Tamales & Tacos in Roma Norte – Mexico City
Day 2 in Mexico City was all about having linner (lunch + dinner) at Pujol (next post!) so we didn’t have daytime food plans, but we still ate well. Which we discovered, wasn’t too hard to accomplish in Mexico City.
In the morning on the way to the subway station, we ran into a woman selling tamales on the corner of Calle de Chihuahua and Orizaba. Again, not an unusual occurrence. It would be hard not to find a tamal lady in the morning on the corner in Mexico City.
While waiting on line, I noticed something unusual. The man in front of me ordered a tamal on a roll. The next day, I saw others do the same. Called guajolotas, I learned these carb bombs are common in Mexico City. I guess it makes sense in the same way people eat Jamaican beef patties on coco bread. It’s less messy and more of a meal than a snack. However, I wanted pure tamal action, so I ordered a tamal verde de pollo (MXN $9 / USD $0.71) sans bread.
And it was fantastic. In fact, it was the best corn husk tamal I ever had, in Mexico and beyond. (The best banana leaf tamal was in Playa del Carmen.) I had another one later that evening at Pujol, and another street tamal in Condessa the following day, but this one surpassed them all. The steamed masa was moist, and surprisingly, fluffy. Have you had a fluffy tamal? I’ve had very tasty dense, saucy tamales before, but never one I’d call fluffy. This one was fluffy, and hence, less prone to being a gut-bomb. There was also a good amount of spicy salsa verde in the center, but more chicken would have been nice. Although the next day’s tamales had even less chicken, so I really shouldn’t complain.
The woman also had two kinds of atole (a traditional, hot masa-based drink), but we opted for fresh squeezed orange juice (MXN $12 / USD $0.94) across the street instead. Fresh squeezed orange juice and tamales, it was just about the perfect breakfast.
Later in the afternoon, after some sightseeing, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for linner, but with only a tamal in my stomach, I needed a snack to tie me over. Thankfully, on the way, we saw Tacos Álvaro Obregón, which called to me with its rotating spits of pork.
David ordered tacos de suadero (MXN $9 / USD $0.71 each), double corn tortillas with brisket, which whether he wanted or not, we ended up sharing. I’d initially just wanted a bite, but the brisket was so flavorful, fatty, and moist, I had to have another.
My taco al pastor con queso (MXN $16 / USD $1.26 each) was equally delicious, if not more. The taco didn’t come with pineapple, but the thick layer of melted, salty cheese on top more than made up for it. Combined with the juicy slices of pork underneath, it was a hell of a snack. It took all my will not to order another. Pujol awaited… Had it not, a night of tacos at Tacos Álvaro Obregón wouldn’t have been a bad way to end the night.
Corner of Calle de Chihuahua & Calle de Orizaba
Mexico City, DF, Mexico
Tacos Álvaro Obregón
Álvaro Obregón 90, Roma (b/n Córdoba & Calle de Orizaba; map)
Mexico City, DF, Mexico