Low Price ‘Nice’: The Polanco Tianguis
Polanco just isn’t my milieu. Kind of reminds me of New York’s Upper East Side, where I always feel underdressed and everything smells like Chanel or fake strawberry. But we art & good food loving Chilangos all end up there once in a while to hit the fine-dining restaurants, the blue chip galleries, maybe do a little shopping at the Antara mall or visit our friends who do live there, most of them in enviable sprawling apartments. But let’s face it, Polanco’s set up for the gente ‘nice’ - my favorite slang term for those who don’t need to count their pesos, or as we New Yorkers used to say, the ‘Park Avenue set’. There are, therefore, fewer reasonably priced places to shop for food and eat than in other parts of town. That’s why the sprawling Saturday tianguis (or street market) that sets up at the eastern end of Parque Lincoln is such a welcome and much needed addition to Polanco’s genteel scene. I spent last Saturday morning there.
The customary fruits, vegetables, meats and Mexican staples like chilies are all on offer. Unusual is the spectacular display of produce, brought to you “in living color” as they used to say on NBC, by the ingenuity of a few vendors and the open space the park provides. But best of all are the prepared food stalls. A veritable encyclopedia of Mexican antojitos stands lines the Luís G. Urbina side of the park. On offer are delectable tacos of mole verde at Doña Chela’s guisados stand. The good Doña will even prepare a fullcomida corrida including soup, for 30 pesos. At Tacos el Cuñado, you can sample such meaty specialties from the State of Mexico as cecina adobada, (salted, chilies meat) or campechana (cecina + chorizo). Next is a nameless stand offering everything blue: sopes, quesadillas, tlacoyos (eye-shaped gorditas stuffed with fava beans,frijoles or cheese) –all made with blue corn. The sign for barbacoa(pit roasted mutton) from Capulhuac, also in Mexico State, lauds it as ‘exquisite’ and so it is, succulent and earthy. Spicy, fragrantmixiotes, shreaded meat wrapped and roasted, segues into a tidy fish and seafood stand which elbows Dany, the carnitas vendor from Michoacan.
Tere Palm July 6, 2011
Your articles ALWAYS make me hungry! I loved your definition of tlacoyos!
I look forward to going to the Polanco tianguis...never been.
Kathy Erteman July 7, 2011
Great post- this would be good for the NY Times!
Patrice July 7, 2011
One of your best!
Set July 13, 2011
I live in Mexico City; I don't know my city as much as I would want to. Being in the wrong places where food is just a service has led me to avoid eating out, but I recently started searching for good places and your blog is so suitable for it. Awesome!
Milo February 23, 2012
My favourite Tianguis in Polanco is located on Jaime Balmes (Btw Homero & Ejercito Nacional) and is only there on Tuesdays, lots of delicious food to be found