Beyond 5 Boroughs Travel

Mexico City, Mexico

Bienvenido!  I’ve been on hiatus for almost 4 years from blogging since I’ve been much more active on my instagram.  A lot has happened since, I’ve traveled quite a bit, ate a lot of good food, ran two marathons (Philly & NYC) and being part of the change in our food culture.  I remain so impressed and inspired by so many bloggers that it struck me after my recent trip earlier this year to SoCal and Mexico City that I should continue to write!  And I’ve gotten a few requests to put together a guide for my visit to Mexico City. So here it is!  Also what better way to pay tribute to Cinco De Mayo than highlighting my recent trip there.


Everyone should visit Mexico City and the airfare is fairly inexpensive right now and while there, the food is incredibly cheap!  It’s a beautiful bustling vibrant city and February is a perfect time of the year to visit when it is not too hot.

Lodging: We stayed at an Airbnb in Historic Center neighborhood and it was a great find.

Transportation:  Uber is uber cheap!  Approx $5 from airport to airbnb (about 40 minutes ride)
Language : We managed to get around with my middle school level of Spanish but thank Google translator.  One very useful word we learned was “La Cuenta” which means bill otherwise, we would have never leave the restaurant.

Things To Do + Places to Eat:
Tues 2.12
– We went to Contramar on our first night.  I made a reservation and it is  recommended because it is so popular.  The tuna sashimi tostada was fantastic.
-Explore Roma Norte,  the Netflix movie Roma is based on this neighborhood, which is a great foreign film too if you haven’t seen it!
Wed 2.13
-Breakfast at Cafe De Tacuba.  Walking distance from our Airbnb.  They have nice breakfast set menu and beautiful Spaniard influenced interior.
– Frida Khalo Museum – Book Tickets ahead of time!
– Explore Coyoacan neighborhood.  One of my favorite neighborhoods and home to Frida Kahlo.
– Mercado de Coyoacan – really good tostadas market stall.  Great place for shopping and getting souvenirs.

– Al Pastor Tacos at Aranda Taqueria near our Airbnb – super cheap tacos and beer. No frills taco place.


Thurs 2.14
– Picked up baked goods for breakfast at Esperanza.  The Conchas is quite good.
 Teotihuacan Pyramid  – day trip, we took a bus from the bus station.  Bring sunscreen and a hat!  Regrettably, we did not.  Big mistake 😦
– El Moro Churros – a must!
Friday 2.15
– Mercada de La Merced – amazing vendors! This is what makes Mexico so special. The people and the merchants.  At the market, there’s fresh fruits, vegetables, meats to home appliance.  Had the best food here at the market stalls.
1. Caldos de Gallina
2. Taqueria, Si Hay, Si Hay
– Pasteleria Ideal – this place is heaven. Assortment of cakes, cookies, breads and pastries.
– Palacio de Bellas Artes – They do a free theater tour twice a day.  We got lucky and joined the English speaking tour.  Pretty interesting history of Mexico City and beautiful design.
– Castillo Chapultepec – great place to get a birds eye view of Mexico City and an amazing collection of artifacts.
– Dinner at El Pialadero De Guadalajara amazing spread of food.  They’re known for their Carne en su Jugo.
– Santa Clara – Ice Cream, great traditional flavors like mango chamoy.
Sat 2.16
– Breakfast at El Mayor.  Breathtaking views of Museo Templo Mayor and overall solid brunch for a very reasonable price.  The green juice was outstanding!
More sites to check out but we ran out of time.  Until next time:
 Que Bo – chocolate!
– on Sunday they closed down the streets for pedestrians to enjoy bicycling, running and skating in Polanco. Kind of like summer streets in NYC but this happens every Sunday!
– Weekend trip to Puebla City Cholula
Hasta Luego!


New York City Eats

Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Nectarine Ice Cream, Tamales & Porchetta

Where can you find freshly brewed kombucha, homemade kimchi, and Porchetta under one roof?  Or in this case under the Lower Manhattan FDR Drive highway?  It will be the New Amsterdam Market, now in it’s 3rd annual and introducing weekly Sunday markets beginning this fall.  It’s a food lover paradise with all the local farm fresh produce selling handpicked heirloom tomatoes to made -to- order Maine lobster rolls.  New Amsterdam Market showcases a wide selection of local farmers, artisans, purveyors, and independent small moms + pops food business.  Each vendors are specialized in a particular food and are a connoisseur and more importantly passionate in what they do.

Nectarine Flavored Ice Cream The Bent Spoon

Being New Amsterdam Market is now a weekly Sunday market I will be making my weekly visits a weekly eat.  Nearly making my way through a quarter of the market,  I was stuffed with free samples from vendors.  For this weekly free sample pick of  Sept 12, 2010 goes to The Bent Spoon.  Located in Princeton, NJ, The Bent Spoon, an artisan ice cream using only fresh ingredients to create their bold and unusual flavors.  I was given a sample of the nectarine and was presented in a cute 2 inch sugar wafer cone.  The nectarine flavored ice cream borderline sorbet taste had a light but bold nectar flavor.  It tasted of fresh picked peaches and was absolutely delightful!  Most vendors will be at the New Amsterdam Market every Sunday throughout the season, with a few new additions too and a few will make occasional appearance.  Catch The Bent Spoon at the New Amsterdam Market again on Oct 17!

Vegetable + Cheese Tamales Great Performance & Katchkie Farm

There is something for everyone at the New Amsterdam Market for the sweet tooth in all of us and for those who are seeking something savory.  For this weekly out of pocket pick of Sept 12, 2010 is the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm vegetable & cheese tamales.  I was first introduced to tamales while visiting San Francisco in 2004 and it remains to be the best I have ever had.  Though the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm vegetable & cheese tamales are comparable.  Great Performance is an upscale catering company in New York City and it is perhaps the only catering company using fresh farm ingredients to table from their very own organic Katchkie Farm located in Columbia County, NY.  Tamales is a staple Mexican comfort food dish, pounded corn based with any ingredients desired, it is wrapped in corn husk and steamed.  To the Chinese tamales are equal to zongzi (sticky glutinous rice with fillings), prepared similarly.  Though I prefer tamales over zongzi…yeah, I am disgrace to the Chinese.  Tamales are lighter in comparison and the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm’s vegetables & cheese tamales ($4 each) with a green salsa side condiment is moist, savory and the green salsa side dipping gives a nice kick.  The cheese in what I believe is mozzarella filling is a nice surprise tucked in the center like a hidden treasure.  The Great Performance & Katchkie farm will be back at the New Amsterdam Market on Nov 21!

Porchetta slider from Porchetta

One of many participating vendors that will be at the New Amsterdam Market throughout the Fall season through Dec 19th is East Village, Porchetta. Since watching Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel with recent coverage on Porchetta, I could not stop dreaming of getting my hands on one.  Sure, East Village is a walking distance from where I live but the slider portion Porchetta ($5 each) at the market is a wallet friendly sampler before deciding on splurging for a $10 Porchetta sandwich at the restaurant and for $10 if it means more pork, count me in!  It’s incredibly seasoned with Italian herbs and slow cooked pork and crispy pork skin served on a ciabatta roll.  The only flaw is it was wrapped in aluminum foil and cold when I was hoping it was made-to-order.  Nonetheless, the first bite is a pork fiesta in your mouth!

You don’t have to wait till a month or two to try all the good eats sold at New Amsterdam Market the wait is only now in 7 days away!


New Amsterdam Market /// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Sept 19, 2010)

The Bent Spoon/// 35 Palmer Square W Princeton, NJ 08542

Porchetta/// 110 East 9th Street New York, NY 10009