Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On Meeting Friends For Coffee In Mexico City

Espresso cortado y puro, back in the days when I smoked. Photo taken in Colonia Roma, México, D.F. nearly 8 years ago
We are soon leaving to go to Mexico City, where we are planning to meet old friends. Bob, a professional photographer, lived in Pátzcuaro for a number of years, before moving to el D.F..

Our friend Shirley,  who hails from the Upper Midwest and has lived in Pátzcuaro, Italy and Florida, among various places. Sra. Cuevas and I are hoping to meet Bob and Shirley to chat and enjoy a cup or two of coffee. (Now it is developing into a Full Organic Mexican breakfast)

The question is where, and when?

The following is extracted and slightly edited from my email reply as we begin to unite old friends in a congenial, coffeehouse environment.

We could meet, for example, at Cafe Toscano Roma, a cool place with excellent coffee, also pretty good food, (Quiche, pizzas sandwiches, soups, etc. Yeah, and wine!) about 7 blocks to the NE of the Hotel Stanza, at the corner of Calle Orizaba and Calle Durango,  NE corner of Plaza Río de Janeiro, Colonia Roma Norte, México, D.F.; about a block south of the Sagrada Familia Church, which Bob recently photographed.

Inside Café Toscano Roma
If it is full, —the Toscano, not the church— which is not uncommon, we could go to their new coffeehouse neighbor, 2 doors north, which looks like a Danish Modern Laundromat. If it’s still in business.

(I couldn’t remember the name of the new place, having had an o.k. coffee and a somethingforgettabletoeat there once. I Googled it:
It’s Buna 42! (I thought “Buna” was a sort of synthetic rubber??)

Buna 42 preopening

Here’s what Sprudge says*:

"Buna 42

The owners of Buna are behind three great, different places to drink coffee in Mexico City, and one of these is Buna 42. This is the only place in Mexico with a Modbar, and the cafe also boasts a V60 drip station and four cold brew towers. They also do milkshakes with different delicious ice creams from Taller Nomada, and sell beer in the summer. If you’re looking for a delicious breakfast or lunch, the food menu will not disappoint.

In their coffee shops you will find different coffees from all over Mexico. The Buna team roasts nearby, and makes an effort to negotiate directly with the producers of their coffees. One of their roasters recently won second place at the Mexican Roasting Championship. Buna is one of the coffee companies doing a great job in Mexico’s Third Wave coffee scene.**

Buna 42 is located at Orizaba 42, Colonia Roma Norte. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

End Sprudge quote.

** “Third Wave coffee scene”? I say: Rampant Hipsterism!

*My suggestion of Buna, above, was a joke.

Or, any one of a hundred or so other coffee places within a 2 kilometer radius. I just thought of Bisquets, Bisquets Obregón, a classic Mexican diner chain, sort of like Denny’s in the U.S., but better. It has their famous cafe con leche, and that may be the best, most reliable thing on the menu. There are about 1 1/2 of the Bisquits restaurants within 200 feet. Best of all, the staff doesn’t cop an attitude of “hip”, although the mostly female waitstaff is noted for their often ample hips. 

The ceremonious Pouring and Mixing, from a height, of Leche Caliente with Coffee Concentrate, to your preference, performed in front of you, at the very table where you are seated, is worth a Special Journey to this coffee lover’s Mecca. Be aware, they don't do espresso coffee drinks. Bisquits is so unhip.

In their sturdy Unhipness, the Bisquits restaurants are an important Bulwark of Old Fashioned Values against the seemingly Inexorable Tide of Viral Hipsterism in La Roma.

(By the way, it’s my distinct impression that the older residents call their colonia “Roma”, but the trend-setters call it “La Roma”. Of course, it’s obvious which category in I belong.

There are a few, snooty food bloggers who sneer at Bisquits Obregón as “low brow” or a place to be avoided. I say, if you want low brow, go to a Waffle House in the American South. That’ll give you a better perspective on relative values. Bisquits is better than a Waffle House, even though they don’t do hashed browned potatoes and chili. Bisquits does a mean Fruit Plate, with a generous scoop of snowy white cottage cheese. Avoid the Ensalada del Chef, a boring exposition of blandness. I'm talking strips of yellow American Cheese, and boiled ham.

Here's a tip: the pan dulce  is pretty good, but the pan salado es ordinario.

Breakfasts are a strong point, as one might expect, but for late suppers we also enjoy Bisquits simple but first rate Sopa de Ajo con Huevo. The  Caldo de Pollo Especial Bisquits is a good choice as well.

Here's a rather lurid but tasty Sopa de Tortilla.

Sopa de tortilla
Our plans are shifting even as I write, as the four of us are adjusting to each others' diurnal cycles and activities schedules. It appears that Bob's diurnal cycle is closer to my early morning bakers' hours, although nowhere as extreme.

So now we are considering a late breakfast  or almuerzo at possibly at the warm, intimate Café Toscano or the Purer Than Thou, "I Saw The Light" (but top quality, and expensive) Orígenes Orgánicos Café Roma. Orígenes is where we are now slated to meet, at least for the moment, this coming Thursday morning.

Here's a preview of the menu.

"Plato Sano" breakfast. $110 p
UPDATE: we met at Orígenes Orgánicos, and they had taken out their restaurant service. The place looked oddly shabby, so we went instead to Café Toscano.

One of my favorite breakfast or lunch places, for cheap, tasty food  is Super Tacos de Guisados, but it's not set up for a relaxed conversation among friends, and the seating is not comfortable, to say the least.

Stay tuned. There's much more to come. This is just breakfast, por el amor de Dios.

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