snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative

So you want to eat Mexican food
January 29, 2011, 3:36 pm
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So you want to eat Mexican food, do you?  Some advice:

–  Salsa verde >> salsa roja, unless it’s chipotle in which case it’s a closer match

–   Never eat at VIPS or Sanborns if you can help it; you’ll get charged twice as much for food that’s half the quality of the mom-and-pop restaurant across the street

–   Longaniza is good.  Suadero is good.  Campechanos—a mixing of the two—is excellent.  Don’t settle, go for the campechanos.

–  Café con leche is not evenly defined—some places it’s a latte, some places it’s a café au lait, some places it’s an Americano with milk, some places it depends on the barista who happens to serve you.   Specify if you have a strong preference.

–  Pack Tums (and perhaps a PPI), you will get heartburn


Back at 2200 Meters
January 15, 2011, 7:17 pm
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Not very often that having a headache is a good thing, but when the headache is a brief altitude/smog adjustment headache after landing in Mexico City, I’m willing to put up with it.

I’ll be here for two full months of hospital rotations, delicious tacos, Pumas games, and of course, Fat Elvis Mariachi.  Stay tuned…

Dream City

Would be nice if I could ACTUALLY be in both Chicago and DF at once


Dia de los Muertos
November 1, 2010, 10:31 pm
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The skulls are back, pan de muerto is about to disappear from bakeries for 11 months, and I’m still a couple months away from heading back to DF.  I didn’t get a chance to set up a proper ofrenda this year (too much time at the hospital trying to keep people from ending up muerto), but I did make it down to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen to see the museum’s collection of altars, calaveras, and other Day of the Dead exhibits. I’m not sure how much longer they’ll leave the Dia de los Muertos exhibition up, but the museum is worth a visit either way (free and easily accessible by the L!).


October 19, 2010, 6:54 pm
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One magazine’s taste on Chicago’s best Mexican food

Didn’t buy the entire premium article, but looks like it has some excellent extras, including a rundown of the food at the Maxwell Street Market–some of my favorite in the city.

Semi-related, pan de muerto is back in the panaderias.  Delicious.

Viva Mexico! Viva!
September 16, 2010, 6:01 pm
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Today marks the official bicentennial of Father Hidalgo’s call-to-arms and the start of the Mexican Independence movement, but the major celebrations happened last night in Mexico City and beyond.

The BBC has photos here, while El Universal has a number of different photo galleries, including this one of the culmination of last night’s celebration in the Zocalo

Closer to home, Chicago held its own celebrations in Millennium Park, with mariachi, ballet folklorico, classical music, and more–as well as quite a collection of Mexico-themed shirts, jackets, ponchos, capes, sombreros and wrestling masks in the crowd.  Battling a nasty cold, I didn’t last long enough to hear El Grito–the traditional “shout” led by a dignitary based on Father Hidaldo’s speech on the steps of the church of Dolores–but the parts of the program I did see were well done and well attended.

September 13, 2010, 7:57 pm
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The New York Times wonders where is the Bicentennial fervor?

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune focuses on Mexican immigrants and the local celebration.

Finally, there can’t be too much of a  lack of enthusiasm for the independence celebrations–up to 2 million people are expected to head to the Mexico City Zocalo for the festivities.

Travel Mexico
September 11, 2010, 11:40 am
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A couple of articles about how great Mexico is for travel:

Mole, Mexico’s Ultimate Secret Sauce – BBC/Lonely Planet

Christmas in Mexico For Two – NYT In Transit Blog
Nice to see media outlets still recommending Mexico as a tourist destination, especially given how much of the wrong kind of news is coming out of Mexico these days.