On my most recent visit to Mexico City, I arrived in the late afternoon on a Sunday, and after checking in to my hotel in Centro Historico, I hit the streets to explore the neighborhood. Upon hitting the streets, my senses were completely assaulted by the throngs of people out for a Sunday stroll. It was as if all 22 million residents of the city were walking along the same sidewalks.
I squeezed my way slowly through the crowds to my first destination, the legendary Pulqueria Las Duelistas. In Mexico, the pulqueria is truly an egalitarian establishment. Professionals sit elbow to elbow with laborers and students, all joyously imbibing the pulque, a fresh-fermented agave brew with similar alcohol content to beer. While I chatted with an American ex-pat English teacher from Atlanta and one of her students, to my left sat a young couple speaking sign language, and to my right was a kid with a mohawk sporting a t-shirt that read “Legalize Gay”. Amazing pre-Colombian inspired graffiti covered the walls and ceiling, and the frosty mugs flowed freely as Creedence’s version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” pulsed on the jukebox.
After several mugs were downed, and a good buzz was rolling, I hit the streets for a bite to eat and stumbled upon an incredible sight: the front window display of Taqueria Tlaquepaque. This Jalisco-style restaurant is a carnitas palace, offering carnitas from every part of the pig. I chose tacos featuring meat from the mountainous pile of pig snouts, or “trompas”. I ate these rich, porky tacos with a smoky red salsa that was truly memorable.
Tonight we will debut on the menu Tacos de Trompas, with a smoky arbol chile salsa, and pickled onions. Now if only we could find some fresh pulque???