In my endless quest of eateries to recommend in Mexico City, I asked Raul Zorrilla, the Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute to give me his list. He opted to give me his 10 favorite tacos and his mouth literally watered as he described them.
- Taco campechano from El Villamelon right in front of the Plaza de Toros Mexico between Circuito Interior and Insurgentes. is made with charcoa-griled thin slices of beef , finely chopped and combined with crumbled longaniza and crushed pork cracklings; topped with a cooked pork crackling and arbol chile. sauce.
- The Taco de Morita con Puerco from El Jarocho, Manzanillo 49 corner of Tapachula is so spicy from the smoked morita chiles that most ordinary mortals would not be able to stand it but then Raul is anything but.
- Taco de Costilla de Puerco con Verdolagas Salsa Verde (Pork spare rib with purslane, in season now, and tomatillo sauce is available at Sra. Juanita’s stand at the Medellin Market in Medellin street in Colonia Roma
- Tacos de Rib Eye con salsa molcajeteada (Grilled thinly sliced rib eye steak topped with a roasted tomato, onion. chile, garlic sauce made in a molcajete. The Califa del Leon is located at Calle Alfonso Reyes in the Colonia Condesa
- El Taco de Las Gaoneras de Azcapozalco. 5 gaoneras cada una en su tortilla (gaonera is a 1/4-inch slice of very tender filet of beef quickly cooked on a flat top or griddle. It is then stuffed into a thick handmade corn tortilla and topped with raw tomatillo sauce (see salsa verde cruda in the recipe section.)
- Taco de Carnitas con Chiquita – Carnitas (pork nuggets) with tiny pieces of fatty chiquita (another word for the Oaxacan asiento or sediment that forms on the bottom of the pan when rendering lard and making chicharrones) from El Venadito, Avenida Universidad near the corner of Miguel Angel de Quevedo.
- Taco de Barbacoa del Arroyo, Avenida Insurgentes (salida a Cuernavaca) The lamb barbacoa cooked in maguey leaves until very tender and hauntingly smoky La barbacoa es suave, con sabor a humo y a hoha de maguey. La salsa borracha is made with pulque and in his words “‘es perfecta.”
- Taco de pavo en mole de Los Guajolotes Avenida insurgetes y eje 5. The turkey is cooked in a rotisserie just until juicy, then shredded and mixed with a sweet spicy mole. It is then topped with sour cream.
- Tacos de Langosta del Fisher’s on Calle de Horacio in Polanco. Perfectly cooked lobster is served either in a corn or flour tortilla with an habanero sauce.
- Taco de Papas con Chorizo de Dona Tona , his mother’s cook for more than 20 years, makes the best potatoes with chorizo in the world. She boils the potatoes and peels and cuts them into a fine dice. She fries chorizo in some lard separately and adds it to the potatoes and tops it with a very spicy sauce of various dried chiles, roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic Unlike most potato–chorizo mixtures where everything is mixed together, here all the ingredients stand on their own.
I think I will get on a plane to Mexico City and will try to get some of the recipes and post them! And by the way, raul is rail thin but I don’t know what his cholesterol count is!