Postcard from Oaxaca, Mexico: Final flavorful food photos

Aside from Los Danzantes and La Biznaga mentioned in an earlier post, we patronized other restaurants worth suggesting. Again, will mainly let the photos do their own self-promotion.

  • Mexita Restaurante definitely is in the running to become a place we enjoy going to multiple times during a trip, but, alas, we didn’t visit until the last week. In the past year, the Italian restaurant moved out of the historic center to the Reforma side of the city, which seemed to have changed the profile of its customer base from overwhelmingly American to mainly Mexican. The individual-sized arugula salad is ample for two, and we split a stunningly gorgeous seafood pizza.
  • We fell in love with Origen a year ago, yet only went once this time. We loved the casual intimacy of the small inner courtyard, where you could feel the chef-driven kitchen pulsing beside you. Now there is a more formally appointed dining room upstairs. The innovative takes using regional Oaxacan ingredients were still beautifully prepared and are recommended, but we ourselves were unprepared for the stiff, more traditional atmosphere.
  • Café Bistrot Epicuro offers Italian Mediterranean dishes in its quiet interior. Its grilled shrimp and calamari platter and its seafood linguini are well presented, but my favorite part is the eggplant amuse-bouche. More please.
  • La Teca is a homey spot. Because it is actually a home. Pass through the tables set up in the almost garage-like entryway if the front door through the family’s living room is not open, and head back to the pleasant little patio. The food presented is Istmos-style. Unless you haven’t eaten in days, don’t be persuaded to order the works. The multi-course meal is both too expansive and expensive. The food is heavy, so stick to one or two items al a carte.
  • Gourmand Delicatessen presents a major change of pace. The small deli is a spot we order whole Spanish tortillas to take home for breakfasts or dinners. Sandwiches, sliders (particularly the eggplant one) and salads are all good, and Gourmand bakes their own rolls and bagels.
  • We keep looking for a good Sinaloan seafood spot in Oaxaca. We tried off-the-tourist-track Don Camaron this time. The ceviche was good, and the smoked marlin taco was something I’d never had before. But maybe one of the places with the lines running out the doors on a Sunday might prove more atmospheric.
  • A bright interior cozy patio surrounded by a book store characterizes La Jicara, offering numerous vegetarian options. The lentil and carrot tostadas were wonderfully refreshing.
  • Not a destination if you are on the other side of town, but the little Trattoria y Pizzeria fronting Conzatti Park is a nice neighborhood pizza place. The apple and gorgonzola pizza was simple and had a wonderfully thin crust, and the server delivers an amazingly addictive dish of olive oil loaded with thin crisp slices of caramelized garlic as a complimentary starter.
  • We loved picking up earthy breads from Pan y Co, and would pick up freshly roasted and ground coffee from a shop on a pedestrian plaza-like street running off Los Arcos and almost next door to chef Susannah Trilling’s new storefront offering her Seasons of My Heart moles and chocolates. So new even her website doesn’t list it and its address yet, and so new she herself was standing in it arranging things and talking to us about her products and classes. Sorry, those aren’t very helpful directions…. Maybe next time, in addition to wining and dining, I’ll break down and take one of her cooking classes.

Postcard from Oaxaca: Flavorful Leftovers

Sometimes you get home from a trip with the postcards you bought to mail to family and friends unwritten and unsent. That’s what these final food photographs from our month in Oaxaca represent.

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Primarily, the photos speak for themselves, and some of these restaurants were mentioned in the much earlier “Serious Salads” post.

A few notes:

  • We ordered the top-billed pizza at Mexita, which, with a creamy wild mushroom sauce at the base, really had too much going on. Try something more minimalist.
  • The mound of caramelized onions on top of the vegetable couscous at El Morocco Café is wonderful.
  • The atmosphere and food at Epicuro, an Italian restaurant, are good enough to go more than once, but the management needs to lose the cards the servers must ask you to read before you are served. Obviously, the management was offended by some online reviews, and the card says customers are not always right and should take up any criticisms on site instead of online. Ignore the insult because the pizzas and grilled seafood are worthwhile.
  • Presentations are colorful and food straightforward at La Zandunga. We probably would have visited more than once if it were not so close to our favorite spot, La Biznaga.
  • La Teca was way on the other side of town. The Istmeno food was a little heavy for our tastes, but we loved the locals and families gathering on the back patio in the garden.
  • We grabbed sandwiches or a Spanish tortilla from Gourmand Delicatessen several times. The potato-filled tortilla represents a flavorful bargain, feeding the two of us two meals.
  • And, of course, there was street food, ours generally purchased from a woman we would pass on our way home.
  • Oh, and make frequent detours through Jardin Socrates in front of the Soledad Church where neverias vend ice cream in flavors not found north of the border.

Hope this series of restaurant posts serves as a helpful guide for those planning trips to one of our favorite spots in Mexico.