Going to Mexico City for me is like going home. I was born there, and though I left when I was 9 months old, I grew up visiting my family there my whole life. By now most of my family has left the city, but when I visit, they all flock to the City to see me. It doesn’t matter how many times I go, this is just how it is. My parents, aunts, uncles, grandma, cousins, second cousins, they all come in. It’s a typical, big, loving, overwhelming (especially to my gringo husband) Mexican family. I love every minute of it, but it does create some logistical challenges.
Getting around Mexico City is not easy. It’s a big giant city with way too many people, and not nearly enough space. About 15 years ago when they decided they needed to add more lanes to the Periferico, our version of a highway, they just painted over the lines and took what was 2 lanes and divied it up into 3. That’s Mexican engineering for ya! So, as you can imagine, traffic is a nightmare, and coordinating the people mover caravan becomes an issue.
Adding to the moving around the city cluster, is the fact that, as I mentioned, my husband, Joe, is American, and his ways are very foreign in Mexico. Joe and the kids are conditioned to eat at noon, whereas in Mexico, nothing opens for lunch until about 1:30, as lunch time is usually around 3, or as Joe calls it, linner.
So there’s that.
When I first starting dating Joe he used to ask if I ever ate, not because I can’t house an entire pizza on my own, but because I had no interest in dining. I was, and have always been, mostly in it for the booze. After 13 years of marriage, I’ve joined the dark side, and enjoy the dining too, but still not quite as much as he does. I tell you this, because when I plan our travels, they are very dining specific. There is no “let’s just grab dinner wherever” Oh no! There’s a lot of research, planning and reservations to be made. After the meals are decided, then we can fill in the blanks with the tourist attractions. It usually works pretty well for us, after all, you can fit a ton of shopping in between meals. Mexico, however, different story.
It is not easy getting dining reservations for 15 plus, let alone in the places we try to frequent when we travel. Yes, we are snooty diners. I look up the World’s Best restaurants list, and go from there. Don’t get me wrong, we love our good junk too, but the "Must Visit" restaurants come first! So, back to my point, it kills Joe that we visit the city time after time and have yet to hit the amazing restaurants that are raved upon by critic after critic. So, this time, I tried to fit some in.
Well… only one could take us and only at lunch, but whatever, I’ll take what I can get! So, on our last day there, at a very early Mexican lunch time of 1:30 (the only reason they could fit 15 people tbh) we arrived at the Las Alcobas Hotel, for our reservation at Dulce Patria. SCORE!
Honestly I was worried they wouldn’t let us in as we were all in jeans and had been running around the city center all morning trying to squeeze as much shopping as possible into the little time that I had, but mostly I was worried that if that happened Joe may lose his $$$$. Thank God, they didn’t care what we looked like. They were so sweet and welcoming, and we were warmly greeted as we were led to our long banquet like table. My dad promptly asked me if it was a Chinese restaurant. Dulce Patria Means Sweet Nation, so not sure if he thought we were in China, but, ok Dad, smh, lol. After 15 mins of everyone trying to figure out where I wanted them to sit, which tbh I hate being in charge of, just sit wherever dammit, we were finally able to order a drink.
One of the things I absolutely love about dining in Mexico is the absolute multitude of non-alcoholic drinks. I get plenty of the boozey ones, don’t worry, but oh my God do they make some good drinks. We all ordered some crazy juice concoctions because who can pass up Coconut Passion Fruit juice, and of course, a side of pink bubbly.
One more thing about my giant family. They are an absolute pain in the ass to dine with. There’s always way too many options, and they always order exactly what you shouldn’t order and then hate it. Kind of like the Goldberg’s, ordering steak at a fish restaurant. So, I went fully expecting the let down.
Well, let it be a testament to chef and owner Martha Ortiz, that all 15 of my family members absolutely loved every single bite of what they ate. I am not kidding this is the first time in my 36 years of life that someone was not dissatisfied with what they got. Like the time my mom ordered a BLT and then complained there was only bacon, lettuce and tomato in it. Yeah. That happened.
The food was beyond. I mean, beyond exceptional. To be honest, I don’t even remember what we ate, but I know that every single bite of every single thing I ate was like eating a slice of heaven. There was some sort of appetizer bread that had pink marshmallow or something in it, I don’t even know, and it may have been the best bread I have ever had in my life. And I know bread. Believe me. They made vegetable “pork” rinds, sans the pork, and while that may sound like the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, holy hell was it good. I mean lick your plate good. Like I said, I don’t remember what everyone ate, but I do remember that it was all beautiful. I mean honestly it was all a work of art, to see, and to eat. It was amazing.
Then came the desert, naturally I made everyone order one of each just so I could try everything. I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed, but that was most definitely one of my most stellar ideas. The desserts were honestly ridic. like, Meg Ryan in that diner ridiculous. I mean seriously, you know those memes about, sex is good and all but have you ever tried…. This is where they came up with them. And honestly, I don’t even like desert. So, I am happy to report that it was a total home run, and made up for me making Joe sit and watch my shopping bags for 3 days. Not that I feel that bad about it, he had plenty of beer to keep him company.