Bowie – Mexico City… Cocina de Humo

IMG_9663-001

When I landed in Colonia Roma, my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City, I was faced with a dilemma. How do you decide where to eat when there are at least 2 cool-looking restaurants on every block? But I had recently seen an article listing restaurants that served marrow bones. Now, I have no interest in marrow bones, but I associate them with high-end restaurants, and figured that any chef who has the confidence to do something creative with them has to be good at a lot things.

That’s how I chose Bowie. I might have been put off by the large portrait of David Bowie, and the fact that they were playing “Let’s Dance” as I arrived (no, in fact, I hadn’t made the obvious connection to the singer), but it’s a lovely room, it was raining out, and I was convinced the food was going to be good. I was right.

IMG_9656-001

I was greeted warmly, and things started well when they brought fresh pita with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of tasty spices.

IMG_9659-001

A dish I always enjoy in Mexico is called Fideo Seco, a dish that usually just lives up to its name – dry noodles. Bowie’s version is much more elaborate and flavorful than I was expecting, with bright tomato and olive flavors, and a beautiful presentation. Definitely not your grandmother’s fideo seco, and absolutely delicious.

IMG_9661-002

The main course was a tough decision, but I went with the short ribs. I was expecting the usual braised meat falling off the bone, but was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with a huge iron skillet with a large serving of tender, smoky meat (well, the restaurant does describe itself as Cocina de Humo) beautifully assembled with mashed potato and squash, and a lovely beefy sauce.

It was a great experience, and I know I will be returning on my next Mexico City trip.

Here’s the contact info:

Bowie
Cordoba 113, Col. Roma – C.P. 06700, CDMX
Telephone: 5264 2622

So… What did you eat in Mexico City?

My friends know I’m always on the lookout for great food, so one of their first questions when I return from a trip is “What did you eat?” Here are some highlights from my recent Mexico City trip.

Chiles en Nogada – Cafe Tacuba, Centro

IMG_0259-002

Hotcakes – Sobrinos, Colonia Roma

IMG_9545-001

Pozole – Casa de Toño, Zona Rosa

IMG_0153-001

Tacos al Pastor “Especial” – El Huequito, Centro

IMG_9419-001

Grilled Octopus – Los Danzantes, Coyoacán

IMG_9722-001

Fideo Seco – Bowie, Colonia Roma

IMG_9660-001

Barbacoa – El Hidalguense, Colomia Roma

IMG_9909-001

Birria Jalisqueña – Tacos Frontera, Colonia Roma

IMG_9590-001

Deciphering Mexico City’s Metro Icons

Mexico Affordable Travel

For anyone who has wondered about the strange symbols that mark the subway stops in Mexico City, the answers are finally revealed… I only figured out pyramid symbol at the Pino Suárez station, and the observatory symbol at the Observatorio staton.

Here’s the article from Citylab:

http://www.citylab.com/design/2016/04/deciphering-mexico-citys-metro-icons/479796/?utm_source=SFFB

The Backlash to Mexico City’s High Line-Style Park

chapultepec

It sounds as if the critics have a good point, but this could be one of the nicest urban park spaces in the world… Right through Colonia Roma, my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

chapultepec x

Here’s the article from CityLab’s website… These photos are taken from the article.

80 Things You Should Do in Mexico City

DF 1

Here’s a piece I found on the website MXCITY Guía Insider. The photos are all from the website.

DF 5

I’m not usually a big fan of tour guides, but this is something special, with links throughout the article that provide a really in-depth picture of the huge variety of activities that are available in one of the greatest cities in the world.

DF 3

Divided into sections, the categories are:

Walking – with links to interesting places by neighborhood, including parks, monuments and spectacular views

Food – linking famous restaurants as well as interesting places for tacos and street food. It mentions Cafe Tacuba or Casa Cardinal, but also doesn’t forget the best ice cream and chocolate shops.

Night Life – with links to recommended clubs and other activities, from dance clubs, cantinas to hookah bars.

Shopping – from high end to the crazy rambling marketplaces.

Art and Culture – ranging from galleries and museums to weekend bazaars.

Magic Places – places unique to the city, including special gardens and parks, unusual buildings and picturesque plazas.

DF 4

DF 6

DF 2

Here’s the link: http://mxcity.mx/2015/05/turista-en-tu-ciudad-80-cosas-que-debes-hacer-en-la-ciudad-de-mexico/

Luis Spota – Paraíso 25

paraiso 25

Luis Spota had a remarkable career, first as a journalist, then a highly prolific novelist and screenwriter. I’ve probably read 10 of his novels, largely because I was captured by the extraordinary series in which he cynically portrayed the inner workings of Mexican power, politics and wealth in the 1960s and 70s. That series devoted several novels to the gradual corruption of an idealistic young cabinet minister as he jockeys for position, runs for, then is elected president, only to lose focus on what is really important. The series also included books devoted to some of the key players in the fictional power structure, and it stands as one of the most impressive bodies of work that I’ve read.

Several years ago, early in my explorations of Mexican literature, I read Spota’s Casi el Paraíso, which translates as Almost Paradise. Written in 1955, it was the story of a young man who grew up in the slums of Naples, but passed himself off to the highest levels of Mexican society as an Italian prince. The desire of the Mexican “aristocracy” to cut ties to their rough and tumble revolutionary roots, and to be recognized on an international level caused them to open their doors and their hearts to the young prince, without even the most basic due diligence. The book was highly entertaining, and focused on the foolishness of the most powerful members of society. Spota had a strict moral code, though, in which everyone seems to need a good comeuppance, Prince Ugo Conti notwithstanding.

25 years after his abrupt deportation from Mexico, 1980 by now, the young prince has become the middle aged Count Sandro Grimaldi. Surprisingly, the title is legitimate, as he managed to marry a Spanish countess, but was left out in the cold financially when she passed away. The Count becomes involved with one of Mexico’s “Juniors,” one of the young men determined to make his fortune by leveraging the wealth and influence of their families. In this case, the junior is the nephew of the incoming president of the country, and he knows he has exactly 6 years to make his fortune before his influence disappears with the next election.

Luis Spota passed away in 1985, so he won’t be offended if I say I had some trouble getting through this book. The characters are well drawn, and the Count’s back story is fascinating, but there really isn’t much plot to hang on to. The rich kid assumes the European aristocrat has access to huge amounts of capital, so he invites him to Mexico and gives him a whirlwind tour of the stunning magnitude of corruption that goes along with political influence in Mexico. It becomes a series of meetings with other rich or influential people, and descriptions of the outrageous schemes that they are planning. Lots of those meetings, and lots of schemes. After some 350 pages, the Count finally goes home, but with plans to return… That’s the plot.

The Count is never identified as the disgraced prince of 25 years ago, and there is no evidence that the president is party to the corrupt schemes, and there isn’t even any romantic interest to keep our attention. The book felt like a lengthy essay disguised as fiction. My hopes for a follow-up to the witty observational satire of the first book were not fulfilled….

But hey, it’s just one out of many great books by Luis Spota.

______________________________________________________

Reseña prestada de Librería Gandhi:

Los personajes que nos indignaron en casi el paraíso vuelven renovados y con menos escrúpulos. El príncipe Ugo Conti, con otra identidad, regresa a México veinticinco años después para emprender una especie de revancha, al insertarse nuevamente en el mundo de espejismos y mentiras en el que viven los poderosos: pocos negocios tan rentables como lograr su cercanía. Sin pudor y sin límites, la -juniorcracia – se apoderó del país y toma las riendas de un juego en el que dinero y poder forman una urdimbre invencible. Paraíso 25 es un duro (y desgraciadamente vigente) retrato de la opulencia y la corrupción desmedida con la que se maneja la clase política mexicana.