Oaxaca Impressions 1
Oaxaca is a relatively easy run, 4 1/2 hour direct flight to Mexico City. a rather longer than desirable layover of 5 hours and a 50 minute flight to Oaxaca. First impressions didn't suggest any wholesale changes to the city and we slid easily back into remembered locations.
Our B&B, Casa Los Bugambillias is a charming, small house only a couple of blocks from the Zocalo, with three rooms only. Since it was after 8pm when we settled into our hotel we set out to find a spot for dinner and stumbled into a a very attractive restaurant, Cathedral Restaurant, in the central courtyard of an old building not far from the Zocalo and you guessed it, the Cathedral. We were quickly reminded that we were back in Mexico as restaurants were only just opening for dinner and most places were still without diners.
Fabulous dinner, and we kept it on the light side since after a long day of travel we wanted to ease into the local cuisine, metaphorically dipping our toes into the water not to see if it was too cold, but rather to make sure that it was not too hot. V and I only had a starter and soup each but no main dishes and we shared a desert.
I started with scallops aguachile, a dish that I had first come across in Puerta Villarta and had forgotten about; it will not be forgotten again. It is a local version of cevice, and is composed of lime juice and very finely minced fresh serrano chiles, and thinly sliced red onions, in which mixture thinly sliced fresh scallops are briefly marinated. Fabulous!
This was followed by a rich broth filled with just cooked leafy vegetables and slices of fresh queso fresca. V started with a tortilla wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed, rather than the more traditional corn husk wrapping. It was slightly sweet and was garnished with a spoonful of cold fresh thick cream. Her soup was local speciality and was light fish broth with lots of fresh shrimp and sliced avacados. Everything fabulous.
We finished with a small shared loaf of sweet, hot corn bread accompanied by house-made vanilla ice cream which is a toasty brown colour with strong undertones of cinamon and almond barely hidden behind the flavour of locally grown and super-charged vanilla. A glass of smoky mescal to finish and we stumbled happily to bed.