Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Mexico City Weekend Part 4

An evening at "La Embajada Jarocha*".

Sunday night, after our walk through the park, we were hungry again. After all, our meals that day had been light picnic fare and a lot of coffee.

None of us wanted a big deal meal nor to travel very far. We did a Google Maps search for Colonia Roma Norte and restaurants. Near the top of the results was "La Embajada Jarocha", only 6 or so blocks from our hotel, at the corner of Calle Jalapa and Calle Zacatecas. Doña Cuevas and I had eaten there in 2009, and had mixed feelings about the food, but we were willing to give it another try.

La Embajada Jarocha, esq. C/ Jalapa a C/ Zacatecas

Of the two dining rooms, the ground floor one is plain and simple. The upper dining room is spiffier. It's also where the nightly music happens. There's a Cuban style band and a small dance floor.
We are not fans of music while we dine, but the sounds were irresistible, and after our meal we went up to enjoy the scene and the music.

Upstairs at La Embajada Jarocha

The menu consists of carnes (which we never have seriously considered) and seafood dishes, most in the Veracruzano style. On our previous visit, Sra. Cuevas ordered Arroz a la Tumbada, which is a spicy seafood stew over rice, but the cook forgot to put in the rice! Undeterred, she ordered it again, and this time it was complete: not only was there rice, but lots of seafood in a slightly oversalted caldo.

Huachinango a la Veracruzana
Ron asked the waiter about a filete de Huachinango a la Veracruzana, but it was available only as a whole fish. The price was $180 pesos. That was fine with Ron, but he wanted it prepared without additional salt. Our solicitous waiter brought Ron a small dish of the Veracruzana sauce so he could try it. (I would have thought that the sauce should be prepared to order.) Ron was pleased with the dish. I had a taste, and would have preferred it without raisins and with fewer carrots.

On our earlier visit, I'd had a filete de pescado al acuyo. Acuyo is the Veracruzano word for the lightly anise flavored Hoja Santa. The filet had a clean, fresh and mild flavor.

This time I ended up with a similar preparation of filete de mero, but seasoned with chile, limón and parsley. The waiter warned that the chile was habanero, so I asked for poquito chile. Really, I should have ordered it "as is", but it was fine. The method of cooking filets of fish with herbal seasonings, wrapped in aluminum foil seems a favored technique at La Jarocha. Although the presentation might be more attractive and the flavor subtly better if, for example, banana leaves were used, it's just not that fancy a restaurant. It's an unpretentious, neighborhood kind of place.

Filete de mero al chile-limón
 We stayed a while, enjoying it all. We then tipped the band and walked back to the hotel.


Food: ***
Service: ***1/2
Price: $$
Ambience: Simple ground floor dining room (take a table away from the dish pass through); upstairs dining room is decorated with murals of the Port of Veracruz. Full bar upstairs. Overall, a friendly neighborhood spot.
Restrooms: O.k.

* The name is tongue in cheek, meaning "The Jarocha Embassy". "Jarocho/a" is a term for a person from Veracruz.


Steve Cotton said...

I am going to be in Mexicio City for 5 days with no dinner planned. Any suggestions?

Don Cuevas said...

Steve, there are so many options and I know so little of your tastes in dining, I wouldn't know where to begin.

Help me out:
1. Time of day.
2. Type of cuisine.
3. Budget.
4. Where will you be staying, and how far are you willing to travel?

But, off the top of my head, I suggest El Bajío, (the original), art Av, Cuitlahuac, Colonia Obrera Popular, Del. Azcapotzalco for afternoon comida. It's one of the best traditional Mexican regional restaurants in the city, and in the moderate price range.

El Racó, Colonia Condesa for New Catalán cuisine. Pricey.

Argentine steakhouse: Parilla Quilmes, Av Alfonso Reyes, Colonia Condesa. Moderate to high.

Tacos and grilled meats, very reasonably priced: El Huequito, Calle Bolívar, Centro, between Uruguay and Mesones.

A special breakfast: El Bajío or El Cardenal. Of the latter, we've been to the original location on Calle La Palma, near Madero, Centro. Don't miss the pan dulce with natas; get the chocolate caliente. After that, you are on your own.

Another thing to do is to use the search box on this blog and search for "Mexico City". You should get many results.

Here: I did it for you.You can easily sort out the non-relevant posts.

If you want opinions other than mine (although too often worshipping in the Cult of Chef Personality and at the Altar of High Prices), look in Mexico Forum.

Buen provecho,
Don Cuevas

PS: Don't forget to read Nick Gilman's blog, Good Food In Mexico City, for a resident's eye view.

Tancho said...

How Boca del Rio for a down to earth seafood experience?

Don Cuevas said...

Boca del Río is large, venerable and "Old School", ie, non trendy nor hip.

We've been there but once, and it was more than satisfactory. I'd go again.

See my review at

Don Cuevas

¿Gusta Usted? said...

Don jamás vi pescado a la veracruzana con pasas, ni zanahorias (bueno solo las de los chiles en vinagre) Debe ser gusto del chef o de la cocinera

Y tienes razón, ese mero no debía estar envuelto en aluminio a causa del jugo de limón, (mejor en hoja de plátano) ya sabes, ácidos con aluminio, mejor no. Me gusta más este tipo de restaurantes, mas sabrosa comida y precios accesibles sin pretensiones.


Aurore Dupin said...

Better than "Boca del Río" is "Dos Bocas" a very little town at Medellin, Veracruz. (Just get out of Boca del Río, 15 minutes, nearly). There is an hydroelectric power station for reference.

The restaurant is named "Malenita" it's extraordinary.

Don Cuevas said...

Aurore, gracias por el tip. If we are ever in the Veracruz area, we'll try to eat there.

Don Cuevas