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A return to Mexico City after way too long…

posted on May 19, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Driving into Mexico City is a nightmarish hell-it makes Atlanta traffic seem like nothing. I was exhausted and cranky from the flight from Paris-I just wanted to eat something and crash. Then my mood lifted-I was going to have tacos al pastor tonight. All seemed right with the world. We arrived at our hotel in Polanco after what seemed like hours. We threw our bags into the rooms and jumped in our car. My dad deftly wove in and out of traffic to take us to El Tizoncito in his old neighborhood. Forever the foodie, my father took us for a quick taco de suadero (a thin cut of beef used in tacos) at a stand before we hit the pastor. I don’t remember the name of the place because I was so out of it, but I do remember the taco was fabulous. One taste of that amazing salsa verde and I was back to life. I had to be careful with my camera due to the crime rate, but I did get some photos.

Suadero Stand
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We then proceeded to El Tizoncito. We all ordered pastor and it was unbelievable. Little pieces of mouth-watering pork and pineapple on perfect small handmade tortillas. This was the Mexico I loved. No pretense, just food done right. I could have eaten 20 of those things, but I took it easy. Quite possibly one of my top five favorite foods.

Pastor at El Tizoncito
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Pastor on the spit
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The next morning we got ready quickly and went to Los Panchos for carnitas. I have always loved this place. My dad has been coming here so long that he called our white-haired waiter, Blondie. We hungrily eyed the menu and put in our orders. Everything was stupendous. My favorites of the day were my Dad’s mixed pork taco made crunchy by bits of fried pork skin.
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Business end of the taco ready to be attacked by my father.
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Only in Mexico can you get a zucchini flower taco that looks this good.
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I also snapped some photos of the tortilla experts at work (they make each tortilla to order).
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My dad was dying to take us to have a taco at El Jarocho. He ordered us a mixture of beef and pork on some fresh tortillas. I topped it with some of their amazing salsa verde and sliced avocado. The menu is crazy. Any meat you could ever want.
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I was very excited about dinner on our last night in Mexico. We were going to Patricia Quintana’s restaurant Izote. I had not been in a long while and was anxious to see if it lived up to the hype in my mind. After a family reunion at a little coffee shop, my sister and I went to our room for a quick nap. I woke up and it was midnight. I had missed dinner. The horror! I ended up eating a bad club sandwich from room service before passing out again.

The next morning we got our stuff together to make our final trip home. On our way to the airport, my sister’s well-tuned taco eye spotted a brand new restaurant on the side of the road. We decided to get a little stuff to nibble on for the plane. I could not tell you how to get there, but it was a great spot and their gorditas were solid. Here is the man who handles the meat.

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Toppings for the tacos
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We also grabbed some of these gorditas and sopes
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Great trip and two days was too short. I could spend months there despite the crime, pollution, and lack of solid infrastructure. Maybe I should do a photography book on Mexican street food….
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