of dough with sweet stuff' are muéganos. The sticky syrup is made with piloncillo.

    #6...not a tlacoyo, a gordita.

    #8...great picture and description of that quesadilla. So delicious!

    #10..I might have to go to El Huequito tomorrow, your picture made my mouth water. The one you couldn't find is on Calle Ayuntamiento, across the street from the Mercado de Artesanías San Juan--for your next trip.

    Thanks for posting back. Your report is wonderful.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: cristina

      Thank you-- many of your posts helped me pull this itinerary together!

      I've been looking all over for the name of "muéganos"!

      BTW, this report was made using the beta version of the "Photo Stories" feature. The formatting makes the numbering difficult to read, so I think you meant to say "#5...not a tlacoyo, a gordita"