Like many MONTROSE STAR readers, I’ve visited Mexico many times. From Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo and Juarez to resorts like Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Cancun.
But I’d never ventured to Mexico City. It had seemed impenetrable, being one of the world’s largest cities, but a polluted one with crowding and personal safety issues. Not many people I knew had Mexico City at the top of their travel bucket lists.
Well, I made my first visit a couple of years ago and returned earlier this month for a quick weekend. I found a city bustling with activity, be it commuting to and from work, going to the gym, or going out to eat. I absorbed its rich history and cultural heritage, on proud display throughout Mexico City.
I contrasted the city’s classical architecture with its modern structures. Some of the newer buildings are really “out there” including Museo Soumaya (MuseoSoumaya.org) at Plaza Carso, the “slouching metal handbag” of a museum that may be my favorite building in the world.
Of course, all that touring builds one’s appetite. For many LGBT travelers, the Zona Rosa is home base. It’s home to many of Mexico City’s gay bars and some fabulous restaurants. Think of the Zona Rosa as Mexico City’s Montrose with a little Greenwich Village in the mix.
My friend Anthony and I kicked off our weekend by meeting his friend Samuel at La Casa de Toño (m.LaCasaDeTono.com.mx), a neighborhood institution. Much of what’s here would be familiar to Tex-Mex fans, but with an interior twist. I had the Pozole, noted by many Yelpers and Trip Advisors as the best on Earth. What warmth and comfort from a bowl — I could slurp this stuff every day.
We had a little bit of everything, and all of it was wonderful. And when we left after our meal, there were two lines, one on each side of the entrance, stretching down the sidewalk!
Breakfast the next morning at Contrastes (+52 55 5264 3481; no website) rejuvenated us. Along with some of the best coffee I’ve ever had (there’s a hint of cinnamon), a plate of Chilaquiles hit the spot. Crisp tortilla chips are topped with shredded chicken, salsa verde, queso asadero and two glorious fried eggs. Breakfast doesn’t get much better than this.
If Contrastes wasn’t fancy, dinner Saturday night certainly was. La Grange Churrascaria (LaGrangeChurrascaria.com.mx) is a delicious Brazilian steakhouse — a more brightly lit, family friendly version of Fogo de Chao.
Oh, the salad bar may be Pizza Hut buffet quality, but the meats — various beef and pork cuts, chicken and even lamb — were mouthwatering. Topping it off was a spit roasted pineapple, basted in butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Heavenly. And the best part? Thanks to the dollar/peso relationship, a full meal for two, with a bottle of wine, was just $66 and change.
We enjoyed after dinner drinks at El Almacén (+52 55 5207 9424; no website), my favorite men’s bar in Mexico City. It’s retro, with fog machines, but the staff couldn’t be friendlier. Go-go boys show it all off, and it was the perfect way to cap off a weekend in Mexico City.