Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Frida Khalo: Mexican Food Quest Part II - Getting closer to the real deal

FridaKahlo.jpgPhotos © copyright by Guía Oleo
Tonight, my wife and I went back to Frida Khalo the restaurant in Núñez (Ciudad de la Paz 3093), and I have to say it is much better than the other Mexican place I mentioned a few weeks ago. It is now my favorite place for a spicy ( and I mean really spicy) fix of my favorite food from back home.

We heard about Frida Khalo's when we first went to Il Gran Caruso, a very good and highly recommended Italian restaurant in Las Cañitas.

There we were having one of the best Italian meals we have had in the city when my wife looks up and says, "Isn't that a Mariachi Band in the lobby?" Now, we had consumed one or two bottles of Malbec already, but sure enough our eyes did not deceive us.

It is not every day you see a mariachi band in an Italian restaurant, much less in an Italian restaurant in Buenos Aires. We had to go up and introduce ourselves. Come to find out, the Guitar player was a college student from McAllen, Texas! What a small world.

Well, we never found out what in the world a Mariachi band made up of good'ol boys from Texas was doing at an Italian restaurant. We had more important questions to ask... Like where in the hell can you find decent Mexican Food?

After a small debate and a few recommendations on where NOT to go (Maria Felix), they all agreed on Frida Khalo. We immediately phoned our friends and made a date to try it out.

The first time to Frida Khalo's was wonderful. Although it was not Tex-mex, it was very similar to food at the nicer restaurants in Mexico. Very fine interior Mexican food. When we were telling other's of our experience at Frida Khalo, we received puzzled looks. Several (mainly porteños) who had tried it said they did not like it.

Because of the feedback from others, we had not tried Frida Khalo's again until tonight. What a mistake. The food was excellent and very, very spicy. Ahh just what I have been missing. The same can't be said for our second outing to 5ta. Esencia in La Lucila.

frida1-0246.jpgWe started with two Sopas. Mine was the Sopa Trotsky, a cold soup that was very similar to Gazpacho, only less tomatoes and more lime. Very good. My wife started with the Sopa Chiloto, a warm mexican corn chowder with plenty of cilantro, lime and the most deliciously sweet corn . It was slightly spicy with just a slight hint of chili. It was one of the best corn chowders I have tasted, including my own.

Frida Khalo is known for their moles. My first visit, I had the chicken mole made with the traditional brown mole (the numerous ingredients include chocolate and peanut butter). Tonight, I had the chicken enchiladas with the same mole sauce. The mole was very spicy and I was very happy. The only complaint was the chicken was a little bland on the inside.

My wife tried the pork enchiladas in a spicy red sauce. When they say spicy, the mean it. The pork was seasoned well and was tender. Her only complaint was that the dish was a little too spicy. Yes you heard me right. Food that was too spicy here in Buenos Aires is a little hard to believe, I know.

If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.


Unknown said...

Great post! You killed two birds with one stone for us. 1. We have been meaning to get up to La Lucila for Mexican food after you recommended it but it is a trek at night and now we don't have to. 2. You have given us a reason to try Frida Khalo again--and because it is just around the corner it is so convenient!

Do you have time for coffee this afternoon? Give me a call.


Unknown said...

Hi Dave.

That sounds good. I was at Xalapa recently and I what I had was so so. I am curious to try out this place.

Also, there is a really good Peruvian restaurant in Belgrano I was there last week; it is called "Primavera Trujiliani". I am kind of on a mission now to try out Peruvian food.


Anonymous said...

Never take seriously any comments on mexican/spicy food from argentinians.. In general, we don't like spicy food, as you know.


Longhorn Dave said...


Is that the Peruvian place on Roosevelt? If so it is really good. Some Ecuadorian friends of ours took us there a few weeks ago. We really liked it and have been meaning to go back.

The Civiche appetizer is quite good.

Tom: The other place is easy to walk to from the La Lucila train stop. However, it is hit or miss.

The last time we were there, they were out of limes, tomatoes and cilantro. We ordered the Civiche which was more like cold cooked fish with no flavor and smelled bad.

We sent it back and were only then told that the prices of the missing items were too expensive so they made it without them. Kind of hard to make civiche without lime!

I do recommend Frida Kahlo though.

Pablo is right. I don't think many porteños think highly of spicy food.