Viva La Mexico!

Mexico City (CDMX) is one of the most vibrant cities I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. The energy, food, people and history in this city is remarkable. After just 5 days in this CDMX I fell in love and this city has become an easy favorite of mine. The food in CDMX is economical and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. The spices and flavoring of the tacos, tortas, stews and everything else is firing on all cylinders. I can’t wait till you try all the places I went to below and find your own spots to write home about. I dream of the days where I am back in in the neighborhood of Roma sipping a michelada and eating plates of tacos. Viva La Mexico!

1. Taqueria Orinoco- These tacos were some of the best I had in the city. Try to get one of each taco on the menu because they will change the way you look at tacos forever. The delicious sauces you see on the dish come with your order so make sure you experiment with them!

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2. Mercado Roma- This market is fun to roam and more modern than other markets you will visit (a bit bougie) but skip the other stalls in the market and head to the pozole because it’s all sorts of delicious. This warm soup is spicy, salty and the stewed beef will make your stomach sing.

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3. Churreria El Moro- Even though I went to their outpost and not the original location these churros were just as delicious. Warm and so crisp! This is as close to heaven on Earth as it gets. Try to go to the original location in the morning because I’ve heard the entire neighborhood smells of these amazing churros during that time!

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4. I had these tacos at 4am after a cocktail bar crawl and I am blanking on the name of this place but pretty much all the tacos in CDMX are excellent so don’t worry just eat!

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5. La Esquina Del Chilaquil- No matter what you do in the city you must wait in line for the tortas at this cart because these are the best damn tortas in the world. There are chilaquiles stuffed in the torta!!! What a concoction.

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6. Molino El Pujol- If you are like me and were unable to get Pujol reservations then come here to the tortillas that are served at Pujol. There is a limited snacks menu so it’s a good taste of what could have been.

7. Mercado de San Juan- Buy delicious fruits here! We bought some amazing mangos and passionfruit.

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8. Contramar- You can’t go to CDMX and not go to Contramar. It is one of the best seafood meals I have ever had. The tuna tostadas, octopus (not pictured) and the famous fish with red chile and parsley is all bits of incredible. You will dream of Contramar when you leave the city because it is so much more than just a restaurant.

9. Panaderia Rosetta- The chocolate conch is superb. So are the rest of their pastries. Come here to grab breakfast or for a mid afternoon pick me up.

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10. La Merced Market- One of my favorite experiences in CDMX was the Eat Mexico Tour of La Merced. This market is one of the largest markets in the city. It is huge, overwhelming but has incredible street food within. This place will give you incomparable insight into CDMX and you should absolutely go but with a guide. Our guide was fabulous and we tasted three times what I took pictures of because I too was so caught up in the moment. GO GO GO!

11. The Frida Kahlo Museum is a must if you love her art. This house holds her history and you will love it if you appreciate her story and work. Make sure to book tickets in advance (there will still be a line but it will be shorter than not having booked in advance).

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12. Los Danzantes- The Frida Kahlo Museum is in the neighborhood of Coyoacan which is an adorable town. Spend the afternoon after the museum taking in the colorful and quaint neighborhood. We had lovely brunch at Los Danzantes which is located across the main town square.

13. Churreria de Coyoacan- So these churros were my favorite in the city. Even more than El Moro so this requires a stop on your list, right? It is also in Coyoacan so this can either be a quick breakfast before the Kahlo museum or a sweet snack after brunch.

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14. Carmela y Sal- This was the most perfect dinner to end our last night in Mexico City. It is a take on modern Mexican food executed so well. I highly recommend ordering esquite by way of risotto, ceviche, short rib with chirmol and ax callus and squid ink. The space is also gorgeous. Why can’t a restaurant of this caliber exist in NYC?!

15. Pasillo de Humo- For our last brunch in CDMX we had a Oaxacan brunch. The egg and chicken empanadas were so good (and huge) and my egg and tomato stew was just what I wanted since I was craving something comforting.

Meet me in Montreal

I love and adore Montreal. The city is what I imagine NYC would look like if it was European. There is so much to see, eat and do in Montreal that fitting it into a long weekend seems impossible but is doable if you plan it right! Below are the places I ate at in Montreal. There is a great range of cuisine from classic French, French Canadian to Indonesian. Hope you enjoy the guide below!

1.) Schwartz’s- GO HERE! The line is long but we were sat in 20 minutes so not too bad at all. The classic smoked meat sandwich is shareable between 2 people but if you’re absolutely famished then get one for yourself. The meat is so so so juicy and packed with copious amount of flavor. You can tell the meat was prepared with so much love and boy did I love eating it.

Smoked meat sandwich

Smoked meat sandwich

2.) La Banquise- You’re in Montreal so poutine is a must. We get jalapenos and beef on our poutine which in the end felt too heavy. Getting the classic version is the way to go! The fries and cheese curds were delicious and I definitely picked through the dish to get to just that.

Jalapeno, onion rings and ground beef poutine

Jalapeno, onion rings and ground beef poutine

3.) Le Fantome Restaurant- Le Fantome specializes in New Canadian cuisine and offers a tasting menu. We opted for the tasting and got to try a variety of pastas and meats throughout the evening. I also loved the candlelit space. It’s very cozy, intimate and ideal for a date night or a special celebration.

Lobster and mushroom

Lobster and mushroom

Pasta course (cacio e pepe style)

Pasta course (cacio e pepe style)

3.) St. Viateur Bagel Shop- So I loved these bagels! Also love being able to dip bagels into cream cheese instead of spreading haha. Surprisingly these bagels were soft. Try to get them warm because they’re extra delicious when they’re fresh out of the oven.

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4.) Fairmount Bagel- I personally prefer the bagels from St.Viateur more. The bagels from Fairmount are good but I found them to have a stiffer texture. They do have a variety of flavors for you to choose from though.

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5.) Larry’s- This was one of my favorite restaurants in Montreal. Larry’s is a cozy all day cafe with a definite millennial vibe but most importantly every single dish there is delicious. It’s an eclectic menu where the vegetables are as delicious as the pancakes and somehow the anchovy spaghetti is out of this world. Highly recommend for brunch!

Anchovy spaghetti

Anchovy spaghetti

Scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs

Pancakes

Pancakes

6.) Le Club Chasse Et Peche Restaurant- This restaurant is known for their game & fish dishes. The cook on the meats were just as we requested. Think tender, juicy and flavorful. The fish dishes here were also good and especially so the lobster.

American Wagyu, mushrooms, whelks, marrow sauce

American Wagyu, mushrooms, whelks, marrow sauce

Broccoli rabe, pinenuts, cauliflower puree

Broccoli rabe, pinenuts, cauliflower puree

7.) Arthurs Nosh Bar- Expect to wait on line here but the wait is worth it, especially for brunch. The menu offers your typical brunch staples but the cook on everything is wonderful, well portioned and packed with flavor. The ingredients are also very fresh like the smoked salmon. You’ll be super full after the meal but also super happy.

Gravalax: smoked salmon, poached egg, avocado, capers, dill

Gravalax: smoked salmon, poached egg, avocado, capers, dill

No Budget Brit’s Schnitzel: chicken schnitzel, whipped honey, french dressing with an added fried egg

No Budget Brit’s Schnitzel: chicken schnitzel, whipped honey, french dressing with an added fried egg

9.) Nonya- We did takeout Indonesian food for our last night in Montreal and it was an ideal way to close out Montreal. I enjoyed the heat in the dishes (not too spicy) and we had a good mix of curries and small bites. The tumeric rice was a standout for me because it was well seasoned. Also loved the shrimp curry that had a beautiful aroma.

Red curry shrimp, dumplings in peanut butter sauce, peanut butter chicken, turmeric rice

Red curry shrimp, dumplings in peanut butter sauce, peanut butter chicken, turmeric rice

Honorable mentions where I could not find the pictures I took of the food: Cadet which has a New Canadian menu and does well on meats and Nhau Bar where the cocktails and ambience are incredible but also has a delicious small bites menu featuring the best shrimp buns I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to be back in Montreal!

This is Nhau Bar by the way. So pretty!

This is Nhau Bar by the way. So pretty!

36 hours in Chicago

My first time in Chicago was during the polar vortex of 2019 and well it was quite the welcome into the Windy City. Despite the weather mishap I did my best to see and eat the best foods the city has to offer although I think I barely scratched the surface of the Chicago food scene. Some of the highlights during this trip included the Art Institute of Chicago and it’s impressive collection, an unforgettable dinner at Alinea and eating deep dish at Pequod’s. Below are the rest of the places I enjoyed eating at during the weekend.

1.) Marisol- The restaurant is located inside of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago which, has awesome exhibits by the way. I ordered the onion, fennel, potato soup with a side of tea (they have many loose leaf teas for you to choose from) which was ideal for a cold day.

Onion, fennel, potato soup with a side of tea

Onion, fennel, potato soup with a side of tea

2.) Alinea- There are not enough words to describe Alinea except that it is worth the money and you will remember this dinner for the rest of your life. I am so happy that we were able to experience Chef Grant Achatz’s vision. I’ve admired him for a long time and Alinea is just proof of his ingenuity. Below are some of the highlight dishes.

Wagyu steak

Wagyu steak

French toast brioche with black truffles

French toast brioche with black truffles

Dessert bomb

Dessert bomb

3.) Portillo’s- This may be a chain but I genuinely enjoyed these Chicago hot dogs. I love the sesame buns and the fact that it is loaded with relish, peppers, and pickles. I prefer these hot dogs to the NYC ones easily.

Classic Portillo’s hot dogs

Classic Portillo’s hot dogs

4.) Au Cheval- We had to wait 45 minutes to get a seat here but I had heard horror stories of a 2 hour wait for this burger. It was a delicious burger but I’m glad the wait was not insane but I honestly don’t think it’s worth 2-3 hour wait. Very juicy and tender burger patty- definitely get the egg!

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5.) Pequod’s- This was delicious Chicago deep dish. We got a small for 2 people and even that felt like too much. Ultimately Chicago deep dish…is absolutely more a cheese pie than a pizza. Sorry I said it but it’s true. However, that doesn’t make it any less delicious. Pequod’s had a great tangy tomato sauce that cuts through the heaviness of the cheese which you’ll appreciate a lot when you’re on your second slice.

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6.) Publican Quality Meats- We went here for brunch and enjoyed the selection of meat dishes that the shop had to offer. Below is the chicken parmesan sandwich I ordered which, was so good! It actually had a bit of heat to it which I loved!

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7.) Doughnut Vault- The doughnut vault is a literal hole in the wall that opens in the morning and closes when the last donut is sold so try to get there on the earlier side. We were able to snag some of their famous buttermilk old fashioned donuts in the afternoon and they were scrumptious. I loved that they were soft and that you can actually taste the buttermilk!

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It was a wonderful trip to Chicago and I’m happy that I got to check out some of the essential Chicago eateries! On my next trip to the Windy City I'd love to explore the surrounding neighborhoods and get a taste of the real Midwestern foods that I know Chicago has to offer. Until next time!

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Excellence at Gunter Seeger

We did the eight course tasting menu at Gunter Seeger and the entire experience was so lovely. When approaching tasting menus there is usually an element of style, design and art involved and at Gunter Seeger you can expect top marks on that. The food itself was absolutely delicious with an amazing wine list. We shared a bottle of reisling from Austria (the name escapes me which I regret) that I am trying to find this bottle in my local wine stores to this day! The service is above and beyond with close attention to detail. The space itself is lovely with a quiet ambiance, more than enough space to move around, and a 10 person chef’s table in the back that overlooks the kitchen. Gunter Seeger is worthy of a celebration meal or maybe even a treat yourself because you deserve it meal!

Heirloom Beet Tart

Heirloom Beet Tart

John’s River oysters, cucumber granite and smoked trout roe

John’s River oysters, cucumber granite and smoked trout roe

Chilled kohlrabi veloute, radish, green asparagus

Chilled kohlrabi veloute, radish, green asparagus

Four sensation oasis farm egg

Four sensation oasis farm egg

Poached halibut, pea blossom, mussel jus

Poached halibut, pea blossom, mussel jus

Grilled spot prawn, marinated bell pepper, figs from Afghanistan, Lady Edison ham

Grilled spot prawn, marinated bell pepper, figs from Afghanistan, Lady Edison ham

Quail in an artichoke, summer truffle

Quail in an artichoke, summer truffle

Ardith Mae goat cheese

Ardith Mae goat cheese

Fleurs de Jardin Vacherin, strawberry sorbet and pistacchio mousse

Fleurs de Jardin Vacherin, strawberry sorbet and pistacchio mousse

Petit Fours

Petit Fours

Favorites:

  1. Chilled kohlrabi veloute, radish, green asparagus- this gives you a nice refreshing lift midway through the menu and I loved the smokiness!

  2. Four sensation oasis farm egg- this egg is fabulous and frothy. The textures will give you of a “home comfort” feel when eating. It’s also paired with a gorgeous slice of bread (not pictured here) so you can scoop out the shell because trust me you will want to.

  3. Quail in an artichoke, summer truffle- fantastic pairing of quail and artichoke. The cook on the artichoke especially is impressive. The artichoke just melts in with the quail which I loved especially given how it is not easy to execute artichoke.