Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Bugs? yum!

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Limosneros in Centro Historico that serves ant pupae and beetles among other non-insect-y traditional cuisine.

Upscale bar with some lovely selection of mezcal.

Hmmm….lunch time mezcal. Served in a traditional dried hull of a fruit (calabash).

Salt with toasted ground grasshoppers and sweet lemon to cleanse your palate in between the mezcal sips. A friend had mentioned that toasted grasshopper legs scratch your throat going down! But in ground form, I could not taste anything aside from a spicy salt.

Escamoles – smoked ant pupae with epazote (a very distinctive herb), ayocote (a specific variety of ayocote bean, originally from oaxaca), humo de canela (cinnamon smoke). Escamole was served in a glass container with smoke inside.

Make yourself a taco (these were homemade) with the escamoles and add some spicy salsa. The escamoles look a little like plump version of rolled oats, a little sticky, somewhat chewy, a little funky tasting. It can be acquired taste like blue cheese.

Roasted beetles on top of cheese blocks wrapped in squash blossoms served with a couple of difference sauces. The beetles looked a little scary and I remembered my friend’s warning about legs scratching your throat going down. And I was worried about any goo-y secretion in my mouth once I bit down. But in reality, it was hollow and crispy and tasted like a mild nut. Overall, both thumbs up!

Written by locomotoring

April 17, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Mexico, Mexico City

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Dulceria de Celaya in Mexico City

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Dulceria de Celaya, founded in 1874, is a traditional sweet shop in Centro Historico district.

Fried and glistening with syrup.

Various sweetened fruits. Reminded me of “Petha” from Agra, the translucent sweet candy made from a variety of white pumpkin. The pumpkin is soaked in chemical lime before cooking in syrup. Sounds strange when described but tastes like Pâte de fruit.

Doughnuts

Almond milk and coconut concoction and guava Pâte de fruit.

Almond and coconut pâte de fruit, in a sugar cooked lime.

Written by locomotoring

April 11, 2016 at 6:17 am

Best steak at Mercado de Medellin

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Los Canarios at Mercado de Medellin was a recommendation from New York Times from “36 Hours in Mexico City”. Since 1968, Los Canarios has been serving grilled meats, like sliced filet mignon at price of a plate of taco!

Medellin is a vibrant colorful non-touristy marketplace with a neighborhood vibe.

Tasty black beans.

Steak with cactus and onions.

Trio of stunning salsas.

Backdrop of sizzling meats and chopping action.

Written by locomotoring

April 11, 2016 at 5:41 am

Taste of new fruits in Mexico City

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Black sapote. You have to eat them when they get really ripe and squishy.

A dessert soup of black sapote and orange juice at Contramar.

Granadilla (fruit of the plant Passiflora ligularis). When ripe and ready to eat, the fruit feels hollow and the outer surface is brittle.

Granadilla on the inside. The little jelly like kernels stick to each other gently. They are easy to scoop out with a spoon. The individual kernels burst in your mouth releasing a lightly sweet and refreshing nectar. The seeds are crunchy and somewhat tart.

Written by locomotoring

April 11, 2016 at 1:59 am

Posted in Mexico, Mexico City

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El Cardenal in Centro Histórico

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Be prepared for a 40-60 min wait or even longer. It would have been wonderful to try out all their dishes to find a few personal favorites. In our sampling, the mole sauce turned out to be stunning.

Fresh Oxacan cheese sauteed in butter, wrapped in zucchini blossoms, onions and strips of green chili and baked in banana leaves. Served with tacos. The fresh cheese is lightly salted, crumbly and not unlike taste of Indian paneer. Zucchini blossoms do not have a strong taste but they add prettiness to the dish. Served with an excellent green salsa and fresh made corn tortilla. Overall, a refreshing start of the meal. We had sufficient leftover that we brought back and had for breakfast the next day.

A stunning mole sauce with chicken leg. Mole had several varieties of chili, chocolate, spices, and peanuts. Chicken was cooked separately and mole was ladled on top.

Fall off the bone beef shank cooked in traditional spices. This was tasty but not unusual like the mole. Perhaps my own familiarity with south Asian spices made this particular dish less unusual. Again there was sufficient leftover that we brought back and had as part of breakfast tacos!

Written by locomotoring

January 3, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Los Danzantes in Coyoacán

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Los Donzantes came after the visit to Casa Azul. Along with excellent food, this was our first experience with Mezcal. It turns out that Donzantes brand is one of the more popular mezcal brands. Mezcal is a whisky like alcohol made exclusively from agave cacti. It is almost always smoky.  The variety of agave results in other particular flavors.  Smoothness depends on the distillation and maturation process. It is sipped like a good brandy and between sips, you can cleanse your palate with salt – typically you get sliced sweet limes to suck down the salt. Grasshopper salt is traditional but not served as default. I would have to guess that the price of mezcal is proportional to the wildness of the agave variety (hence hard to produce in large batches) and romance around the brand is based on the remoteness of the distillery.

Up until Donzantes, my familiarity with agave was the grand flowering process. Near our old home, our neighbor’s agave, which was nearly as tall as me, bloomed over course of an year. My best guess is that it was Agave Americana variety,  the flowering stalk was as tall as a telephone pole. The plant died after the flowering process (their reproductive fate) and gave birth to a dozen small ones. I have always loved cacti, but after tasting mezcal, I am elevating my love for agave to the same level as my love for elephants. And please don’t head towards extinction, I promise I will drink wild mezcal in moderation.

Los Donzantes happens to be next to the beautiful Fuente de Los Coyotes in Jardin Centenario. So, in addition to their excellent Mezcal, al fresco dining without smoke and gasoline to flavor your meal is actually feasible here.

Fuente de Los Coyotes in Jardin Centenario

Early start to Mezcal, this is one of Donzantes reposado house brand.

Early finish to Mezcal!

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Written by locomotoring

January 2, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Real tamales in Mexico City

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Monasterio Tamales is a small food stall a few blocks from Frida Kahlo Museum. Perfect place to lunch before queuing up for the museum visit. And oh, these are the genuine article – fluffiness that can’t be brought about by “healthy” fats. A lunch that cost us a grand total of USD $4 for four tamales.

Savory tamales

Sweet tamales? I didn’t know this concept existed. But it makes perfect sense in hindsight.

We had ordered shrimp but I think they either ran out of shrimp that day or gave us a vegetarian option.

Cuitlacoche – famous tar-like corn fungus. We had our first taste of this fungus at a hole in the wall in LA. Since then, we have ordered Cuitlacoche anywhere we have seen it on the menu.

Mole

Guava (Guayaba) – this was surprisingly yummy. They had basically taken the guava pulp and discarded the seeds.

Written by locomotoring

January 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized