Mexico City is a fascinating metropolis and being intrigued by the culinary side of the places that I visit I always try to go out of my way to find authentic places to sample the local cuisine.

I believe that Mexican cuisine is very misunderstood and often misrepresented abroad. Part of the problem is its association with Tex-Mex fare which is a regional variant and merits a separate distinction. True Mexican gastronomy starts with an appreciation for what the indigenous people ate during pre-Hispanic times followed by the contributions that the Spaniards brought creating a fusion of cultures in which food has become one of its most successful manifestations and culminating with present day reinterpretations of traditional cuisine by talented chefs.

One of the best restaurants in DF for traditional Mexican specialties with four branches across the city. I had a chance to visit only two - Alameda inside the Hilton and Palma in Centro Historico. This review is about the Centro Historico one. On this visit I decided to be adventuresome and try some pre-colonial inspired dishes.

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Reception inside.

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Excellent bread with tortillas served in a basket.

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Some guacamole with salsa and lemon.

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Mixiote de escamoles con flores de Maguey Escamoles are ant's eggs which was considered a delicacy by the Aztecs. The dish was interesting and had a very delicate floral undertone.

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Gusanos blancos de Maguey There are two types of worms - red which are smaller and the white which are meatier. I ordered the white ones and these were a revelation. They were very cirspy and flavorful. Roll them up in warm corn tortilla with some guacamole and a squeeze of lemon. Miam ;)

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========== El Cardenal - Centro Historico ==========

Staff: 9/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Value for money: 10/10
Atmosphere: 10/10
Location: 10/10
Food: 9/10


I really enjoyed visiting this chain of restaurants for some classic dishes whenever I go to Mexico City. If you are a little hesitant to go due to the dishes on this review there are more "mainstream" interpretations available that are deliciously executed and are just as authentic.


  • Thomas

    Wow, impressive but not sure I would fall for it :) Thanks my friend

    Hi Thomas,

    You never know until you try. :P
  • saraoutou

    I've been there once at "noon" and dont have such a good record. Quite crowded with healthy locals consuming starbucks' way. Didn't notice such kind of food had something more classic not to wake UP at night for remembering.

    Hi Jérôme.

    "healthy" in the pocket you mean. LOL You know the social disparities that we find in Latin America. ;)

    Perhaps I have a more experimental nature when it comes to certain foods (within reason) yet cannot bring myself to try others. Call me "experimentally discriminating".
  • AAFlyer

    Thanks Panda for being back in that section. Short but enough to keep me away from the main !

    Hi AAFlyer,

    It's been a while and I'm glad to be back. Stay tune for my next review. Maybe you will find it more appealing. ;)
  • GG_007

    Thanks for sharing your meal ;)
    By the way it was very light

    Hi GG,

    It's always a pleasure to share gastronomic finds. ;) I was saving room for other discoveries.

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