Saturday, June 24, 2023

Dinner at "Fonda Fina"

My former student Megan and her husband John wanted to get together with me for dinner on their last night in Mexico City.  They asked for my suggestions as to where we could go.  I studied Google Maps to look at possible places in their neighborhood.  Since their accommodations were in the neighborhood of Roma Norte, considered a hot spot for dining, there was no shortage of restaurant choices.  I noticed that only a few minutes' walk from their Airbnb was a place called "Fonda Fina" (which literally translates as "Fine Inn").  Alejandro and I had eaten there once quite a few years ago, and I remember that the food was quite good.  It is a fine dining spot without being inordinately expensive or snooty.  So, it was agreed that we would meet at 5:30 at "Fonda Fina".

I took the Metrobus from my apartment, and Megan and John made the short walk from their accommodations.  I figured that at that hour... in between the mid-afternoon main mealtime and the later evening suppertime, we would have no problem getting a table, even though it was a Friday.  There were a few tables inside that were occupied, but we snagged a table outside on the sidewalk.  The heat wave of the last week has begun to abate, and the temperature was perfect for "al fresco" dining.

We all ordered a starter.  Megan had a salad, John had tortilla soup, and I had bean soup with noodles.  My soup, I thought, was exceptionally tasty.

For our main course, Megan had, if I remember correctly, a chicken dish.

John ordered "albóndigas al chipotle" (meatballs in chipotle sauce) which were described on the menu as being "just like mom's".  That made me chuckle since Alejandro's mom used to make meatballs.

I ordered the "chile relleno" (stuffed pepper), and it was delicious and quite unique.  

It was garnished with squash blossoms which I do not care for.  Megan happily took those when I offered them to her.  But otherwise, this dish was scrumptious.  It was not at all like the typical stuffed pepper that is filled with white cheese and covered in a tomato sauce.  This was closer to "chile en nogada"... my favorite Mexican dish.  It was stuffed with a mixture of meat, dried fruit and nuts, and it was covered with white "mole".  I had never heard of white "mole" before, but I did a bit of research on the internet later.  It is a rare form of "mole" from Oaxaca that is prepared for holidays, and it is made with almonds, pine nuts and peanuts.  It was superb.

The service at the restaurant was as excellent as the food.  I think the place was a good choice for Megan and John's farewell dinner, and I am happy that after all these years, "Fonda Fina" lives up to its name.  Although it is not within walking distance of the apartment, Alejandro and I will have to make a trip to eat there again in the future.  That wonderful stuffed pepper is calling to me!

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