That old saying, 'Como México, no hay dos', is so true. It's used with enormous pride, it's used ironically, it's used with colors-flying patriotic fervor. In the photo above, for example, the signs at these Mexico City outdoor fondas (food booths) read (left to right): Soft Drinks, Beer, and Fruit Drinks. Chicken Soup. We Repair Baby Jesuses. Only in Mexico can you find such wonderfully surrealistic juxtapositions. Como México, no hay dos.
Mexico Cooks! tacked four days in Mexico City onto the end of our February trip to Chiapas. We'd been invited to stay at the home of our dear friend Ruth Alegría (Alegria in Mexico) and didn't want to pass up the chance to comadrear tantito (to gossip a little bit) about the Distrito Federal food world. Our time with Ruth was a fast-forward speed combination of eating, yakking, and running around the city. Boy, did we have fun!
Among our muchos recorridos (lots of running around), we visited the Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul) and the central plaza of Colonia Coyoacán.
One of the best times was a pozole outing with Ruth and another couple, Jim Johnston and Nick Gilman. Jim is the author of Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide for the Curious Traveler; Nick wrote Good Food in Mexico City: A Guide to Food Stalls, Fondas, and Fine Dining. (Look over on the left-hand side of this page for Amazon links to those two books--they're both well worth buying! Mexico Cooks! wouldn't shill for them...umm...well, or maybe we would!)
Who would know the best pozolería in Mexico City better than a passel of foodies? Ruth drove; she's intrepid behind the wheel, even in this city of nearly 30,000,000 souls. We voyaged north from our digs in south central Colonia Condesa, heading for Colonia Santa María La Ribera, near Alameda Norte. Mexico Cooks! has spent a lot of time in the Distrito Federal, but this was our first time in Colonia Santa María La Ribera. Nick assured us that we would love the pozolería.
Nick was right. La Casa de Toño is sheer heaven, from the salsas to the postres. The restaurant has been a Mexico City stronghold forever. It's open every day of the year, including Christmas. You can pay a virtual visit to La Casa de Toño here. We had a blast eating our way through a goodly part of the menu. We know we'll go back again next time we're in the city.
Of course we ordered pozole, the specialty of the house, but we also tried a quesadilla or two, a tostada de tinga, and some flautas. Four of us ordered pozole con maciza de puerco, the white meat of the pig. Jim ordered the pozole vegetariano, made with squash blossoms, mushrooms, and corn. I'm a confirmed meat-eater, but Jim's vegetarian pozole was just as delicious as the meat-filled bowl I ate.
Next week: Let's Make Pozole.