A Touch, Just a Touch, of Mexican in Palermo Chico

2011.Aug.18 Thursday · 0 comments

in Restaurants

“Taxco de Alarcón, mejor conocida sólo como Taxco, es una ciudad del Sur de México, localizada en el estado de Guerrero. Es uno de los centros turísticos más importantes de dicho estado. La palabra Taxco proviene del náhuatl: “Tlachco” que significa “en el juego de pelota” o “en el sitio donde se juega a la pelota”. Taxco fue el lugar de nacimiento del dramaturgo Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, y en honor a él la ciudad tomó su nombre actual. Taxco es el centro minero más antiguo del continente, motivo por el cual es conocido por sus minas de plata, las cuales existen desde la época de la Colonia. Su tradicional trabajado de la plata es mundialmente reconocido.”

“Taxco de Alarcon, better known simply as Taxco, is a city in Southern Mexico, located in the state of Guerrero. It is one of the most important tourist centers in the state. The word Taxco comes from Nahuatl: “Tlachco” means “in the ballgame” or “the place where they play ball”. Taxco was the birthplace of playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, and the full name of the city honors him. Taxco is the oldest mining center on the continent, famous for its silver mines which have existed since the Colonial era. The quality of its silver-work is world renowned.”

None of that has much of anything to do with the restaurant I’m about to delve into, though I admit the association of Taxco’s famed silver mines and the restaurant being located so near to the Rio de la Plata, our own route to the silver, raised my hopes. That and the place was recommended to me as authentically Mexican, being run and staffed by Mexicans, and with spice levels not toned down for local tastes. So off we trooped to Taxco, Godoy Cruz 3214 in Palermo chico, with high hopes and tastebuds already primed. [Closed]

It’s a cute little place, looking like a quiet cantina that you might even find in some parts of Mexico. The menu intriguing, certainly the usual suspects – tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, fajitas – but with the promise of them being done right, that’s not a bad thing. The obligatory bowl of corn chips and salsa arrived, the chips typical supermarket versions, the sauce tasting vaguely of tomato and carrot, with no heat whatsoever. Uh oh. We asked, however, and got a bowl of green jalapeño sauce that at least kicked it up a notch. We continued to peruse. It’s not a cheap place for a little cafe style restaurant and it quickly became clear that dinner was going to cost. But if it was really, really good….

Taxco - quesadillas de verduras
We decided to split a quesadilla, offered up in chicken, pork or beef, though it turned out that there’s also a vegetarian version made with grilled vegetables available, just not listed on the menu – also turns out that there are vegetarian versions of several other dishes, available if asked for, just not listed – why? That’d be a great selling point. Pretty good actually, with nice wheat flour tortillas, lightly charred, not overly stuffed with cheese, and with a good amount of quite tasty vegetables. No spice. We were left with the semi-hot green sauce from the chips, or a choice of tabasco sauce and tabasco-chipotle sauce, the latter of which saved the day, being one of our favorites.

Taxco - enchiladas de pollo
An order of chicken enchiladas came, while nicely packed with a fairly tasty chicken filling, doused in a sauce that could only be described as a sweet barbecue one. Completely odd and out of place and with only two small enchiladas at a nearly 60 peso cost. No heat (we’d ordered everything “muy picante”, which our waitress assured us was no problem). Strangely, also, in presentation, not rolled, just simply folded over wheat flour tortillas. More tabasco-chipotle.

Taxco - tacos al pastor
The tacos al pastor at least weren’t sweet, but the pico de gallo atop them was nothing more than tomato, onion and cilantro. That tabasco bottle was getting a workout – actually, I think we emptied it or pretty close, and used up all the green sauce. And a pretty skimpy portion we thought, especially given a price tag of over 50 pesos. We also noted the use of only wheat tortillas, no corn ones.

A couple of beers each (30 pesos a bottle for Corona or Negro Modelo!). Tack on a whopping 10 pesos per person cubierto charge, and a tip for our really charming waitress (who was not Mexican, but Dominican, not that that should matter – no idea about the owners or cooks and only noted because of the recommendation we’d gotten for the visit), and this rather disappointing dinner came in at over 300 pesos. That’s just plain ridiculous.

Although better service, the food didn’t hold a candle to most of what we had at our recent revisit to Xalapa, and Taxco cost roughly 50% more for skimpier quantities. We’ll pass on a return.

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