“Are you going to Mexico AGAIN? Yes I am …but not the beach this time." I had this conversation four different times while scheduling appointments, consultations and dinners prior to traveling for a long weekend last month.
With no plans for an upcoming weekend, a fabulous, spontaneous friend who explores a new city like the best of ‘em and four free days and nights with nothing on the calendar… fabulous friend and I got on a Monday night call with MacBooks on our laps to pick our destination for that coming Friday departure.
The rules were:
- City that neither of us have been before
- Direct flight (me Chicago; she SLC)
- Something culturally significant
- Good weather
- Great food and wine
- Nice hotel
- No rental car allowed
And the winner was? Mexico City.
What a trip. It was beyond a winner. It blew us both away. As a lifelong lover and appreciator of travel, design, cultural wonders, arts, outdoor markets and craftsmanship, stylized, creative cuisine as well as simple, good food, warm and welcoming service, great regional wine and beers and most importantly meeting wonderful people, I don’t think we could have found a more perfect city. Mexico City. Wow.
After arriving, dropping our bags at the Four Seasons Mexico City, D.F. and grabbing our walking map, we set off for the most famous restaurant of all, Pujol. We knew we wouldn’t get in but hey, maybe we could try to see if there was a chance to snag a spot sometime over the weekend (there’s a two month advance reservation and the hotel concierge tried although he knew it was a hopeless cause). Well, you don’t know if you don’t try in person and within three hours of landing we unexpectedly scored two available seats for the omakase taco and beverage menu tasting. Wow. Upon our first course, we both decided that this was only our first visit to Mexico City. This was going to be a trip to explore it’s neighborhoods and eat, eat and eat. Next time we would visit the pyramids, museums and do all the stuff we were supposed to do.
Everything we saw, heard, touched and tasted was just one awe-inspiring experience after another. We logged over seven miles a day on our phone trackers from just walking and exploring the neighborhoods. Thank goodness because we ate, ate and ate in all of them. Condesa. Polanco. Juarez. El Centro. Roma. Zone Rosa. Only one uber to San Angel for the Saturday Market. And that was worth the ride!
These are some of the culinary and liquid highlights:
From the 12-course omakase taco tasting paired with custom "local" drinks. incredible.
Three I loved:
Corn dog with chipotle aioli flecked with ant ash paired with tamarind mezcal margarita
Tortilla with pressed green leaf, amberjack, jicama, greens from their garden, lime paired with Bocanegra Pilsner
Blue corn tortilla with roasted lamb, squash blossom, avocado purée, watercress paired with Grapho Cabernet Sauvignon/Barbera/Nebbiolo, Baja California
San Angel Market and Saks
Mezcal tasting bar
Guacamole topped with grilled cebola, grilled Oaxacan cheese and grilled cactus with homemade tortilla chips (of course)
Book a flight and go. And email me if you want recommendations. Here is my first one- make a reservation at Pujol two months before you leave. Who knows. I may be there again right alongside you at the omakase bar. Adios!