I like to label myself a vegetarian, but technically, I’m not really. I’m more of a fish-i-tarian, meaning I’ll eat fish and shellfish, although I try to limit how much seafood I eat. I seem unable to give it up entirely, perhaps because I grew up on the Gulf Coast. My favorite food in the world has always been, and remains, Mexican seafood.
So, I was very pleased by the availability of fresh seafood in Mexico City. Our friends Jeremy and Nancy prepared us a divine mustard-encrusted salmon dinner, and we twice ate at an outdoor seafood restaurant in Coyoacan, the little historic and hip neighborhood where our friends live.
But we also had some tasty vegetarian food (beer counts!).
First, we were lucky enough to venture out early one morning to a cafe that was just pulling out some fresh conchas from the oven. They were flaky, buttery, warm and coated in a light vanilla and chocolate frosting that wasn’t too heavy. I tried not to audibly moan when I ate my concha. We also had raviolis de huitlacoche, a Mexico delicacy that is a type of smoky tasting fungus that grows on corn.
And we drank multiple michelada beers. Depending on where you are in Mexico, ordering a beer “michelada style” means it comes with a glass that’s been partially filled with at least one of the following: lime juice, chile powder, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper and Tequila. In Mexico City, it was simply lime juice with some margarita salt on the cup’s rim. In Tulum, it was far more elaborate and spicy, like a Bloody Mary. One night we also went to a mezcal bar, and ordered shots of flavored mezcal, a strong liquor made from agave plants. I had the coconut and caramel flavored varities. It’s a bit like sipping syrup.
We also tried some street food that was very popular in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main central plaza. (Every Mexican city and town I’ve been to always has at least one plaza area that serves as a gathering place for locals. A church is always located near the plaza.) We’re not sure what the name of this dish was, but it was a blue-corn tortilla topped with refried beans, nopalitos (cactus), cilantro, salsa and a crumbled white cheese:
The tostada dish is prepared by lots of little ladies sitting across the Zocalo: