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.

Postcard from Oaxaca: Serious salads

Gorgeous greens, so incredibly fresh they taste as though the kitchen just harvested them from a rooftop garden.

Not the stereotypical first food post from Oaxaca, but the salads in this capital of respectful fusion of ancient cooking traditions and contemporary presentations are that good. Long-gone are the days when traveling Americans need feel constrained in vegetable consumption, and Oaxaca is about more than mole.

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Among the salads we have sampled recently are:

  • Mounds of fresh watercress – berros – with pears, Roquefort and honey, a wonderful spinach and grapefruit salad and yet another one with roasted nopales, asparagus and smoky quesillo at La Biznaga
  • Spinach salad with a round of goat cheese and crispy adornment at Los Danzantes
  • An organic salad with strawberries and crispy strips of sweet potatoes and one layering fresh nopales and roasted baby kale topped with luscious enormous shrimp covered with chapulines, toasted grasshoppers – a Oaxacaan delicacy – at La Olla
  • Spinach salad topped with pomegranate seeds and a stone-ground mustard vinaigrette at El Morocco Café
  • An abundance of arugula and pears at Mexita

More food posts ahead.