Postcard from Oaxaca, Mexico: Food with a Castilian accent

Above: Camarones Gaditanos at El Olivo Gastrobar

With almost every “postcard” from our 2022 trip to Spain delivered, these photos should smooth your, and our, transition to Mexico.

Relatively new on the scene is Casa Celia on Quintana Roo. Although Mexican, the chef spent ten years in restaurants in Barcelona. The menu changes weekly, with paella served most weekends and always options for vegetarians.

Naturally, we began with croquetas, these with portobello and blue cheese. The roasted chicken Catalan appeared true to its namesake, while the betabel tortelon was light, despite its appearance. Delicate slices of roasted beet served as the “pasta,” while the sauce resembled a traditional nogada, unexpectedly dashed with olive oil. A dense dark chocolate tarte rounded out the meal.

The featured dish of camarones Gaditanos at El Olivo Gastrobar has been among my favorites for several years. Plump shrimp surround a bed of serrano ham with a tomato sauce spiked with Pernod. Pasta Rufimar boasts shrimp, clams, squid and octopus in a tomato and white wine sauce.

We skipped the after-lunch tragos, opting instead for ice cream topped with walnut garapinadas. Sorry Dude, the helado just tied the meal together. But hope El Duderino is impressed by the White Russian riff El Olivo offers as El Gran Lebowski.

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