Posts Tagged ‘Las Quince Letras’

While visiting el norte, one of my “musts” is taking advantage of the ethnically diverse dining options on the west and east coasts. To date, twice I’ve eaten Japanese at my younger son’s favorite restaurant, had Chinese twice, and dined on Indian twice. However, I’ve now been away from Oaxaca for a month and I’m dreaming Oaxaca dining dreams. Until my return next week, photos from three recent meals I’ve eaten in Oaxaca will have to suffice.

Garnachas – Maguey y Maíz
Ensalada pulquera – Maguey y Maíz
Mole de Caderas – Las Quince Letras
Chocolate tamal – Las Quince Letras
Roasted beets with fermented lentils – Barrio de Jalatlaco Restaurante
Grilled octopus – Barrio de Jalatlaco Restaurante

Then there is the street food… tacos, empanadas, tlayudas, oh my!

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Oaxaca recently won the Food and Travel Reader Award 2018 in the category of Best Gourmet Destination in Mexico.  At last, the rest of Mexico, not to mention the world, is acknowledging what Oaxaqueños have long known — the eight regions of Oaxaca offer some of the best, most complex traditional food in the world.  From street food stands to food fairs to restaurants, I am almost never disappointed!  Here are a few of the traditional dishes I’ve had the pleasure of eating in the past few weeks.

Higaditos in Villa Díaz Ordaz – Oct. 28, 2018

The first is Higaditos from Señora Cristina Cruz — an additional reason blogger buddy Chris and I returned to Díaz Ordaz for the Festival del Pan de Muerto.  We have tasted many versions of this egg/chicken dish, but we agree that hers is the best — never mind that she has a smile that could light up the world.

Mole de Caderas at Las Quince Letras – Nov. 7, 2018

When chef Celia Florian announced that her restaurant, Las Quince Letras, would be featuring Mole de Caderas for a month, mi amiga (and cocinera) Kalisa and I made a beeline.  Mole de Caderas is a traditional Mixtec dish from Huajuapan de León, Oaxaca and nearby Tehuacán, Puebla.  It is made from the hip (cadera) and the spine of a goat that has been fed a salt-based diet to give the broth a unique flavor.  It is only served during the fall, when the goats are made to make the ultimate sacrifice — and was absolutely delicious!

Tlayuda with tasajo at Tlayudas “El Negro”

And, finally, Oaxaca’s celebrated tlayuda — it and pozole are my favorite Oaxaca comfort foods.  Neighbors and I decided to try out the newest location of Tlayudas El Negro on Independencia near Crespo.  As you can see above, I ordered one with tasajo (thinly sliced beef) and garnished with the aromatic and flavorful herb, chepiche.  Yummm… I will return.

What can I say?  I feel so lucky to have landed in this culturally rich and seriously delicious corner of the world!

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At the risk of alienating readers who were drooling with envy over yesterday’s Chiles en nogada post, I bring you today’s lunch.  This time I was dining with friends, which makes already delicious food taste even better.


Tres cocinera (3 cooks): Celia Florian, Carina Santiago, Kalisa Wells

Comida at Las Quince Letras where mis amigas Carina Santiago of restaurant and gallery Tierra Antigua in Teotitlán del Valle, Kalisa Wells (cocinera and new neighbor), and I were joined by the restaurant’s delightful owner/chef and ambassador extraordinaire of Oaxaca gastronomy, Celia Florian.  (An aside:  Celia and I were on the same flight from Mexico City to Oaxaca on Saturday night and I apologize to the other passengers for briefly blocking the aisle as we greeted each other with hugs.)


Appetizer of Garnachas Istmeña

IMG_3893_aguacate relleno

Aguacate relleno

IMG_3894_Chile de agua vinagreta

Chile de agua vinagreta

IMG_3896_pastel de elote

Dessert of warm pastel de elote

What a delicious and delightful way to spend my second day back home in Oaxaca.


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Lunch coming down out of the mountains in Colorado…


Tacos at Carniceria Sonora in Clifton, CO

Back in Oaxaca in time for a comida of September’s traditional dish…


Chiles en Nogada at Las Quince Letras Restaurante in Oaxaca de Juárez

And, not to be left out, Argiope showing off her freshly caught brunch…


Flies or bees or one of each on the terrace at Casita Colibrí

Gals, be they human or arachnid, have got to eat!

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Yesterday, Oaxaca Sabe kicked off a week of delicious dining; three-course meals, including beer, mezcal, or wine, for only 250 pesos per person at some of the top restaurants in the city.  As readers of Oaxaca-The Year After already know, blogger buddy Chris and yours truly couldn’t resist and we were first to the table at Las Quince Letras.  No sooner had we been seated in the lovely shaded patio, than chef Celia Florian came out to welcome us.

Celia Florian, chefWith every course, she continued to check in with us, explaining the ingredients and asking our opinion.  She also turned the tables on us and took out her smart phone to take our picture!

Sopa de tortilla de tomate de milpa (Tortilla soup with tomatillos and little balls of quesillo)

Sopa de tortilla de tomate de milpa (Tortilla soup with tomatillos and little balls of quesillo)

Camarones flameados en mezcal con mole negro de chicatana (Shrimp flambéed in mezcal on a bed of chicatana black mole sauce)

Camarones flameados en mezcal con mole negro de chicatana (Shrimp flambéed in mezcal on a bed of black mole made with the rainy season insect, chicatanas)

Helado de maracuya con buñelos con miel de piloncillo (Maracuya sorbet with buñuelos drizzled with melted piloncillo, which is similar to brown sugar)

Helado de maracuya con buñelos con miel de piloncillo (Maracuya sorbet with buñuelos drizzled with a honey of piloncillo, which is similar to brown sugar)

Every dish conveyed Chef Florian’s pride in her heritage — from the fresh locally sourced ingredients to her original interpretations of traditional Oaxacan cuisine — and then there was the love and joy she radiated.

By the way, this is what it looks like to sit across the table from a blogger…

Chile en nogada

Chris photographing his Chile en Nogada

If it’s Tuesday, it must mean another Oaxaca Sabe restaurant to try…  ¡Buen provecho!

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