Mexican | Mexico | Taxco, Morelos26 Nov 2006 08:08 pm

Before going to Del Angel after tours of Taxco silver artisan shops, how about a Berta – the precursor of margaritas – at none other than Berta’s Bar in the Taxco town center. The Berta is made with tequila, lemon juice, sugar and sparkling/mineral water. Later, Bacardi popularized the margarita by using triple sec or Cointreau with tequila and their marketing power changed the world to eclipse the Berta. I prefer the Berta.

The Del Angel Inn has a rooftop outdoor area with colorful city views, strolling guitarists/singers, a life-size Day of the Dead skeleton, and great food and libations. The onion soup (yes, I said onion soup) was perfect with onions al dente in an onion base with tasty (not stringy, messy, stick to your spoon and mouth) cheese. Thin/pounded pork cutlets with pepper sauce, rice and vegetables were cooked to perfection, and the unbreaded cutlets juicy and delicious. Celito Lindo (corny, I know) playing in the background made this place a special one; the creamy vanilla ice cream ended a perfect meal.

Celso Munoz No. 4.2 Piso
Taxco, Gro – Morelos

Cuernavaca, Morelos | Mexican | Mexico | States26 Nov 2006 01:03 pm

Two visits to this gem hidden behind an unimpressive entry were a pleasant surprise. Gardens, gardens, gardens! EVERYTHING grows in Mexico.

The first visit for lunch was during a gathering of state and local politicians, and our group of 14 was seated at an elegant long table with the standard leather/cushioned seats popular everywhere. The Chiles Rellenos specialty had a meat and fruit filling with walnut cream sauce and pomegranates. Mexican red wine was excellent (wines throughout the trip were all good, though in one case had to settle for a Spanish Rioja – for some reason many restaurants carry Spanish but not Mexican wine).

A private dinner with Ofrendas opened for our viewing before the Day of the Dead celebrations made this a special place. Dinner was Tacos Sorgi with cheese, avocado, crunchy peppers and pork skins garnish – but take your image of yankee tacos out of mind – just not the same. Dessert, as usual, was excellent (flans galore in all restaurants – each prepared with loving care).

Morrow 15, centro Cuernavaca
Morelos, Mexico

Cuernavaca, Morelos | Mexican | Mexico | States26 Nov 2006 12:25 pm

The first restaurant experience in Cuernavaca (after the prior evening’s late meal at the Hotel Mission Cuernavaca) was a great introduction to the excellent local cuisine of Mexico. This beautiful restaurant on the second floor near the town center presented a glorious lunch of chicken with chipotle, spinach and squash blossom sauce, preceded by excellent Guacamole with a cold Negra Modella, topped off with one of the best flans with good coffee. What a wonderful introduction to Mexican cuisine!

Chef Lorenzo Patron Anselmo has trained in the states and is familiar with Chicago, though he mentioned Emeril and not Rick Bayless as his respected chef. Lorenzo is creating excellent food which would stand up to all of the great Mexican spots in Chicago (Frontera, Rique’s, Wholly Frijoles, Adobo and Ole’ Ole’ – latter yet to be reviewed).

The stereotypical impression I had of Mexican cuisine before this visit (prompted by the yankee version of Mexican food) was put to rest on the very first day of our 2-week adventure in Mexico.

Hidalgo No. 6 Col. Centro

Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico