Saturday, February 21, 2009

La Fonda "El Refugio"

On Moya's last night in Mexico we went out looking for a nice place for dinner. We ended up in the Zona Rosa, Mexico City's gay-bar and sex shop headquarters. We got extra hungry and desperate and ended up at La Fonda "El Refugio", a landmark restaurant that has been serving the same menu since the late 50s. We should have known what we were getting into, though, when we read on the menu that they offered "authentic" Mexican food. Why would they have to assert this if we are in the heart of Mexico City? Further cause for worry was the dining room filled with suits and the nasal sound of Midwestern American English being spoken. I looked around, thinking, I hope the Animal Blanco corporate expense account is gonna cover this.

Nevertheless our hunger compelled us to sit and order. I chose Carne Asada a la Tasbasco and Moya took a Huachilango in a red sauce with olives. We both also had a cup of the house red wine, which was small, bad, and cost 50 pesos.

The servers relentlessly pushed upcharge items to us and the other tables around us. The water came in bottles and was not free. After Moya had ordered a server came and asked if she wanted rice with that. We should have guessed that this meant "Your 200 peso entree does not some with any sides, do you want to pay extra for one?". The food was mediocre, of course. Everything was under-spiced and over-salted.

When the bill came, Moya put her foot down about the side order of rice and got all haughty with the waiter, demanding that it be taken off the bill in her lispiest Spanish accent. It was pretty rad.

Anyway, this was a perfect example of the well-known fact that a Mexican meal in a hole-in-the-wall with florescent lights and plastic chairs is worth a thousand meals in a place with "atmosphere". The best food in D.F. is probably being served curbside, and for cheap, not in tourist traps with waiters in bowties.

The next morning I took Moya on the Metro to the Airport and got her on her plane back to the States, to prepare for her trip to Brazil. So, looks like it will be the Animal Soltero show again for awhile. Adios, Shawty, I'm gonna miss u!

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