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Day 206 – Taco Land (Mexico City)

May 4, 2011

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Date: Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There are 107 million people living and Mexico and nearly 20% of them (21 million) live in the Mexico City metropolitan area. Known by Mexicanos as D. F. (Distrito Federal and pronounced “Deh-Effeh”) it is in many ways the center of the Mexican universe. It was originally founded by the Aztecs in the 1300s and is rich with history. Museums, theaters, and parks give the city a thriving, vibrant culture.

Forget all that. I’m here for the tacos, baby! But first I have to survive a hellacious day of travel. A 1 a.m. arrival at the Lima airport to check in at 2 .am. for a 5 a.m. flight, a changeover in Panama City, and a minimal amount of sleep. I finally cleared Mexican customs at 3 p.m. (Gringos sailed through the hand search while I got grilled and seemed one misstep away from a cavity search. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Chino Americano who speaks Spanish and was coming from Peru.) I took a silent, dazed cab ride into the Centro Historico. After a 20 minute nap, and in a haze, I staggered towards a taqueria recommended by the hostel staff.

The pain, the suffering, the sleepless night was all worth it. I walked into a place which seemed pretty busy for late in the afternoon. Lengua (tongue), mollejas (intestine potpourri), tripa (tripe), pastor (grilled pork), and something called Campechanos that seemed to come with pineapple. All washed down with a cold glass of horchata (almond, rice, cinnamon, sugar drink).

The best? It surprised me, but tripa was awesome. They cooked it a bit crispy and the texture and flavor were both strong. I had two.

The mollejas were spongy and mostly tasteless. Lengua was fine but missed some oomph. Pastor was fabulous as always. The campechanos was very good. Though I see that it’s sometimes described as steak and chorizo, I think it gets its name because it comes with a few extras (the pineapple). Who knows? Next time I’ll ask.

Hang the banner from the aircraft carrier: Mission Accomplished. With that I hopped on the next flight back to the States.

Hah! Really. There’s so much more to eat here. And other stuff. Tomorrow, a trip to some ruins north of town, because I hear it’s historical and stuff.


Tacqueria de Paso

Isabel la Catolica No 16 (cross street, Avenida 5 de Mayo)

Two blocks west of Zácalo

Historical Center, Mexico City

GALLERY: A load of bonus pictures today including pics from inside Catedral Metropolitana featuring GOLD GOLD GOLD, a statue of the pope with the Virgin Mary growing out of his chest, and something called a pambazo which is fried potato and chili patties between fried bread.

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