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Dining in Condesa: know thy strengths

Today was John’s birthday, so I ambitiously decided to make chilaquiles, only the best Mexican breakfast food ever. It is basically crispy, fried pieces of corn tortillas doused in a tasty salsa verde (tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, serrano peppers) & cooked briefly until the chips soften a bit. Mix in some shredded chicken, top with optional sour cream/shredded cheese, and there you have it– basically socially-acceptable nachos for breakfast!  I highly recommend if you ever see them on the menu at a Mexican restaurant.

During the afternoon, we decided to have a leisurely wander & graze through Condesa, one of the trendy/hipster neighborhoods in Mexico City. This is where we would be living if we had a choice–jam-packed with restaurants galore, gelato shops, bars, clubs, and boutiques with clothing vastly too small/expensive for me. We had not yet been to El Tizoncito, one of the restaurants in Condesa who claims to be the “creator of tacos al pastor“. Clearly this merited a stop for a wee snack for the birthday boy!

Every salsa you could possibly wish for accompanies El Tizoncito's tacos al pastor.

Every salsa you could possibly wish for accompanies El Tizoncito's tacos al pastor.


The "pastor' at work at El Tizoncito!!

The "pastor' at work at El Tizoncito!!

For anyone not familiar, tacos al pastor are primarily secret-recipe-marinated pork cooked on a vertical rotisserie with a pineapple on top and an onion at its base. The pork is sheared off the spit into small tacos (~4-inch diameter), and topped with cilantro & onion. This is one of the classic, unique specialities of Mexico City and a must-try for all visitors.


After more walking around the old horsetrack path that forms the center of Condesa (and possibly visiting a few boutiques en route), we decided to stop for another drink/snack (in part because I refused to use the random porta-potties sitting awkwardly on the edge of the park). We found what seemed to be a suitable venue that possessed a toilet, Flora Lounge.

Unfortunately, the dining experience at Flora Lounge falls into the “not a classic nor unique specialty of Mexico City”. :) After perusing the menu consisting largely of “pastas” and “pizzetas”, we were informed there was no pasta at the moment. So, we opted to share a Pizzeta Canadiense (Canadian pizza?). Needless to say when the below object arrived on our table, we imagined that neither Canadians nor Italians would be too quick to claim this as their own.

This snack was not pleasing to the birthday boy.

This snack was not pleasing to the birthday boy.

It was a broad interpretation of pizza, implemented as: bottom layer- pita bread….. middle layer- cream cheese…. top layer- cheap deli ham…. added bonus- sprinkling of oregano.  Slightly warmed, but definitively not ‘cooked’. Interesting. In summary, Condesa has innumerable tasty, diverse restaurants, but when it comes to restaurants who do not actually call themselves “Italian” but serve food with names similar to (but not actual) Italian names, be aware. Know their strengths. And then go get some tacos al pastor.

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  1. Mel says:

    Happy Birthday John! I cannot tell you how much I enjoy living my life through the Herickhoff blogs. :)

    Miss you guys!

  2. Lesley says:

    Yikes! I will definitely put that place on my list of where NOT to go. Who knew someone could put cream cheese on a pizza? I’m shuddering.

  3. Joy says:

    Agree with Lesley here. I live near that place and am so glad I haven’t eaten there. It’s such a trendy place, too.

    BTW, it’s next door to the most awesome taqueria — El Greco — the waiters even give me a kiss on the cheek, I’m so well known there.


  4. Kim says:

    Boo for pita and cream cheese – glad you tried that before I got there. I want only stunning dining experiences!

  5. Liz says:

    Hi, I just got here and love the way you explain mexican food and places you visit.
    Is nice to reed the foreign view of my country.

  6. Julie says:

    Liz, muchas gracias por tu retroalimentación!! Todavía tengo muchos tipos de comida probar aquí! Por favor avísame si tienes algunas recomendaciones! :)

  7. John says:

    Great blog!!!

    You ought to try the pizza in Poland! I think your experience takes the cake but, seriously, how anyone can think catsup smeared on a thin piece of bread (though heated in a real woodburning oven) can pass for pizza is beyond me. I chalked it up to limited means of exposure to real pizza and limited means of acquiring proper ingredients. I later discounted all of the above when I thought of the sham they’re pulling on the folks who don’t know any better.


  8. Liz says:

    Me alegra que ustedes prueben mucha comida mexicana que sin lugar a dudas no hay que perderse.
    Yo se que no es lo más atractivo, pero no dejen de probar los escamoles y los gusanos de maguey… saben mejor de lo que se ven jejeje.
    Cualquier recomendación o ayuda que necesites, mándame un correo o en el gtalk me encuentras en el día, mi mail es australiz @ gmail.

    P.D. En el coment pasado escribí mal… quise poner read 😛

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