Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gloria to the Quesadilla and Tlacoyo!


(Part of the series, "Six Nights in Colonia Roma Norte, México, DF )

There is a concentration of street food stalls not far from our Hotel Embassy. Cross the northernmost block of Calle Orizaba, across from the side of la Parroquia de La Sagrada Familia, and Calle Puebla becomes Street Food Row. There's a lesser smattering on Calle Orizaba north to Avenida Chapultepec, La Frontera de La Zona Rosa.

On the corner of C/ Puebla and C/ Orizaba, there's a sandwich stand featuring deep fried tamales, a concept which simultaneously fascinates and repels me. It's at the front door of the upscale seafood restaurant, Estampa Del Mar, where you can get a coctel de camarones for, if I recall correctly, $115 or maybe $117 pesos. I suspect that it's not my kind of place.

Fried tamales-the breakfast of Chilangos

I haven't tried the fried tamales, of course, out of  dietary concerns, and we were usually on our way to Cafe Toscano, at the south end of the block.

The Serious Street Food Row is along C/ Puebla, for two or more blocks, toward Avenida Insurgentes.
Take, for example, this stand for carnivores. Look at those  free salsas and condiments and garnishes.
(Unfortunately, we never got to eat there.)

A solitary Sopa de Gallina stand was very appealing. I'd hoped to eat there, but fate played its cards against me. A large bowl with a 1/4 breast/pechuga starts the price list at $30 pesos, and a variety of chicken parts, your choice, goes on from there. I'm fairly certain they also offered huacál, the egg case of the hen, a treat for the adventurous to eat the delicate unborn eggs in their soup.

We did have a chance to try the glorious tlacoyos and see the quesadillas and gorditas at the prime location of Sra, Gloria's post, right close to the northwest corner of C/ Puebla and C/ Orizaba.

Sra. Gloria comes each work day from Chalma, a 2-3 hour trip, depending on traffic. If I have it right, she works the end of the week but not on Sundays. She was generous to permit us to photograph and video her dexterous and able moves.

Click slideshow for larger versions of pics and a short video.

We watched, fascinated, as she handled a flurry of customer requests, patting out masa de maíz azúl, putting in the filling of choice, and deftly forming the tlacoyo by hand. I should define tlacoyo as an antojito of masa de maíz, with a filling such as requesón (ricotta like cheese), or the delicious but heavy mashed papas y habas (potato and fava beans. Sorry, no Chianti was on hand.

But that's not all that you get for your $12 pesos: you can choose toppings such as quelites, wild and cultivated greens, or huitlacoche, the (in)famous black corn fungus, queso fresco, and a choice of several salsas picantes. This is not necesarily comida rápida, although Sra. Gloria works with a young assistant. Your order may take 5 minutes, depending on its complexity but especially of the the line of customers ahead of you.

She told us that she made all her ingredients, even going so far as to nixtamalize maíz azúl seco, (dried blue corn) cook and rinse it, and grind it for her masa.

Although I hate to admit this, this was the only street food we had while in Colonia Roma Norte on this visit. I shall do better next time. It was near the top of my list of "Best Food of The Trip".


Food: ****1/2
Service: With a smile and a story ****1/2
Price: 1/2$ Super bargain!
Ambience: urban street, shade tarp and trees. Maybe be a couple of seats, but doubtful.
Hygiene: Good
Rest Rooms: no hay. Nada.
Open Saturday, for sure. Not Sunday nor, as far as we could see, Moday. Other days uncertain. If someone goes there, please let us know.

Would we return? Definitely!

Street View location below. Gloria's stand in the shade of trees, across from the church.

View Larger Map


Anonymous said...

I'm a caldo de gallina man. Eat it repeatedly every trip to the Big Enchilada.

I'd have to skip the hacál, however. Never heard of it, but it does not appeal. The word yuck comes to mind.

Note: That street view thing and the video really slow down the loading of your page. Were I in your shoes, I'd just snap my own photograph and be content with displaying that.

Don Cuevas said...

UnseenMoon, thanks for your comments.

Sra. Cuevas once ate a bowl of Caldo de Gallina con huacál at one of the locations of the three Chilango brothers of whom, you, I think it was, told us. They made good Caldo, but sadly, their second restaurant, a hole in the wall across from the Pátzcuaro Basilica, folded.

Anyway, the huacál didn't hurt Doña C. one bit and she liked it. It's not as though it contained balut. Double Yuck! (Look it up.)

About the map and slideshow: each artist must determine their own creative process.

Our Net connection is running even slower than yours, I'll bet. It took several seconds just to load the photos into their places. You also are on the Bolívar network?

Don Cuevas

Anonymous said...

Loved the video and the street view.

Don Cuevas said...

Anonymous, I appreciate your support. ;-)

Could you leave a nickname at least, so we can distinguish yo from the many anonomi who drop by here?

Don Cuevas

Anonymous said...

So, habas are not lima beans? I see you translated them as fava beans. I have never heard of them, or of another way a dictionary translates haba:broad beans.
I'm sure they can be found in the U.S.-but are they common?


Don Cuevas said...

Lor, I've understood habas to be favas. Lima beans don't have the double hull of the habas/favas and are more similar to alubias blancas.

Favas/habas have a very distinctive taste and smell. Limas much less so.

For an interesting twist to the story, look up "favism". It's a genetic sensitivity to fava beans, and because of it, Pythagoras forbade the beans to his followers.

Don Cuevas

Anonymous said...

THanks Mr. Cuevas for clearing that up! Now I know my husband may not hate lima beans, we just always thought they were the same as habas.

Funny, we take for granted that a lot of things are the same, but later we find out they are not, exactly. Like, I thought limas are my yellow lemons, but they seem to be different-almost like an orange? ah well, Mexico is another world, anyway...