We visited the aforementioned First [Annual??] Tacos & Mariachi Festival after work today in Plaza Garibaldi, as I was curious to see what kind of festival could be organized in two weeks. I really should not be surprised to discover one does not need that much time to bring together numerous tasty taco vendors in Mexico City!
While business was a bit slow at 5:30PM on a Tuesday, there was a very respectable turnout of taco vendors (maybe 20-30 stands? I am unable to estimate things…). One of the workers told us there had been a great turnout over the past weekend and they had high hopes for this coming weekend (the festival ends this Sunday, September 12), but activity during the week was looking a tick sluggish. (Which means YOU, Chilangos, should go support these diligent taco vendors, since it’s not like there are taco stands on every block in Mexico City… Err… well, maybe there are… but I digress.)
If anyone reading this has the fortune to be in DF this week, here were our highlights…
First Stop: We were drawn into the Molcalli stand by smell alone. When we realized it was only mole, we almost reconsidered (as John & I are not huge mole fans)… but luckily the pointman for this stand was an excellent salesperson and seduced us in for some samples.
These moles (which covered various types of meat– pork, turkey, etc.) were fantastic– my top three in order were the almendrado one, the adobo, and the verde. There was also a pipian option & some romeritos that were both underwhelming. If you don’t make it to the Festival, Productos Molcalli is located at Mariano Escobedo #22, San Pedro Atocpan, Milpa Alta D.F., email@example.com, phone 55.5844.2350.
Second Stop: we got thirsty. Since Luis & Margaret are new in town, we felt it was ok to deviate from the festival stands briefly to stop by La Hermosa Hortencia pulqueria to ensure they sampled some pulque.
I have to say, I was fairly impressed with both pulque flavor choices. I now realize the mistake I made by first trying pulque in its “au natural” state (i.e. natural flavor) when I moved to Mexico City– that stuff tastes/feels like snot. Flavored pulque = quite tasty, once you get over the texture.
Third Stop: Ayluardo’s, where I was drawn in by their display of “Tacos en Nogada.” This struck me as a brilliant way to cheat on the true Mexican Independence Day dish, Chiles en Nogada. Genius!
The tacos en nogada are definitely worth a try. In real life, Ayluardo’s is located at Aldama #72, Colonia Bo. de San Pablo, Iztapalapa, Mexico D.F. Phone #55.5685.3288. We really felt like we formed a bond with these guys when, after we’d already moved on to stop #4, one of the workers ran over with the following note:
We were flattered to be invited to the Enchilada Fair next month in Iztapalapa. I could not find any further details online regarding the 8th annual event in 2010, but I did find proof that it happened last year. Keep an eye out for further Enchilada Fair details!!
Our last stop was two stalls to the left, though I forget the name. This place lured us in with a charcoal grill heating up two wee little vats of queso fundido (as well as some bistec).
This spot offered your more traditional Tacos al Carbon fare, and a variety of salsas to match… but I would have to nonetheless rank it at the bottom of the 3 taco stands we visited. Still very good, but the wee pots of queso were not novel enough to top tacos en nogada and dancing mole vendors.
We paused briefly to watch the action on the festival stage:
During our visit, it featured age-mis-matched couples (i.e. 55 year old woman + 15 year old boy) dancing to music that seemed to be sourced from Looney Toons cartoons (probably one where Sylvester is chasing Tweety Bird). BUT it was full of life & entertaining, and surely the mariachis were going to perform next. As you may have gathered, our experience at the festival was a bit light on mariachis & heavy on tacos, but I’m certain you can suss out more mariachi action if you see fit. If you’re looking for bustling activity, go on Friday or Saturday night, but if you’re just looking for tasty tacos, go tomorrow!