Breakfast - La Antigua
I had settled into my routine of morning chocolate con agua with whatever breads were avalable, and Tyler with his coffee and eggs.
Lunch - El Escapulario
We were recommended this restaurant because of its affordable food and "great view of the mountains." Well, we can vouch for the affordable food, but the view is not so great, although you can see the mountains (if you sit at one table and look through the powerlines).
We had actually walked by many times and ignored it because of the fancy sign - too fancy for our tastes.
Menu del dia was kiwi juice, squash blossom sopa with bread.
Chicken with rice and a tomatillo sauce.
And another chicken dish with a spicier sauce.
As you can tell from my comments, the meal was fine but not memorable.
Dinner -We were supposed to go to Caldo de Piedra but they were closed for the evening meal, so we ended up at La Casa del Tío Güero. Caldo is known for its namesake - stone soup. They apparently bring you a bowl of soup and drop hot stones in to heat it. Maybe next time. Tío Güero was a desperation meal since we were both famished and kinda of lost. Nice decor and typical food.
Post Dinner - Arabia Café
But for after dinner drinks we stumbled upon this fun place!
Definitely not high dining, but unique versus many of the other restaurants that look very similar and have near identical menus. This is where the hipsters go and its near Juárez Park. Tyler had a Torres Diez brandy and I had michelada - a bloody mary like beer drink.
Those drinks were followed by a chocolate fondue.
Lunch - Itanoni
This was the most anticipated meal only because I was given some beans from Rancho Gordo's owner to give to Amado, the chef/owner of Itanoni. The café isn't the easiest to find because of its low-key store front, but its a wonderful story in the making. From Frommers:
This business began as a tortilla shop. The owner then decided to branch out into making other things besides tortillas. He is dedicated to preserving different forms of native corn and makes use of their varying characteristics in the cooking. The dishes are simple and safe, and include traditional antojitos such as tacos, quesadillas, memelitas, and a couple I had never heard of: tetelas, and his own "de ese." I like these last two a lot. You can get them with a variety of fillings, including bean, cheese, mushrooms, huitlacoche, and others.
Some nice juices to get us started - jamaica and kiwi. And here's the set-up.
They had three of these ovens on the grounds - I forget their official name, but they're similar to a small horno with a concave top for grilling. These were gas powered. The cooks ground the corn in front of you and worked their metates patting out the tortillas while you watch. Here is much of their menu to give you an idea of what they serve:
And the obligatory memolita con queso.
My favorite was the tetala (triangular filled tortilla) which oozed with cream. You can find a nice writeup by another blogger HERE.
One of the fun aspects was that you ordered sushi style. The server brought you the slip and you checked the various items. We ate our fair share, sampling much of what was on the menu.
Of all of the restaurants we visited, this was one of our favorites. The food wasn't unique or exemplary in flavor, but again, Amado is trying to do it right, and those tortillas really were something special.
Dinner - El Che
Here was our splurge meal. We had walked so much that day and wanted a nicer meal. Nicer by Oaxacan standards runs around $50 per person (v. $5-10). Coincidentally the local orchestra had set up for a street performance that night right outside the window so we had great live music while we dined. I had octopus Veracruz style...good but not outstanding.
And I asked which desserts were made in-house and was told two, one being apple strudel.
Our final day and we were finally leaving the city. We had the joy of taking a second class bus, which isn't as hard as finding the right but. And, the buses were coralled at the best market in town - totally overwhelming. We headed out to Teotlitlan del Valle where you're dropped by the bus on the side of the highway and start walking the two miles up into town. Eventually a cab will come get you for a couple of bucks to finish the trip. We ate at the relatively famous Tlamanalli, run by the Menodoza sisters who offer authentic Oaxacan and pre-Hispanico foods. When we asked a guy in TdV about the restaurant, telling him that we heard it was the best food in the entire valley, he laughed and said, "Well, some people lie."
Lunch - Tlamanalli Teotlitlan del Valle
Purple corn tortillas with guacamole
Squash blossom soup with a filled tortilla.
And on the last day of the trip...molé
Tyler had the pollo Azteca from the pre-Hispanico menu.
Overall, very pricey but a good meal. Best in the valley - no.
Dinner - Casa María Lombardo
No pictures, but this is a nice pizza house where the pizzas are fired in hornos. We avoided it because pizzas felt so out of place, but actually there is a local food that is a cousin to the pizza. If I remember right it was the tleyuda.
That's it for the food pics. Tomorrow I'll sort through my thoughts on Oaxaca as a foodie destination.