Mondo Carne! - Part II
Why be a vegetarian? Here are the main reasons given in a website I found, and my answers.
1. Improve your health – I’ve seen more cadaverous looking vegans stalking the healthfood bins looking like escaped extras from Night of the Living Dead than I’d care to remember. I don’t buy it.
2. Save the earth – The earth is overpopulated. Too many pigs, cows chickens and people. Eat ‘em.
3. End cruelty to animals. Yes, definitely, this one I support wholeheartedly. And I hope and assume that something will eat ME someday.
That said, here are a few more suggestions for getting your bloodthirsty rocks off in el Gran Tenochtitlan.
Mixed Company - Los Parados
Monterrey 333, corner of Baja California, Colonia Roma
This fabulous carny hang-out offers real tacos al carbón that is, meats cooked over coals on an open grill. Many places claim they do them but really sauté their meat on a griddle. Not the same thing. Costilla, chuleta, chorizo, pollo, they’ve got it all here. The salsas, hand mashed and set in gigantic molcajetes, are superior. Varying hours are listed, but they seem to always be open, morning to morning. I was there recently at 2:30 AM on a Thursday night/Friday AM, and a fascinating cross-section of worn out gay/straight bar patrons, thugs, off-duty whores and policemen were happily devouring their succulent char-roasted morsels of goodness, all the while downing ice-cold horchata or beer. And, it behooves me to mention the normally unspeakable “B” word. Yes, the burgers, Mexican style (i.e. topped with salsa, bacon, cheese, etc.etc.etc.) are sensational.
Fit for a queen - La Reina de la Roma
Campeche 106 (across from the Mercado Medellín), Colonia Roma
Open daily 9am-6pm, closed Mondays
This small fonda in the heart of Colonia Roma is a great place to sample typical antojitos (corn-based snacks). But they specialize in carnitas, (pork slowly roasted in its own fat, as in confit) which are served either in tacos or on sopes or huaraches. I think these are the amongst the best in a city saturated with carnitas. Three different salsas are provided: verde and two rojas, one made from dried chilies, the other from cilantro and onions and roast tomatoes. The aguas preparadas, jamaica or horchata, are rich and not too sweet and the ensalada de nopales is a pleasant accompaniment adding that much needed touch of green.
Giving good head - Tacos de Cabeza “Los Güeros”
This is a tiny daytime “local” at Calle Lopez no. 93, near the Salto de Agua metro stop in the centro. For the adventurous, try a couple of tacos of oven roasted sheep head. Lengua,(tongue) buche (lips), oreja (ear), nana (not sure myself, but it doesn’t wear funny glasses and sing), nothing’s wasted here. They’re better than they sound. It is always crowded with downtown denizens.
Next week I promise to write about salad bars.
Michael Parker-Stainback July 7, 2009
Inspired column, Nick! The title is fantastic--makes me want to play a version of "More: Theme to Mondo 'Carne'"... And then the reference to Miss Mouskouri! I don't know what they call you in Mexico, but to me you are The White Rose of Athens...MPS
Anonymous August 15, 2009
Tacos de nana, I recently learned, are tacos containing the meat of the pig uterus.
Check out the Mija Chronicles post from July 31st at http://lesleytellez.wordpress.com/2009/07/
p.s. your blog makes me want to do nothing but eat while I'm in the DF; thanks for posting so many recommendations