Visiting the ex hacienda de Apanquetzalco in Yautepec

In October, I traveled to Mexico for a cousin’s wedding. It wasn’t your typical church wedding followed by a reception at a banquet hall. Instead, it was held at a beautiful ex hacienda in the town of Yautepec, located in the state of Morelos. Not far from Cuernavaca, Yautepec is a short trip (about an hour and a half drive) from Mexico City. If you go, I recommend a stay at the very hospitable Villa Iyautli, where our family often stays. This area is incredibly rich with history and I was thrilled to visit and learn all about it.

THE HISTORY OF THE AREA AND EX HACIENDA APANQUETZALCO… 

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Un rico fin de semana en Cuernavaca

This past weekend, I spent some time with my suegros at a friend’s weekend home in Cuernavaca with a group of my suegra’s best friends from college. Cuernavaca is located in the state of Morelos, Mexico. They were all at our wedding in Los Cabos nearly two and a half years ago, so it was wonderful to see them all in one place again. And the last time I was in Cuernavaca was two years ago when we stayed at the Camino Real Sumiya for a short New Year’s vacation, so I was overdue for a visit.

A home in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico - theothersideofthetortilla.com

Cuernavaca is nicknamed the city of eternal spring because of its pleasant year-round climate and is located about an hour outside of Mexico City.  There’s a little bit of something for everyone: museums, resorts and spas, ecotourism that includes national parks, and an abundance of historical architecture including a palace that belonged to Hernán Cortes. According to the Mexico Tourism Board, the palace is the oldest example of viceregal architecture on the American continent. The first time I saw it two years ago, I was in awe – to think of how long ago the palace was constructed and that it still exists today left an incredible impression on me.

At the home where we gathered in Cuernavaca, there was an abundance of food, dancing, chatting, food, swimming, fireworks… and more food. The fireworks weren’t ours, though; we just enjoyed someone else’s from afar. My suegro told me that it’s fairly common in Cuernavaca to see fireworks when there’s a wedding. In the food department, we had a little bit of everything: fruta, huevo con chorizo, barbacoa, tamales, paella, pollo, botanas, tortitas de bacalao, quesos, jamón serrano, flan, paletas, just to name a few things.

What we ate in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico - theothersideofthetortilla.com

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Querétaro: barbacoa de la carretera & other tales

This past summer I took a road trip from Mexico City to Aguascalientes with my suegros to celebrate José’s Abuelita Ana’s 90th birthday.

The day before we left Mexico City, my suegros were going on and on about this place we were going to stop for barbacoa for breakfast. I didn’t need to hear anything more; I was sold. Mostly because any time they mention food that’s along the highway, I know it’s going to be good. I can’t quite explain why, but every restaurant I’ve ever been to along the highway in Mexico with them has been practically legendary.  It’s fodder for conversation for months – sometimes even years – at the dinner table, family gatherings, via email or phone. Highway food is never forgotten in our family. Many conversations begin with, “remember that time we ate at that little place off the highway?”

Perhaps I never understood what “something to call home about” meant until I ate the world-famous cecina at Cuatro Vientos on the highway to Acapulco just outside of Cuernavaca a few years back. (OK, perhaps it’s not world-famous, but it’s certainly famous within Mexico. It should be world-famous, it is that good.) I’ve explicitly trusted my suegros with steering me toward the best highway road trip food ever since and they haven’t disappointed me yet. So when they told me we were going to have barbacoa de la carretera, my salivary glands were already in overdrive.

We left Mexico City around 6 a.m., and as we got stuck in traffic on the way out of the city I began to drift off in the back seat. When I awoke, we were pulling off the highway and onto a gravel driveway that was packed with cars and people who all had the same motivation as ours: barbacoa for breakfast at Barbacoa Santiago…. 

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