Whenever we visit Mexico City, I always hope to visit El Cardenal—a restaurant with a focus on classic Mexican cuisine.
On one of my first visits to Mexico City, I ate lunch with my future suegros at the Alameda location in the Hilton downtown (although at the time, it was a Sheraton). It was there that I was introduced to chongos zamoranos, a traditional dessert made of milk, sugar, cinnamon, and rennet, used to curdle the milk. Since then, we’ve always gone to another location in the Centro Histórico (Palma #23, between Cinco de Mayo and Francisco I. Madero; opened in 1984) that has a stunning French-Porfirian facade and stained-glass windows bearing the restaurant’s namesake bird, the cardinal.
Aside from dessert, my favorite thing on the menu there is an appetizer—a molcajete filled with queso fresco, avocado, salsa verde and cilantro that’s served with warm tortillas. So simple, yet the dish is so satisfying and representative of El Cardenal.
José has been visiting his parents this week and ate lunch at El Cardenal a few days ago. He sent these photos to share here on The Other Side of The Tortilla. I hope you like them as much as I do.
- Have you ever been to El Cardenal? What is your favorite dish on the menu?
JIM JOHNSTON says
I love the molcajete, too, but also the ‘sopa seca de elote’ which is essentially the corn-based street food known as ‘esquites’ gussied up a bit–delicious! I’ve been disappointed with some of their fish dishes, however–not their strong point.