Thursday, September 15, 2011

Six Days In Colonia Roma Norte, México, DF Part 3

"He Who Dances Must Pay The Piper"

Los Danzantes, Coyoacán.

With a brief ramble through the streets of Coyoacán.

The original danzantes, Oaxaca
(The perceptive reader will immediately be aware that Coyoacán is not in Colonia Roma, norte or Sur, but a separate delegacíon about a 30 minute cab ride to the south. Coyoacán is a charming small city subsumed by the growth of El Monstruo.)

I selected the restaurant Los Danzantes on the recommendation of two different sets of friends. Afterwards, another friend, Sr. Palindroma, a sales executive for an international pharmaceutical firm, stationed at present in New York but originally of Mexico City, asked me about our experience there.

This was my reply, edited for public viewing:

Hi, Palindroma;
Yesterday we went to Coyoacán, which of course is a most charming colonia del DF.
We first walked from the plazas to the Frida Kahlo Casa, because our friend Ronald had never been there before. He found it to be an intense, moving experience.

Meanwhile, Doña Cuevas and I ambled back along Av. Allende. We made a stop at el Café Jarocho, where I had a pretty good express cortado.

Cafe El Jarocho

On continuing, we detoured into the mercado, which for me was a highlight of our visit. There was an eye catching panorama at a fonda.

The freshly prepared cold foods display were very attractive.

Too bad that we didn't eat there instead, because we were to meet other friends at Corazón de Maguey for drinks and botanas, then cross the plaza to Los Danzantes for comida.

Corazón de Maguey
Sra. Cuevas and I also stopped in a truly wonderful bakery, Panadería Le Caroz. Beautiful, creative, and so far, what I've sampled is above average.

Now, I could now kick myself once again, because it's my belief that the best comida Mexicana is found in private homes and perhaps secondarily in las fondas de los mercados. The Coyoacán mercado was very clean and the food was often beautifully presented. And, of course, at a much lower price than in upscale, elegant and/or "hip" restaurants.

By chance, most of my fotos of los platillos of Los Danzantes failed to come out well. Maybe that's a "sign".

Corazón De Maguey is a mezcalería with lighter, more casual food than Los Danzantes. And somewhat lower prices. A more relaxed atmosphere, too. All we shared a guacamole con chapulines to sprinkle on as you like. It was o.k but I've had better, for example, at home. We shared a pitcher of pulque natural, which was very good, somewhat more viscous then those we'd had before.

When our two other friends arrived, they had mezcal Alipus, a house brand, made in the Los Danzantes owned distillery in Oaxaca, and I had a very "touristy" drink, Coctel en Barro. It was pleasant but something like Hawaiian Punch with mezcal added. I only exaggerate a little.

On to comida, across the Plaza, with its famous Fuente de Los Coyotes and the rare black squirrels. The ambiance of Los Danzantes is very nice, but was the case of "Rosetta" in Roma Norte, the tables are crowded together.

Doña C. had an entrada of Baby Pulpo with Papa Explotada. It resembled Pulpos a La Gallega, except the baby octopus was whole, and it was grilled, not boiled. It was very mildly flavored, with a nice caramelized char on the upper surface. She enjoyed it, but Ron, who also had the same, was disappointed. (I have to tell you that he's a very tough customer, that is, very particular.)

I had Hoja Santa Rellena de Quesillo y Queso de Cabra, en un "espejo" de salsa de tomate verde y chile pasilla. This was very good. I'm a big fan of hoja santa, and have often had it with fish, but never with cheese.

My wife skipped a main course and had a Sopa de Habas con Nopales y Camarones. She was pleased by it. I tasted it and thought it was just o.k.

Our amiga, Luz Ma, had enchiladas con dos salsas. One was mole, but I don't know the other one. She started with a Sopa de Frijol Negro, which looked very good.

Ron sid he erred in ordering Rollos De Camarones, which he later described as "pure show" but not much in terms of flavor. I'd passed over that because I saw that it was an Asian Fusion concept. I try to avoid such conceits.

I had Atún en Mojo de Habanero con Arroz Verde. Good, but not as pleasing as the mariscos that we'd eaten the day before at Fonda La Vercruzana in Roma Norte.

However, on the other hand, Ron was very pleased with his dessert; Cascada de Chocolate: Molten Chocolate Cake, ice cream on the side. He said that it was the highlight of the meal.

I drank a mezcal de Matatlán reposado:  I sipped it very slowly to make it last through the meal. It was very good, but ¡$105 pesos!

I'd hoped to have as my dessert Queso de Cabra covered with mole, although it would have meant a lot of cheese in one meal. But it wasn't on the menu that day. I ordered
a Tarta de Mango, which was very disappointing; a dense whole grain bottom crust with a poached (?) mango half on top. I would have preferred a fresh mango.

Tarta de Mango. 

In the end, I conclude that Los Danzantes is good, best if you stick with especialidades Mexicanas, but don't bring expectations of Europe or Asia. Pero, que traiga mucho lana. (But you should bring plenty of money.)

I'm downscaling from now on, because for Doña C. and me, estes restarantes upscale no valen el costo. These restaurants aren't worth their cost.

Food: ****
Service: ***1/2
Price: $$$$
Ambience: looked attractive, but it was hard to tell from our dark and crowded corner at the front.
Restrooms: Very clean, attractive, but must climb stairs, as at Corazón de Maguey.

Would we return? If someone wants to treat us to dinner, fine. Otherwise, no.

Next episode: some great and cheap street food restores my faith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're walking my route. My wife and I go to Coyoacán every visit to Mexico City. We eat lower scale, however.