The cool kids call Mexico City “The DF.” I guess it’s like when I was a kid growing up on Long Island…there was no Manhattan or New York City. It was just “the city.”
I like Mexico City. The DF. The Distrito Federal. Some people are scared of Mexico City. They think they will get kidnapped if they go there. “IF ONLY,” I tell them, “your life was that exciting.” They look at me funny. There is real fear here. More than one person has told me that they would never go to Mexico City “Your loss, fools,” I say. (And more tacos for me! Yey!)
People also think that Mexico City is really far away. It’s not far. At least, from Chicago, it’s not far. 3.5 hours? Maybe four! I would ask people in America how far they thought it was and the mode was eight hours. Eight! (Tip: Fly in late at night or early in the morning to beat the traffic. It’s like getting stuck on the Belt Parkway in rush hour — if you’ve been there — only worse!)
I like eating tacos in Mexico City. And Chicago. I like corn tortillas and grilled tortillas at that. I like friendly, homey service too. That’s something Mexico is very good at. Chicago Mexican places too. I read an article once where they interviewed people in the tourist industry worldwide and they said their favorite tourists were from Mexico because they are so nice and so friendly. Now we are making sweeping generalizations about countries, but I see it. I get it. I agree.
So I went to the DF/Mexico off Brick Lane today and I ordered some pork tacos and some “cowgirl’s beans.” You place your order up front at DF/Mexico and give them your table number and they bring it to you.
A server appears, a plate of tacos in her hand. “Did you order the pork tacos without habanero?”
“Uh, no. Just the pork tacos.”
“Okay, that’s good because we can’t do pork tacos without habanero.”
Why do I have this feeling that if I had said “Yes,” she still would have given me the plate???
The tacos are pretty and BURSTING with meat — someone is not paying attention to margin. But they are steamed flour tortillas, from what I can tell. And did I mention the wet meat? Very wet, wet meat. Watery wet. There’s something to be said for licking your fingers…but this was just watery laziness. Also wet? The beans. And missing the advertised sour cream. And chorizo. Wet tacos, wet beans. No thank you, I’m leaving. I left one taco and all the beans behind. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you know this very rarely happens.
The Verdict: Go to the real DF instead. It’s much better. Much.