This is the best meal I have had in Mexico so far.
I decided to try to find the finest (read: most expensive) restaurant in Oaxaca. Don't try this at home, folks! I left the zócalo and wandered around the pretty neighborhood near the Inglesia de Santo Domingo:
Checking menus, the Hosteria de Alcala seemed sufficiently lujo
Let me apologize for the poor quality of the photos in advance. I'm still figuring out how to capture macro shots in low light conditions without making them look like crime scene pictures.
I started with a half-size bottle of Mexican cabernet sauvignon, which turned out to be pretty good despite the late vintage. The first course was sopa de ajo
, garlic soup. It was the highlight of the meal, with a strong taste of fresh garlic in a thin but rich tomato broth:
My main course was mole almondrado
, one of the seven moles. It was served over lengua de res
, beef tongue. I had never tried beef tongue before. It had been thinly sliced cross-sectionally and might actually be the most tender meat I have ever eaten. The mole sauce was excellent, almost like a very delicate Indian korma:
was "Flan de la Hosteria", big chunks of flan over ice cream with pecans and carmel:
Yes, it was delicious. Total bill was a little over 400 pesos (including tip), about $40 USD.
Walking home I stumbled across "those guys" busking in the zócalo:
You know "those guys". You've seen them at pretty much every street faire and farmer's market in the US, playing Ecuadorian folk music with guitars, flutes, and pan pipes. Fifteen years ago I ate some Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds while "babysitting" some friends drinking Ayohuasca tea. They put Andean pipe music on the CD changer to add some authenticity to the experience and I've been hooked ever since. My closet contains at least a dozen albums (most purchased from wandering street musicians), a set of pan pipes (which I can just barely persuade to make noise), and a half-dozen other instruments with which I am similarly facile. These particular guys were some of the best that I had heard, several playing guitar and pan pipes simultaneously. I threw a few bucks in their hat and reminded myself to patronize more street buskers in the future, especially in my hometown - it's a rough life but it adds a nice spark to otherwise droll street corners.