Corazon de Maguey in the Coyoacan area of Mexico City of Frieda Kahlo fame (the area not the restaurant). I loved the tamarind Margarita made with mezcal even though I don't usually like tamarind as a solo drink. Mix in some alcohol and frappe it and I suddenly loved it. I also discovered mezcal, which I hadn't tried before, and bought four small bottles at the El Rey distilling plant in Oaxaca days later.
The top dish on this trip was chile en nogada, which fortunately was in season. My friend I was eating with told me it is a very labor intensive dish and worth trying. What's not to like about a poblano chile stuffed with a mix of ground meat, onion and pineapple, topped with a nutty walnut sauce and sprinkled with beautiful pomegranate seeds? It's from Puebla and associated with the country's independence, which explains the ode to the Mexican flag with its corresponding colors of green, red and white.
I also loved the chocolate cake that had a surprise center oozing with 80% Oaxaca chocolate and came with a side of cotija cheese sorbet. See what I mean? You can't find this kind of creativity in any of the Mexican joints stateside. Ok, the flavor of the sorbet was a bit pungent for my taste but it was still a welcome take on traditional flavors and textures.
We went to a neighborhood taco joint, El Farolito, which was also a revelation. It didn't just offer carne asada tacos. It offered skirt steak or rib meat. I learned that arrachera meant flank steak. Did I want that with cheese? Sure. It turned out it wasn't any shredded cheese or even queso fresco. It was manchego cheese, melted on the grill over the meat. Wonderful.
I like roasted salsas so it was nice having several to choose from. The salsa verde that I usually don't like was super fresh and concentrated in flavor.
Merotoro that I had never tried before and therefore will mention. I'm not sure how much I liked the flavors but I always like to try new ingredients and mix them with familiar ones.
First was salicornia, a green that was very mild in flavor but was an interesting accompaniment to the raw clams and cucumbers.
The flavor was also mild but the texture was a bit odd, on the gooey side and chewy. It was definitely a type of dish not easily found out here and a great summer dish for its crunch and refreshing mix.
One other cool thing I had in Mexico City was fried parsley that came with a dollop of cream cheese in the middle at La Tecla, a trendy spot in the posh Colonia Roma neighborhood. Such an odd idea but somehow it worked.