By Eduardo | @cazadordelomejor
If you’re a very early morning person who will eat lots during breakfast – Fonda Margarita is for you. If you’re not – you still need to go. It’s a true Mexico City breakfast experience. Lots of plate-licking involved.
Fondas are small, simple and unpretentious restaurants serving real, delicious inexpensive Mexican food. You feel as if your grandma was cooking some of her best dishes for you. Well, only if your grandma was Mexican, and had the best sazón.
My grandpa was the first person to introduce me to this 50-year-old fonda. I’m not super keen on waking up at 5:00 in the morning, yet will wake up without a problem just thinking that I’ll soon be wrapping a fresh tortilla around all the different guisados. They open at 5:30AM and that’s when everything is the freshest. This early in the morning you’ll be bound to encounter people who sneak in a quick breakfast before work and crazy people like myself who simply have a strong craving. Closing time depends on how fast all the food they have prepared for the day is eaten, which is usually around 11:00AM.
Long communal tables, an open kitchen, large casseroles, stacks of crispy churros, fast moving waiters and a live guitarist make up the feel of this place. Alberto Castillo, one of the three siblings who inherited the fonda from his hard-working mother will always be at the front of the kitchen, welcoming people as they walk in and making sure everything’s running smoothly.
Like most fondas, there’s new and different menu items every day of the week. There’s also the traditional dishes they’ve been preparing for years. Frijoles negros con huevo (black beans scrambled with eggs), chicharrón en salsa verde (crispy pork skins in tangy green salsa), bistec en pasilla (thin steak in pasilla chile salsa) are just a few of the classics. The communal seating allows you to take a peek at what everyone else is eating. The best way to make the most of the experience is to go with friends, order a variety and wrap everything you eat with a warm tortilla. Finish off your breakfast with a hot, sugary churro dipped in a steaming café de olla.
Thank you, abue Miki, for introducing me to one of my favorite breakfasts in Mexico City about 10 years ago, and to one of my close friends, Eduardo García, for the recent repeated visits.
Fonda Margarita, Adolfo Prieto 1364, Tlacoquemecatl del Valle, Ciudad de México