iamcrispydammit's Profile

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Havanna Alfajores

Recently here in Mexico, we had them at Superama for a special promotion of Argentine products. In typical Mexican fashion, once they sold what they had, they didn't restock them. However, it is important to note that they were specially packaged in vacuum-sealed bags for export to other countries. This would seem to indicate that the manufacturers of Havanna alfajores are again exporting them.

We also have a Havanna store in Mexico City, but it's expensive to fly there from Guadalajara just to pick up a few boxes of alfajores. :(

If you happen to be in Mexico City, you can pick them up at Presidente Masaryk 76
Polanco,. They are open daily from 7:30am to 11:30pm.

http://www.havanna-mexico.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Havann...

Sep 26, 2011
iamcrispydammit in Outer Boroughs

Aloft O'Hare/Rosemont Vegetarian Dining Options

I will be staying at the Aloft O'Hare (9700 Balmoral Avenue, Rosemont) in early June and the hotel has only a little snack bar for its dining options. They have "sandwiches and salads" apparently, but that doesn't tell me if they have meatless options for those.

Does anyone know of any decent restaurants (in walking distance preferably, I will not have a car and the shuttle service is limited) that would have some good (not just salads) octo-lacto vegetarian options in that area? An Indian restaurant would be ideal, but I know that airport-strop dining options are usually chain-based crap.

Thank you very much for any help you might be able to offer.

May 06, 2010
iamcrispydammit in Chicago Area

Havanna Alfajores

Unfortunately, I do not have a positive answer for you, as my experience indicates that they are no longer being exported to the US at all.

I was searching for a source to buy them online, and a blog post:

http://www.coolhunting.com/archives/2...

...referenced amigofoods.com, as an online source. Yet when you go to the page to buy Havanna alfajores:

http://www.amigofoods.com/havanna.html

...they say:

"Unfortunately, the manufacturers of Havanna alfajores
are no longer exporting to the United States. If they begin
to do so, we'll be sure to carry them.

In the mean time, we've got plenty of other imported
alfajores from Argentina to choose from."

All I have to say to that is, "whatever!" No other alfajores stack up to the ones made by Havanna. Don't be fooled into buying anything else.

Jan 15, 2010
iamcrispydammit in Outer Boroughs

Eating in Polanco, staying at the W

Izote is pretty nearby (Presidente Masaryk 513, between Sócrates and Platón), and it's got to be one of the most-often recommended restaurants in the city ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/509764 ).

For relatively informal meals, Saks Natural is right down the street (Campos Eliseos 133 - http://www.saks.com.mx/en/ ). Don't let the name fool you. While it has relatively healthy selections, their focus is on using high-quality ingredients. It is hardly your typical Mexican health food restaurant.

The concierge at the W recommended Thai Gardens (Calderon de la Barca 72) to us when we stayed and I have to say that, while it does have very nice atmosphere, we found it ridiculously overpriced with terrible, inattentive service.

Oct 03, 2008
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

new restaurant for Shawn McClain?

I ate at Green Zebra tonight and thought it was quite possibly the best food I've had in my life. The combination of flavors and their balance was positively breathtaking. The menu is innovative at all levels, from a fresh (not canned) Hawaiian heart of palm salad to the pink peppercorn thyme soda on the beverage list.

But some people are not into that kind of thing, and that's fine too.

I don't have much of an appreciation for fine beers. They all taste like bread water or some such thing to me, even though I can tell that some are quite different from others.

May 23, 2008
iamcrispydammit in Chicago Area

Best Mexican Specialty

Ugh! My husband has me on a promise that I'll watch my weight, which is absolute hell when you live in Mexico. Sure, the fruits and vegetables are beautiful here, and that makes it easy to create delicious and healthy dishes. But OH the allure of those sinful things that Mexico does so well...how hard it is to deny them! I recently tried gorditas de nata made fresh and hot from a street vendor in Guanajuato. Thank GOD I don't know where to get those here in Guadalajara. It's already bad enough that the spouse frowns on me eating ezquites because of the mayonnaise, grouses when I savor the potato tacos dorados, and gives me dirty looks if I even think about what has become my favorite: the casera-style potato chips doused in salsa Valentina. I've awakened in a corner of my apartment holding the fetal position on a couple of occasions, clutching a sobre of the sweet, firey juice sucked dry in a fit of withdrawl delirium. Given the power such treats hold over us, I too have wondered what exactly that special ingredient is that makes them so addictive. Maybe just the fact that it's real food made by real people with their own hands?

May 28, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

Buenos Aires for Vegetarians??

The Boston Globe ran an article on 25 March about vegetarian restaurants in Buenos Aires:

http://www.boston.com/travel/getaways...

or

http://tinyurl.com/2p3vep

Apr 25, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Latin America & Caribbean

México Eats: Polanco and Condesa?

And, although I've not been there, the photographs I've seen of it make it look at once funky and beautiful. I was really wanting to go there when I was in Polanco over Christmas, but fear of going to the trouble and expense of getting there only to find that there was little selection for vegetarians kept me away. The same thing was true of Izote. I've read nothing but shining reviews of both those places, but it's rare when a food critic delves into the accessibility of a restaurant to those with dietary restrictions. If all I can get is a small salad when I go to a restaurant, it doesn't matter if it is the highest-rated joint in town. It's not worth it to me.

Can you (or anyone here) tell me if either of those two restaurants have enough vegetarian options (more than one or two things to choose from) to make it worthwhile for me to check them out?

Mar 18, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

Meatless in Mexico City?

Heh! Well, I'm glad that it can accomplish such nostalgia for you. Any place that can take you back to your grandparents' home is special.

But one place, or even one chain like that should be enough. I loved my grandparents too, but I'm a full-time vegetarian. Would you really want to *live* at your granparents' house all the time? :)

But seriously, I just wish that it wasn't the case that nearly all the vegetarian restaurants in Mexico had that 70s health food store sensibility. Vegetarian cuisine has come a long way from lentil loaf and musli, but it seems that news has yet to reach Mexico.

Mar 18, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

Meatless in Mexico City?

While I've been in some places in Mexico where the comida típica seems to be very vegetarian friendly (like Morelia), where I live (Guadalajara), so much of the cuisine seems to be either [1] a slab of meat prepared in one way or another, sliced or chopped up, then put on a plate and served with tortillas, or [2] the main ingredient has been simmered, stewed or seasoned with things with animal-based products. Like cochinita pibil or something adobada - you can't just ask them to substitute mushrooms for the pork in something like that. "Onions al pastor?" That's not happening. While I'm not saying many Mexican dishes can't be made vegetarian, this is usually accomplished by planning to make it that way from the start. Many traditional dishes (I'd risk saying most, but I do not wish to imply that I'm that experienced) can't be made vegetarian by a simple substitution.

I have had mixed success with asking for the replacement of meat with something like cheese or spinach in restaurants in Mexico. Very simple things like quesadillas, enchiladas or enfrijoladas - sure, you can get them to make those without meat. Even then though, there's no guarantee that there isn't chicken stock or pork fat hiding in there somewhere.

The vegetarian concept seems to baffle a lot of people in Mexico, or at least, their understanding of the term is different than what a lot of us mean by it. As some posts on here have pointed out, "sin carne" can mean that chicken is acceptable to some, because "carne" often (but not always exclusively!) means beef. I've had waiters whom I've asked for advice on what I can eat from their establishments' menus suggest getting a certain dish because it didn't have *much* meat in it, and they were not making a Monty Python reference.

But sure, there's no harm in asking if they'll substitute something meatless for you in whatever you might want. Just be forewarned that it might take a lot of explanation and what arrives may not be vegetarian, even though you don't see chunks of meat in it.

Mar 18, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

Meatless in Mexico City?

I want to add in my two cents and mention my favorite: VegeTaco in Coyoacán. Okay, it's not strictly in Mexico City, but it has all vegetarian versions of things like pavo con mole poblano and tacos pibil or al pastor. It's nothing fancy, but having the chance to try their vegetarian versions of many traditional Mexican dishes that would otherwise be off-limits makes it worth the trip. It's at Calle Carrillo Puerto #65 (at Alberto Zamora) in Coyoacán. It's open from 10 am to 8 pm daily. The attached photo is of VegeTaco.

The Restaurante Dietético y Vegetariano places suffer from the problem I find endemic to Mexican vegetarian restaurants: a culinary sensibility stuck in the 70s where "vegetarian" food is limited to things like granola and alfalfa sprouts. Two places that I've been to in Mexico City that are not like that are Saks [http://www.saks.com.mx/] and La Buena Tierra [http://labuenatierra.com/]. They both have more traditional offerings, but without the meat.

Saks locations:

Insurgentes Sur 1641
Col. San José Insurgentes
5615-1500 & 5611-4803

José Ma. Velasco 100
esquina con Damas
Col. San José Insurgentes
5615-1500

Insurgentes Sur 4342
Col. Tlalpan
5485-3500

Plaza San Jacinto No. 9
Col. San Ángel
5616-1601

Campos Eliseos No.133
Col. Polanco
5545-6560 & 5545-6506

La Buena Tierra locations:

Atlixco 94
Local A
Col. Condesa
5211-4242 & 5211-4229

Anatole France 120
Local 9-10
Col. Polanco
5281-2324 & 5281-2363

Insurgentes Sur 2036
Col. Insurgentes
5575-1549 & 5575-1593

Periférico Sur 4606
Col. Pedregal
5528-3436 & 5606-2720

Centro Comercial
Col. Santa Fe
2167-4037 & 2140-4038

G. González Camarena 111
Col. Santa Fé Corporativos
5393-7174 & 5292 -8182

Plaza Satélite
Ciudad Satélite
5393-7815

Mar 11, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

México Eats: Polanco and Condesa?

It's more 'ethnic' than 'fine dining' as this thread seems to be about, but Kohinoor (G. González Camarena 999) is a great Indian restaurant in Santa Fe.

As a vegetarian living in Mexico, I find it is hard to come by decent vegetarian restarants that are not mere extensions of health food shops, with offerings that tend to taste of cardboard. Indian restaurants, which are usually a reliable source for vegetarian options, are even fewer and far between. Kohinoor is not strictly vegetarian by any means. It is very traditional though, and they offer delicious food in a nice atmosphere.

Mar 11, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico

Meal with great views of D.F.

The rotating restaurant at the top of the WTC building is called "Bellini." The address of the WTC is Avenida de las Naciones 1, and the restaurant is on the 45th floor The phone number is 55/5628-8305.

I am always skeptical of rotating restaurants, as that is so often the gimmick that gets one to pay too much for food that is of the quality found on airplanes. Yet I must say that I was very impressed by Bellini. The experience seemed very old school to me, with very attentive waiters in formal uniforms serving dishes like strawberries jubilee. While it was not the best food I've had in my life, it was a 7.5 out of 10 (with 10 being a solid religious experience), and it's by far the best food I've had in a rotating restaurant. Of course, the view is absolutely amazing. I'm attaching a photo taken during daylight hours because it's easier to get an idea of the view, but the place becomes absolutely magical after the sun goes down.

One last bit: the name is a little misleading perhaps, as most of their dishes are more international and Mexican, not just Italian.

Mar 11, 2007
iamcrispydammit in Mexico