Since it is located in an international hotel, I expected the clientele to be mostly tourists. However, I was one of the very few "gringos" there, and the majority of the customers were Mexican. That speaks well of the quality of the restaurant's menu which features traditional Mexican cuisine.
The Hilton Hotel is located on the site where the Hotel del Prado once stood. Diego Rivera was commissioned to paint a mural for that hotel. It was entitled "Sunday Afternoon Dream in the Alameda Central". In this painting Rivera placed historical figures from colonial times to the 20th century all taking a stroll through the Alameda Park which is across the street. The earthquake of 1985 destroyed the Hotel del Prado, but the mural was miraculously intact. A small museum was built nearby to house the painting.
Now in "El Cardenal"... the site were Rivera's work once stood... there is a new mural which is done in the painter's style, and which is a satire of the original work. In the center of the original mural, Rivera painted a portrait of himself as a boy and his wife Frida Kahlo standing to either side of a "Catrina", the elegantly dressed skeleton which has become an iconic symbol of Mexico.
In the restaurant's interpretation, young Rivera, Frida, and the "Catrina" are still there, but are seated at a table in front of a banquet of Mexican foods.
For my meal I ordered something which is traditional in Mexico for Lent (and also Christmas Eve)… "bacalao a la vizcaína" (Basque style cod). The shredded fish is served with red peppers, onions, green olives, and potatoes in a tomato - wine sauce.
I finished with my favorite dessert at "El Cardenal", a crepe filled with cheese and covered with mango and blackberry sauce. I also had "café de olla", a traditional Mexican preparation of coffee with cinnamon and brown sugar.
I am happy to report that the Hilton Hotel branch of "El Cardenal" is just as good as the others!