Tuesday, June 26, 2012

El Hornero, Colonia Roma Norte

We once again were in Colonia Roma Norte, one of our favorite areas of Mexico City. We looked forward to eating at El Hornero, Calle Córdoba 148, where we hoped to satisfy our craving for beef. El Hornero had been well recommended by Ulysses de la Torre, guest writing a three part series on Argentine and Uruguayan parrillas on Nick Gilman's blog, "Good Food in Mexico City".

I am going to touch on this restaurant as gently as possible. We were tired when we arrived at about 4 p.m., so that undoubtedly affected our experience. The dining room is small and was crowded. It was a very busy hour. The furniture was old and worn, something which ordinarily wouldn't matter to me. There was an unpleasant clashing vibe of noise and it was difficult to talk across the small table. 

We ordered a couple of glasses of wine from the short list on the blackboard. The wine seemed to take a very long time arriving. Meanwhile, we nibbled on some o.k. bread and the very tasty chimichurrí and a reddish, smokey salsa. Once the wine arrived, I felt better about the place.

Among the menu attractions was Vacio para Dos, con papas fritas o ensalada, for only $235 pesos. Our waitress said that we could have the fries and salad both. We thought that this was a very good deal. It was, indeed.

The food arrived quickly once we put in the order. The wooden cutting board held the vacio cut. It was tender and juicy. The salad and fries arrived on a large separate platter. Both were fresh and abundant. We were completely satisfied with our choice.

We also tried a couple of empanadas, one of carne molida and the other of espinacas. The empanada de carne was o.k. but not distinctive; the spinach empanada was much better.

I had a soggy cream pastry dessert and a café express, both of which were tolerable but not great.

The bill was reasonable: only $424 pesos. However we had a unpleasant moment when the waitress returned or change, short $50. She stated that the bill was $474. We were too tired for any confrontation, so we wrote it off.


Food: ****

Service: ***

Price: $-$$

Ambience: Too close for comfort; unpleasantly noisy at peak hour.

Would we return? Doubtful, despite the very good meats at a reasonable price.

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