Blowing Kisses – El Beso Huasteco
The renaissance of the once genteel but down-on-its-heels Colonia Roma doesn’t cease to astound. New restaurants are popping up like autumn chantarelles in the Auvergne, so fast I can’t keep up with them. The latest at the top of my pile of business cards is El Beso Huasteco, a friendly and pleasingly unpretentious place on Calle Córdoba. The young owners have refurbished a Porfiriato mansion with a mish-mash of early 20th century splendor, patterned mosaic floors, ornate cornices and all. They’ve filled it with colorful for-sale art and tchotchkes, which give it a festive air. The sunny rooms open to a central patio full of plants and buena onda (good vibes).
The menu proffers Mexican lunchtime comfort foods: Antojitos (corn-based dishes) are the order of the day here. Many recipes come from the Huasteca region in north-eastern Mexico, hence the restaurant’s name. Chef and partner Alfonso Girón emerged from his kitchen one recent sunny afternoon for a brief interview. He explained that he “…offers dishes people think of as common or ‘street foods’, keeping prices accessible. We don’t try to re-invent or deconstruct, but simply to present them in an attractive way, respecting Mexican tradition”. There’s nothing better than a classic when it’s well made. “No foams or drizzles here”, he chuckles.
My favorite appetizer is ‘bocoles’, a variation on the classic gordita. Here they’re golden and crusty outside, steamy soft and redolent of concentrated corn inside. Filled with chilied egg, chorizo or chicken and slathered with the circus-colored salsas handily provided, Mexican botanas don’t get much better.
Classic pozole rojo is served with all the trimmings. It is textbook good: sexy rich red and just picante enough. The less often seen green pozole is subtle, the pork broth enhanced by nutty pumpkin seed used as a thickener.
The selection of seldom seen tamales is intriguing: adobo de puerco is one of my favorites.
Open day and night, El Beso Huasteco is a good option when you want something down to earth, inexpensive, but handled with care.
El Beso Huasteco
Córdoba 146 (South of Av. Alvaro Obregón)
Open:Monday- Friday 8:30AM-10PM, Saturday, 10-10. Closed Sunday
Tel. 5574 6166