Midwesterner in Mexico Rotating Header Image

Ciudad de Mexico

Mexico City Airport- Terminal 1 Meeting Point

After 30 minutes spent on the innerwebs trying to find an answer to this question, I thought I would share it with any other impending Mexico City airport visitors. (Consider it a follow-up to my “Navigating the Mexico City Airport ” post from last year.)

If you are trying to either go pick someone up or meet another arriving friend at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport (AICM), Terminal 1, you will discover that there are two doors from which people arriving on international flights can leave the secured area. I am not 100% clear on how they differentiate who goes out which door (either E2 or E3, which are just on the other side of baggage claim & customs). If you get there early enough, the TV monitors outside the door should state which door people from a certain flight are exiting. However, if you get there after the flight’s arrival time, it probably won’t be on the TV monitor anymore.

So, you may be wondering, where is a good place to meet someone if you am not sure which door they are coming out of?? There is one restaurant on the lower level of the airport in Terminal 1 that is located BETWEEN the E2 and E3 departure doors. I thought I had this all figured out from the map on the AICM website, which is why I confidently directed my dad to come meet me at the name of a restaurant that I discovered no longer exists– it’s now called something different. :(

BUT NOW I know the name of this restaurant as well as location, so I can share with any inquisitive readers a definitive meeting point in Terminal 1!  And even if the name changes, you can at least describe with precision its location to any arriving friends and family.

So here's the map of the international arrivals section of Terminal 1 at the Mexico City airport. People will arrive through either E2 or E3 on the ground floor. You see the icon of the fork & knife, right next to the "You are Here" sign? That is where the restaurant is. At present, it is called Baron Rojo. Its entrance faces the E2 exit door.

The restaurant is Baron Rojo (at least as of July 2010). It has a bar, so you could go sit there & just order a soda if you don’t want to pay for food while you’re waiting. Or, you could meet right outside the restaurant. This would be basically right where the “You are Here” map is located (of which I took the above photo).

Here's one view of the restaurant, taken when I was standing in front of the E2 exit doors. You can see the restaurant is literally right next to where people come out of the E2 exit (those white glass doors on the right are in front of the secured baggage/customs area). If people end up arriving at E3, they just have to walk forward towards the long hallway & look for the overhead sign that says E2. It is a 1-minute walk.

And here's another dark shot of the inside of the Baron Rojo restaurant.

That’s my hot tip on an easy meeting place inside Terminal 1 of the Mexico City airport. Good luck & happy flying!

Mexico City Cantina Crawl Report

As a follow up to my previous post regarding the map of cantinas in the Centro Historico, I am delinquent on an report on our Cantina Crawl findings! Good times were had by all, and we managed to hit 4 cantinas prior to walking over to Plaza Garibaldi, hub of mariachi action. I wasn’t sure how busy the Centro Historico would be on a Saturday night, but there were plenty of folks walking around & we didn’t feel any more conspicuous than a group of 16 gringos + latinos normally would. :)  Since several of the cantinas close a little on the early side, we started our activities around 8PM. I think it might be even better to do the crawl during a Saturday afternoon to perhaps maximize the # of local patrons + chances for free snacks.

Stop 1: La Mascota. Definitely would recommend this spot. Plenty of tables, a good crowd, a two-piece band playing hits of the 80’s, a jukebox, attentive waiters, free food (aka botanas). If it’s good enough for Anthony Bourdain & David Lida, it’s good enough for us.

At La Mascota I introduced Susan to one of my favorite drinks, the bandera-- a trifecta of tequila, sangrita, and lime juice.

At La Mascota I introduced Susan to one of my favorite drinks, the bandera-- a trifecta of tequila, sangrita, and lime juice.

No one was exactly certain what was in this drink called "Hierbabuena" (recommended to Ben by our waiter). It was mint-licious, but gave his belly a good coating of cream that was not the best way to start a night of drinking...

No one was exactly certain what was in this drink called "Hierbabuena" (recommended to Ben by our waiter). It was mint-licious, but gave his belly a good coating of cream that was not the best way to start a night of drinking...

 

We even secured some free botanas! (gorditas de frijol with a tasty salsa verde on the side)

We secured some free botanas! (gorditas de frijol with a tasty salsa verde on the side)

Stop 2: Bar Mancera: wouldn’t necessarily rush to this spot…given that we were the only people here outside of two older ladies working the bar + a random cat. The architecture was cool, the paintings were fascinating/disturbing, and the drinks were cheap, but I think our large group slightly terrified the 2 employees, who seemed perfectly content to sit and chat without concern over their lack of customers. :) Perhaps it sees more traffic during the day??

 

One of Bar Mancera's helpful servers pouring tequila while in a slight panic stemming from multiple, simultaneous orders.

One of Bar Mancera's helpful servers pouring tequila while in a slight panic stemming from multiple, simultaneous orders.

 

The elaborate bar at Mancera

The elaborate bar at Mancera

So...this painting was on the wall in Bar Mancera....I'm not exactly sure what is being depicted here, but it seems a little sketchy...

So...this painting was on the wall in Bar Mancera....I'm not exactly sure what is being depicted here, but it seems a little sketchy...

Stop 3: La Puerta del Sol. I might rank this as “not a hot spot but friendly service & cool seating”. I am a sucker for half-moon booths. :) Additionally, it was a high point for me personally as I had my first photo opp in a cantina with swinging doors. I felt like a might have been in a Western/Mexican historical movie, (except for the fact that I was a woman in a cantina for a reason other than prostitution).

Yes!! Thank you swinging cantina doors! I am almost a movie star

Yes!! Thank you swinging cantina doors! I am almost a movie star

The bar at La Puerta del Sol, filled with bargain-priced Negro Modelos galore

The bar at La Puerta del Sol, filled with bargain-priced Negro Modelos galore

The sweet booths at Puerta del Sol, plus the slightly-odd open kitchen with pots-o-mystery-meats

The sweet booths at Puerta del Sol, plus the slightly-odd open kitchen with pots-o-mystery-meats

Stop 4: Salon Corona. As it turns out, there are actually two Salon Coronas. We first went to the one marked on my map at Bolivar 24, el original. This little hole in the wall was *packed*, much to the chagrin of our large group! However, an attentive employee informed us of Salon Corona II and personally escorted us over there to a table set for 16. Salon Corona II (at Filomeno Mata 18) is a 2-floor establlishment with a patio & was also pretty busy, but didn’t have quite the same über-bustling feel as the original. However, they did have sweet-ass beer mugs, cheap cerveza, and magical tacos al pastor.  A fine choice for a “We’re out for a night of drinking BUT we should probably eat something at some point” stop.

The outdoor seating at Salon Corona II... see and be seen!

The outdoor seating at Salon Corona II... see and be seen!

Very tempted to liberate one of these mugs from the bar, but it would have violated my cardinal rule of Beer Glassware: don't steal mugs from places you intend to come back to.

Very tempted to liberate one of these mugs from the bar, but it would have violated my cardinal rule of Beer Glassware: don't steal mugs from places you intend to come back to.

Final stop: Plaza Garibaldi. A must-do! We walked to Garibaldi via Lazaro Cardenas, which is the main drag lined with mariachis decked out in their suits, chasing down cars that drive by (end goal: to get their band hired for a gig that Saturday nite). I’m not going to lie– seeing grown men in tight pants chase after cars makes the trek at least semi-worthwhile before you’ve even *gotten* to the plaza.

Now as I’ve explained to others, Plaza Garibaldi is not the best place for people who are looking to “see it” and get on their way. There is no official performance or specific must-see/must-do there. It is much more of a “go, stand around, buy a $25 peso chelada (beer), do some people-watching, negotiate with a few mariachi bands, sing along to a few songs, and eat a tamale purchased from an elderly woman sitting on a step” kind of place. If you are lucky, you will find a carnival game set up on the sidelines where you will have the opportunity to win fabulous cash and prizes. And by “fabulous cash and prizes”, I mean garish ceramic animal-shaped banks worth <$1 USD.

Also, be aware that Plaza Garibaldi is under construction at present, as the Mexico City government actively works to spruce it up a tick to make it look a bit more welcoming in the light of day. Do not be dissuaded by the ample chain-link fences because remember: you are not going so you can see a thing. You are going so you can experience the culture. A culture of men in tight pants and manly hats.

The first mariachi band that we hired may or may not have been sleepwalking.

The first mariachi band that we hired may or may not have been sleepwalking.

Someone proposed that perhaps I had hired the shortest mariachi band possible in order to make myself feel taller. (God knows that is a constant quest of mine...) ;)

Someone proposed that perhaps I had hired the shortest mariachi band possible in order to make myself feel taller. (God knows that is a constant quest of mine...) ;)

 

We later found a superior mariachi band who was both awake AND had trumpets (*key* to any successful mariachi band). Segio had an instant bond with the lead singer & promptly initiated a sing-off.

We later found a superior mariachi band who was both awake AND had trumpets (*key* to any successful mariachi band). Sergio had an instant bond with the lead singer & promptly initiated a sing-off.

We were excited to spot 1/2 of the band Duran Duran hanging out in Plaza Garibaldi. They have fallen on tough times.

We were excited to spot 1/2 of the band Duran Duran hanging out in Plaza Garibaldi. They have fallen on tough times.

We all tried our hand at the balloon dart toss. All the men failed to puncture 3 balloons with as many darts. The balloons tried to take their revenge on Sergio by eating half of his face.

We all tried our hand at the balloon dart toss. All the men failed to puncture 3 balloons with as many darts. The balloons tried to take their revenge on Sergio by eating half of his face.

I was careful to ensure that all 3 darts actually had sharp tips. (savvy dart player, this one)

I was careful to ensure that all 3 darts actually had sharp tips. (savvy dart player, this one)

Yes!! I hit all three balloons, but then a giant earthquake emerged and almost swallowed me up in a crevasse!! Or that's what this photo was meant to depict, had you actually been able to see the crevasse. Damn.

Yes!! I hit all three balloons, but then a giant earthquake emerged and almost swallowed me up in a crevasse!! Or that's what this photo was meant to depict, had you actually been able to see the crevasse. Damn.

And finally, here is John drinking a chelada while wearing his new birthday hat that Luis kindly purchased for him. I was excited about it until we got the hat home, where John proceeded to wear it the entirety of the next day in our apartment while shouting out demands at me in a southern accent and making shooting noises/gestures with his fingers. The term "varmint" can indeed be overused.

And finally, here is John drinking a chelada while wearing his new birthday hat that Luis kindly purchased for him. I was excited about it until we got the hat home, where John proceeded to wear it the entirety of the next day in our apartment while shouting out demands at me in a southern accent and making shooting noises/gun gestures with his fingers. The term "varmint" can indeed be overused.

In summary, I would say that while there are a couple minor errors on my cantina map (most notably, El Nivel is closed), if you wander around those general streets, you are sure to find something to keep you entertained! Have fun & please report back with any new cantina discoveries to add to my list for the future!!

Mercado de Jamaica– the flower market of Mexico City

This Sunday afternoon, we decided to go for a exploration of the wholesale flower market of Mexico City, Mercado de Jamaica. This massive market is apparently *the* place for purchasing flowers for basically all flower vendors in Mexico City and for locals looking for fresh, gorgeous, bargain-priced flowers. We decided to go here with John’s dad Bob (who’s visiting along w/John’s stepmom Pam) because he’s a certified master gardner (I’m told this is an actual title? Who knew!) & thought he would be amused. If I was holding any sort of celebration here in Mexico City, I would definitely hit up Jamaica to stockpile on stunning flower arrangements in advance, since I cannot arrange my way out of the proverbial paper bag. 

We were initially somewhat skeptical of how different this would be from the other bazillion mercados here in Mexico, but I can confirm: it is definitely worth a visit & also a good spot to bring visitors. (Most of the aisles are quite large/spacious, making it both easy to gawk & take photos from afar, and less stressful for disoriented gringos as you are less likely to be run down by locals with small grocery carts or men carrying sides of beef.) That said, there is plenty of the standard market fare as well, so if you are looking to see piles of avocados, hanging pig heads, or the best damn carnitas stall I’ve experienced, you will still be in luck.

Bob poses with roses (as well as bags of pre-plucked rose petals, in case you are too lazy for a full-fledged game of "He loves me, he loves me not")

Bob poses with roses (as well as bags of pre-plucked rose petals, in case one is too lazy for a full-fledged game of "He loves me, he loves me not")

John's favorite-- pollen-laden lillies. That said, by some act of God, we managed to get through this whole market with neither John's nor Bob's allergies acting up. A small miracle.

John's favorite-- pollen-laden lillies. That said, by some act of God, we managed to get through this whole market with neither John's nor Bob's allergies acting up. A small miracle.

This intriguing arrangement has complements its roses on top with another set of roses upside down, dipping into the water in the vase

This intriguing arrangement has complemented its roses on top with another set of roses upside down, dipping into the water in the vase

The boxes of brightly colored gerberas were some of my favorites

The boxes of brightly colored gerberas were some of my favorites

I have never seen such a vibrant blue dye-job on a calla lily

I have never seen such a vibrant blue dye-job on a calla lily

Whatever your religious ceremony needs-- wedding, funeral, baptism, you name it-- Mercado de Jamaica has you covered

Whatever your religious ceremony needs-- wedding, funeral, baptism, you name it-- Mercado de Jamaica has you covered

For those of you who find individual flowers a bit dull, but love dogs, do not fear: Mercado de Jamaica has something for you as well…

In case this isn't immediately obvious to you, these flowers have been formed into a white dog carrying a rose in his mouth.

In case this isn't immediately obvious to you, these flowers have been formed into a white dog carrying a rose in his mouth.

Pam has a little white kick-dog named Teddy back in Florida, and since she was trapped in our apartment today with a displeasing illness, Bob brought her back a white Teddy look-a-like made from flowers. These are brilliant-- cost $2.10 USD in Mexico, but I bet you could sell these puppies for $30+ in the US. :)

Pam has a little white kick-dog named Teddy back in Florida, and since she was trapped in our apartment today with a displeasing illness, Bob brought her back a white Teddy look-a-like made from flowers. These are brilliant-- cost $2.10 USD in Mexico, but I bet you could sell these puppies for $30+ in the US. :)

 And finally for those of you who hate flowers altogether, still do not fear: like I said, you can always just eat. :)

For those of you familiar with the fruit-like vegetable jicama, this was a stand that sold "paddles" of jicama (note round, white thing on a stick in the back), which were then dampened & dipped in various colored/flavored sugars. A fan favorite with the kids.

For those of you familiar with the fruit-like vegetable jicama, this was a stand that sold "paddles" of jicama (note round, white thing on a stick in the back), which were then dampened & dipped in various colored/flavored sugars. A fan favorite with the kids.

And finally I think we found the best stand for a late lunch-- "Carnitas Paty". The carnitas tacos (braised/carmelized pork) were fantastic. Though we were a bit more skeptical when the client after us ordered what appeared to be several pig penises chopped into taco filling. Concerning.

And finally I think we found the best stand for a late lunch-- "Carnitas Paty". The carnitas tacos (braised/carmelized pork) were fantastic. Though we were a bit more skeptical when the client after us ordered what appeared to be several pig penises chopped into taco filling. Concerning.

John & Bob, mid-pork festival. A productive market trip on all fronts!!

John & Bob, mid-pork festival. A productive market trip on all fronts!!

HOW TO GET TO MERCADO DE JAMAICA IN MEXICO CITY: It is conveniently located right on top of the Metro stop of the same name (Jamaica) on the brown line (#9), whose endpoints are Tacubaya & Pantitlan. By taxi, it is just north of the Viaducto east-west highway and about ~2 miles southeast of the Zocalo.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...