Am slinging out these final food shots from our fall visit to Mexico City like a short-order cook in a bad diner, but I am off taking new photos of meals in an entirely different spot on the map.
Most of these are from the Roma Norte neighborhood where we stayed. Am keeping my comments at a minimum, so the pictures will have to serve in helping you decide about restaurants when journeying there yourself.
Particularly enjoyed the abundance of vegetable dishes, including a no-pasta spaghetti, at Bowie Cocina de Humo, but the restaurant does take its name seriously. Every course is tinged with smoke-infused flavor. By the end of the meal, my mouth almost felt as though I’d been smoking. We found the much-heralded Nudo Negro with its show-off parade up to the kitchen to receive your amuse-bouche from the hands of a chef a tad bit pretentious, but the long-roasted eggplant, split open and topped with humus tableside, melts in your mouth.
There must be thousands of less expensive places to eat a Mexican-style breakfast in Mexico City, but the park-facing patio of Café Toscano on Orizaba is so pleasant the higher price tag was absorbed without question. Both the red and green chilaquiles are wonderful, and the fresh juice combinations round out the meals.
We loved the neighborhood comfort feeling of having pizza on the patio at Cancino Roma or shrimp arancini and a bowl of robust roasted tomato soup at Macelleria, where, as you can see from the featured photo, the restaurant correctly profiled us with the name of the house wine. Few tables at the popular Huset fail to order avocado pizza.
The variety and freshness of ingredients and recipes never disappointed us at Delirio. Fresh salads and sandwiches, moussaka and falafel and fresh meringues are among the celebrated bakery’s fare.
Bowie Cocina de Humo chicken
Paprika roasted eggplant
Galanga Thai Kitchen seafood tom
Volver blue cheese burger
Macelleria grilled squid
Nudo Negro roasted eggplant
Broka Bistrot shrimp lunch special
Paprika curried squid
Cancino Roma grain salad with cauliflower
Galanga Thai Kitchen green papaya salad
Nudo Negro parading to kitchen for amuse bouche
Huset mezcal cocktail
Galanga Thai Kitchen platano and helado
Macelleria roasted tomato soup
Casino Espanol beef filet with shrimp
Bowie Cocina de Humo no pasta spaghetti
Huset grilled romaine salad
Huset avocado pizza
Delirio mint and watercress salad
Paprika rice with garbanzos
Cafe Toscano chilaquiles verdes
NonSolo roasted vegetables
Broka Bistrot concinita pibil
Galanga Thai Kitchen amarillo curry with mariscos
Delirio falafel sandwich
Macelleria arancini de camaron
Paprika chicken with spicy sauce
Paprika lilo cocktail with tequila, ginger and spearmint
Huset grilled tuna
Cancino Roma pear and gorgonzola pizza
Nudo Negro splitting roasted eggplant tableside
Casino Espanol seafood soup
Huset roasted vegetables
Casino Espanol croquetas
Casino Espanol boquerones
Cafe Toscano chilaquiles rojos
Bowie Cocina de Humo grilled vegetables
Delirio curried rice with garbanzos
Huset pollo arroz
Buenavida Fonda roasted vegetable cemita
Cancino Roma fig and bacon pizza
Veering even farther away from stereotypical Mexican food, the curries and toms at Galanga Thai Kitchen are worth seeking. The green papaya salad in particular drew us out for a return visit. With its flavorful chicken, roasted eggplant and falafel moistened with spinach, Paprika enticed us back for multiple meals as well.
From there, jump into downtown for the old-school formality of service in the high-ceilinged Casino Espanol, worthy of entering for viewing the stained-glass in its Porfirio-era home alone. The croquetas, boquerrones and seafood soup transported us to Spain.
We almost avoided Casino Espanol after reading a review describing it as the type of restaurant attracting old suits entertaining young mistresses, but there were only a pair or two seeming to fit in that category. The poor Mister and Vic, unsuited and in the company of old wives.
Whether squiring old spouses or young paramours, diving into a throwback to the past is a recommended ingredient balancing out all the trendy contemporary kitchens so abundant in this bustling culinary capital.