Now that’s what I’m tacoing about!

By Colin McFadden
This post is part of a series called Mexico City 2019
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The intersection of a new nonstop flight from Minneapolis, our five year anniversary, and a desire to stuff ourselves full of tacos has brought us to Mexico City.  It’s a quick trip, but we’re packing it full.  And more importantly, packing ourselves full.

After an unpleasantly eventful departure (just!) from Minneapolis, we got to Mexico City mid-afternoon on Wednesday, and made our way to our Airbnb in the Roma neighborhood.  Mexico City has a thriving Airbnb scene, and we were spoiled for choice.  We settled on this one on account of its rooftop patio and hammock. We made the right choice.  The owners have also filled the place with laminated guides and annotated maps.

After getting settling in, we set out for food and exploration.  We stopped for tacos at the first place we found, and we weren’t disappointed. A bit further down our path brought us to El Moro, a famous churros and chocolate chain.  We sat and enjoyed our churros, pondering what to do next, and I scrolled around on Google Maps.  My eye was drawn to the “Museo del Juguete Antiguo” or Antique Toy Museum.  Not knowing anything about it, but seeing some creepy doll heads in the map preview, we set out.

The Museo ole Juguete Antiguo is one of those places that probably shouldn’t exist, and definitely won’t exist in the future, as rising property values make it impractical to maintain a five story building packed full of decoratively arranged toys.  I’m glad we had the chance to see it.  For Minnesotans, it’s basically like Ax-Man, but weirder.  Some displays are (almost) museum like, while others are pure whimsy or nightmare fuel.  Kat relived her Barbie childhood, giggling with glee and shouting things like “THAT WAS OUR BUBBLE POOL!” and “THOSE STOOLS TURNED INTO CUPS AND YOU COULD PUT SODA IN THEM!”

After the museum, we were ready for more snacks, and wandered through Mercado Hidalgo, snacking on tacos dorados and flipping through Mexican tabloids.

Wrapping up our Wednesday, we wandered home and settled in for some work and relaxation.  And then got hungry and went out for a late night street hamburger.

Day one complete, and now we’re caught up to the present day!

This morning, we lazed around a bit, enjoying the roof and some coffee.  Then we ventured out, notionally for some pastries to have a light breakfast, as today we had a taco tour booked.  On the way to pastries, we walked past a tlacoyo stand and knew we’d be changing plans a bit.  Tlacoyos are masa and beans mixed together, griddled, and then filled with more deliciousness.  We still got pastries of course, then circled back to the apartment so I could jump on a work call.  We spent the rest of the morning reading and enjoying the sun before heading down the street to meet Avidan, the “taco mensch” for a taco tour.

Avidan is one of those amazing people who has managed to forge a path and follow his heart – from Venezuela and Brazil to Israel and Mexico City.  We had a fantastic afternoon wandering the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, eating and chatting.  We began at the Mercado de Medellin and hungrily ate our first tacos so quickly we forgot to photograph them. Then we stopped at a place making organic tortillas with heritage corn varieties, where we had tacos filled with corn smut and cheese.  We had a state-fair level fish taco, wherein jalapeños are stuffed with marlin, battered, fried, then chopped up and mixed with more marlin and served in a tortilla.  We had amazing tacos al pastor, and capped it all off with a mind-blowing chocolate cookie.  Avidan also took us to a clothing shop that works with individual textile and leather working communities around Mexico to make clothes and shoes.  Kat bought some amazing sneakers.

After our tour, we dropped some things off at the apartment and followed up on a recommendation from Avidan to check out something called Skalar.  It’s an audio-visual installation art piece, with mirrors and lights combined with electronic soundscapes.  You enter the dark room and lie on the floor, enjoying the show for as long as you want, as it cycles through various “scenes”.

From Skalar, we wanted toward the Zocalo or city center.  We stopped for more tacos (tacos de canasta) and enjoyed people watching on a gorgeous night.  We finished things off with some absurd desserts at the local hipster market – perhaps our only poor decision of the day.

We’ve had almost 36 hours in Mexico City, and we’re definitely smitten.  The people are amazing, the food is great, and the weather is perfect. Let’s hope it keeps up!

4 thoughts on “Now that’s what I’m tacoing about!

  • Susan November 8, 2019 at 1:10 pm Reply

    I just had my one Shredded Wheat biscuit, but reading this, I feel very vicariously full and satisfied. How nice to leave the snow and ice for a few days.

  • Andrea November 8, 2019 at 3:19 pm Reply

    I visited Norman Borlaug’s daughter in Mexico City in July 1966. Your visit brings back so many memories. I especially liked the National Museum of Anthropology.

    • Colin McFadden November 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm Reply

      Wow, that’s amazing! Borlaug is quite the hero (my opinion at least)

      • Andrea November 8, 2019 at 8:56 pm Reply

        He was a fellow UM graduate, Colin. You’re in good company!
        Congratulations to you & Kat on 5 years of true adventure & accomplishment!!!

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