Some Foodie Recommendations in Mexico City

One of my favourite hobbies, besides cooking and traveling, is obviously eating. Since I arrived to Mexico City I´ve been amazed by the amount of great restaurants, markets and street food stands that have totally satisfied my foodie needs. What I do in order to find these places is to go for long walks, loooong walks, like bring a tent and stuff, and casually bump into them.

Dating Service

Something a lot like this… some beef jerky might be cool as well.

On the past few weeks I´ve found, or I´ve been introduced to great restaurants, which I´ll like to recommend you whenever you are having some spare time in the capital of Mexico, or if you just feel like having some good lunch while experiencing something new.

La Burguesa (Cozumel 67, esquina Colima, Roma Norte; Mexico City)

I went to this place last week, not expensive at all, it prepares some of the most amazing burgers in the city. This place is located in the Roma Norte neighborhood, and the meals go from NZ$12 to NZ$16; the quality of its ingredients is outstanding. La Burguesa serves its food in a wee place, nice tables and decoration, great ambiance and some familiarity in the air gives you enough confidence to try the intrepid combinations that its chef has created.

The main specialty is “La Fuerte”, which is a burger with lamb mince, Camembert, and spinach cream. As one customer said on the internet, this is the kind of food that when you chew it you don´t know if go for the next bite or just hope that what you are enjoying in your mouth never ends.

burguesa

“Le Pain Quotidien” (Insurgentes Sur 1630 or at Oscar Wilde 30 esquina Virgilio, Polanco)

Oh well, the name says it all, this is “the traditional” French place for a good, and somehow healthy, bite. The service is efficient and unexpected, and the food is simple but beautifully arranged. The “Tartines” seem to be the specialty at this place, I´ve tried some of them and I recommend the smoked salmon one, which might be their finest product. This tartine just melts in your mouth while salmon, rustic bread, olive oil and dill weed mix in your mouth, taking you somewhere else.

They have a sharing table concept, so you can enjoy your meal with strangers if you are there by yourself, as well as a decent selection of beer and wine and the quality of the ingredients is remarkable. Oh, don´t forget to visit the “groceries” section, fantastic, however brief, variety of organic and delicious products. Visit their website, it is pretty neat as well.

Follow them on twitter too, don´t be shy: @le_pain_q_mx

Now, put your trainers on and go for a good walk around the city, we might bump into each other and might even share some tamales…. not, I don´t share my tamales, ever.

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Mexico´s Embarrassing Attendance to Brazil 2014

As you might know, the FIFA World Cup takes place every four years in a new country, the next World Cup will be in Brazil in 2014, and almost all of the 32 countries that will attend are classified already. Mexico, one of the countries where football could be only compared with a nationwide religion, will be the last team invited to the event.

There are a few countries where football is such a big thing, like Argentina, Brazil, England, Spain, and obviously, Mexico. The size of Mexico, its population and somehow steady middle and upper class, are variables that give the Mexican fans the chance to attend the World Cup for almost two weeks, pretty much the three first round matches and a next round match, even if Mexico doesn´t make it to the next phase.

The horrors …

However, the Mexican team struggled to qualify to this World Cup as it ended fourth in their confederation group and had to play against New Zealand for the last ticket to Brazil*.

In the meantime, during the uncertainty of Mexico´s attendance to the FIFA Challenge, journalists, analysts, politicians, and population in general, discussed how terrible for our country would it be if Mexico didn´t make it.

It was even compared to an economic crisis, a sociopolitical debacle, an outrage for our civilization, and obviously, an embarrassment that the United States team is going and Mexico isn´t.

Still, a better love story than Twilight.

Charts and graphics were presented to illustrate how the Mexican economy will shatter if Mexico fails to go to Brazil 2014, and they concluded with some sweet as statistical remarks:

  • Mexico will lose USD$600 million for not attending. 
  • Sponsors will fail to reach their market
  • Telefonica and Adidas have paid USD$45 million for a 4 years contract, losing most of the expected profit if Mexico doesn´t make it.
  • Restaurants, bars and other stores will be heavily affected by this.
  • The not renewal of commercial contracts by brands like Coca Cola, Visa, Ford, Roshfrans, Telefonica and Adidas.

Indeed, we can assume that Brazil 2014 is one of the most important events, not only for sports but for financial reasons, however, I´d like to conclude with something I´ve been thinking for a while, specially since Mexico lost against Costa Rica (damn!):

Any investor or financial analysist knows better when positioning their assets/cash, as one of the rules in economics is to diversify your investments. What I´m seeing here is that several companies and individuals concentrated their efforts towards one intangible active, a football team, and now the uncertainty is killing them. It´s a sure thing to bet on the Mexican soccer team if they go to Brazil, as there´s nothing easier than profit from the Mexican fans, a niche that blindly believes in football as the most important variable to determine the failure or success of Mexico as a strong nation. However, it is not the end of the world, and I´m sure these companies will think twice next time they put all their eggs in one badly built basket.

I can think of other more important reasons to go to Brazil 2014… “Ordem e Progresso” to you too

Ps1. The Mexican football team has shown no realistic project so far, I can say, without question, that Mexico will not make it to the next phase.

Ps2. In Mexico, the football players are seen as heroes or villains according to their performance, certainly the telly broadcasters like Televisa or TvAzteca are to blame, building up the idea that if Mexico doesn´t attend Brazil 2014 we´ve failed as a country.

Ps3. I highly recommend this article written by Leon Krauze on Bloomberg on the matter.

*The match against New Zealand is tomorrow at midnight, however Mexico won 5-1 on the first match, and the Kiwis didn´t show much competition. Mexico is likely to win this set and attend Brazil 2014.

One Week Smartphone Free

You will be missed….

So, it finally happened, I lost my smartphone, it was a beautiful Galaxy SIII, black, smooth, great definition, sharp texture, nice form, amazing. Now all this is gone, it ran away from my masculine Mexican hands yesterday in the afternoon. I rang myself, no answer, after twenty minutes somebody has turned it off, or maybe it turned off by itself, not wanting to hear from me anymore.

Or maybe it couldn´t stand all those “Artsy” selfies

My mobile decided to leave me, maybe it was a lot going on among us, it decided that there were many things he didn´t want to know about me nor my mates´lives.

Was it my lame taste in music, perhaps? My tacky memes that my mates were sending me and I was forwarding to other mates? The way I prostituted my life by posting pointless and ridicules updates on Facebook or uninteresting tweets on Twitter? I will never know. 

In the meantime I´ll carry this…

 

 

It just abandoned me, we never got the chance to talk about our differences, or how it felt about me throwing it harshly to the nearest couch when arriving home. We never had a reconfiguration of its OS, or a decent update for the latest version Samsung was freaking asking all the time for me to do, or some added value applications uploaded to it.

It was great while it lasted, we went places and shared our greatest moments together with my mates; well, now that I think about it, I never paired it with another similar device for the exchange of suggestive files or juicy documents, that might have been one of the reasons it left.

I´m not crying (click on the pic for the video)

“Smartphones are like people, they hang out with you for a while, learn what´s interesting about you, share some valuable information upon request, but one day, they just leave you without notice, taking all your private information and great memories. I guess they just want to see other people, and never call you back.” – Leviticus 12, 31-35

Ps. Oh, the title of this post, due to my current circumstances I´ve decided to take one week off from this amazing technology.

Ps2. Tech withdrawal is a bitch!

Veganism for Carnivores

I know, most people who´ve met me are fully aware of all my nasty jokes and remarks against vegetarians and their eating habits, but until we find a cure for that we shall respect and tolerate their munching disorders. What you might not know is that I love veggies and I became a vegetarian myself a long time ago for a wee period of time, when I was in Europe (damn you, Europe!).

This happened to me mainly for economic reasons, a Mexican in France finds it really hard to afford a good steak or even chicken (sacre bleu), so I turned my cravings to couscous, potatoes, pasta, lentils, beans, veggies in general and cheese. During this phase, I didn´t only learn to put more veggies or only veggies into my diet, I also got to improve my cooking skills as I wasn´t relying much on meat to enhance the flavour of my dishes (I´m sorry, bacon, but it happened, ps, I love you).

Later in life I lived in New Zealand with a vegetarian for almost three years, so whenever I was cooking for the flatmates I had to consider a vegetarian version of my dish for her. At the beginning this was sort of new, but not obnoxious at all, as she liked my food and really appreciated our effort to treat her veganishly well.

Did you see how yummy that broccoli looks? Nah? I didn´t either.

If you are a hard-core carnivore, who believes that salad and veggies just look cool as decorations on the side of a T-Bone or thick Sirloin (medium rare, please, never order a good steak “well done”), well let me tell you that you are totally missing out.

Nothing compares to munching from a good tray of grilled veggies (courchetes, pre boiled kumaras and potatoes, red onions and red peppers, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, in the oven at 200° for 45 minutes, done), or a refreshing couscous/chickpeas/fresh-coriander and lime juice salad, or a beautifully fluffy quiche (seriously, have you tried my red pepper quiche? Go ahead).

So next time you are assuming that a vegan diet lacks nutrients, proteins or flavour, well, don´t be such a “Murican” and give it a try, you won´t regret it.

Ps. And you vegans, don´t be such smart arses about your veganism thingy going on, we get it, you don´t eat meat, you don´t have to rub it on our faces every time we take you out for lunch.

Ps 2. … until we find a cure…

The Imposter Syndrome

I recently learnt something about myself I didn´t know, that regardless of the how awesome I think I am, sometimes I tend to underestimate myself and sort of dismiss positive feedback given by peers, or friends.

So there I was, having a wee glass of red wine with a great friend of mine, when we performed this feedback exercise where both answered to one another some questions about how we feel about each other. When we got to “What would you change of me?” she answered “well, nothing much, except that you tend to underestimate yourself, you know, you might have some of the “Imposter Syndrome””.

Umm… I will talk about the “Dunning-Kruger effect” later, so, let´s just avoid this wee detail for now, shall we?

Explained by Wikipedia (and its reliable sources which have helped scholars all over the world to complete and finish their research papers), the Imposter Syndrome is:

“… a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.” (True story, here´s a link and everything)

So don´t be arses and donate some quids…

Apparently, according to what this syndrome is, the appropriate therapy is to face the fact that it is affecting you, and learn that you are underestimating yourself and your accomplishments in life. One of the best ways to do so is by matching what you positively relate with success to your triumphs, then you´ll realize of how awesome you are.

I´ve been doing this for the last six years, and it took me some time to find out that I was on the right track, and that I was accomplishing great things due to my experience, intelligence and charisma. However, I didn’t know that there was a syndrome for what I had, I just got my friends´feedback on this and thought “This isn´t luck, you bloody earned it, with hard work and doing the right things”.

So, with this entry, I´d like to encourage you to do the same, look at the bright side, and take compliments and positive feedback as they come, never say “thanks, but…”, never, you earned it.

I don´t know if this is related with the topic, I just like Dilbert a lot.

Ps. On other things that also matter, I´m a huge fan of John Irving´s work, his writing style is absorbing and vivid, letting you wander into his complex mind and unfinished business through his obscure but kind hearted characters.

Ps2. My favourite book? The first one I read from this lad, “The Fourth Hand”, give a chance.