Delicious Scenes From La Mezcaleria’s “Research” Adventure To Mexico

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Marcelo Ramirez and Ignacio Arrieta, co-owners of the popular Mexican restaurant Le Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive, recently took some key staff members on a homecoming “research” field trip to Mexico. We’re grateful to them for sharing Part One of their experiences below.

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by Marcelo Ramirez | We recently took a trip to Mexico so our dedicated team at La Mezcaleria could learn more about authentic Mexican culture. Our adventures took us from street corner food stalls and taquerias to Mexico City’s classic El Cardenal restaurant and the fantastic culinary heights of Pujol (currently ranked No. 16 on San Pellegrino’s Best Restaurant list). We took in the colourful art and architectural richness of the capital, and traveled to and through Oaxaca to learn more about our namesake drink, Mezcal.

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Throughout the journey we shared many memorable days and nights with locals — craftsmen and women, Mezcaleros, taqueros, and the like. They taught us about their passions with patience and kindness, and always with smiles on their faces. Every one we came into contact with embraced us sincerely, as if we were one of their own. We will forever be thankful for their generosity and hospitality! Some of our explorations are detailed in the photo gallery below. There’s much more to follow…

  • A great spot for Mezcal and good eats in "La Condesa", one Mexico's most eclectic neighbourhoods.
    A great spot for Mezcal and good eats in "La Condesa", one Mexico's most eclectic neighbourhoods.
  • Cafe La Gloria in La Condesa, a place where art and food collide.
    Cafe La Gloria in La Condesa, a place where art and food collide.
  • Marcelo moments before entering Monica Patiño´s Casa Virgina, a inventive take on Mexican and French cuisine.
    Marcelo moments before entering Monica Patiño´s Casa Virgina, a inventive take on Mexican and French cuisine.
  • A closer look at one of Casa Virginia's banquet rooms.
    A closer look at one of Casa Virginia's banquet rooms.
  • The interiors in Casa Virginia are stately and beautiful
    The interiors in Casa Virginia are stately and beautiful
  • Palm trees add a welcoming touch to the skylit room.
    Palm trees add a welcoming touch to the skylit room.
  • A cheese cart with delicious offerings to end our meal.
    A cheese cart with delicious offerings to end our meal.
  • Casa Virginia
    Casa Virginia
  • Our team heads into El Cardenal, an iconic Mexican eatery.
    Our team heads into El Cardenal, an iconic Mexican eatery.
  • Marcelo admires one of the most memorable dishes from our trip at El Cardenal…
    Marcelo admires one of the most memorable dishes from our trip at El Cardenal…
  • El Cardenal | The historic interior
    El Cardenal | The historic interior
  • The experience at El Cardenal starts with a traditional freshly baked good. In this case, a piece of Concha topped off with Nata, a heavy Mexican cream often served at breakfast to accompany bread.
    The experience at El Cardenal starts with a traditional freshly baked good. In this case, a piece of Concha topped off with Nata, a heavy Mexican cream often served at breakfast to accompany bread.
  • El Cardenal | A feast for the eyes and our bellies. On the table you’ll find: chalupas, chicharron in salsa verde, escamole (ant larva) omelette, omelette in salsa roja, chilaquiles served with fresh tortillas.
    El Cardenal | A feast for the eyes and our bellies. On the table you’ll find: chalupas, chicharron in salsa verde, escamole (ant larva) omelette, omelette in salsa roja, chilaquiles served with fresh tortillas.
  • El Cardenal | A fresh Mexican cheese wrapped in a squash blossoms, and cooked inside a banana leaf.
    El Cardenal | A fresh Mexican cheese wrapped in a squash blossoms, and cooked inside a banana leaf.
  • Walking Madero Street in DF. It's one of pedestrian forward areas in Mexico, which is nice to see. This street begins in Palacio de Bellas Artes and ends at Zocalo, Mexico City's main square.
    Walking Madero Street in DF. It's one of pedestrian forward areas in Mexico, which is nice to see. This street begins in Palacio de Bellas Artes and ends at Zocalo, Mexico City's main square.
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes.
    Palacio de Bellas Artes.
  • Mexico City | The beautiful art deco influenced facade of Sanborn's de los Azulejos.
    Mexico City | The beautiful art deco influenced facade of Sanborn's de los Azulejos.
  • A bird's eye view of Sanborn's de los Azulejos.
    A bird's eye view of Sanborn's de los Azulejos.
  • Sanborn's de los Azulejos interiors.
    Sanborn's de los Azulejos interiors.
  • A beautiful staircase entry to Sanborn's de los Azulejos. An icon of Mexico City's historic centre.
    A beautiful staircase entry to Sanborn's de los Azulejos. An icon of Mexico City's historic centre.
  • Pujol's Octopus with squid ink tostada, habanero aioli, and oregano.
    Pujol's Octopus with squid ink tostada, habanero aioli, and oregano.
  • Pujol | Pujol's lamb barbacoa taco, with avocado leaves, avocado, served on a tortilla verde.
    Pujol | Pujol's lamb barbacoa taco, with avocado leaves, avocado, served on a tortilla verde.
  • Pujol | Easily the tastiest organic chicken dish we've ever samples. Perfectly executed with succulent meat and crispy skin served on a bed of beans.
    Pujol | Easily the tastiest organic chicken dish we've ever samples. Perfectly executed with succulent meat and crispy skin served on a bed of beans.
  • An apple dessert, which was a part of Enrique Olvera's 'Happy Ending' at Pujol.
    An apple dessert, which was a part of Enrique Olvera's 'Happy Ending' at Pujol.
  • Pujol | A incredibly fresh tamarind sorbet on top of peanuts.
    Pujol | A incredibly fresh tamarind sorbet on top of peanuts.
  • Pujol | Tuna, a seasonal fruit which comes from Cacti.
    Pujol | Tuna, a seasonal fruit which comes from Cacti.
  • Pujol | An attractive menu, but nothing less expected from No. 16 on San Pellegrino's Top 50 best restaurants in the world.
    Pujol | An attractive menu, but nothing less expected from No. 16 on San Pellegrino's Top 50 best restaurants in the world.
  • Table side salsa service at Casa Oaxaca
    Table side salsa service at Casa Oaxaca
  • Casa Oaxaca
    Casa Oaxaca
  • Casa Oaxaca | A stunning ceiling made of woven palm.
    Casa Oaxaca | A stunning ceiling made of woven palm.
  • Casa Oaxaca | A delicious river rock seafood soup prepared in front of you
    Casa Oaxaca | A delicious river rock seafood soup prepared in front of you
  • Casa Oaxaca | Another blistering river rock gets added to the pot.
    Casa Oaxaca | Another blistering river rock gets added to the pot.
  • Casa Oaxaca | Our server checking to see if all the seafood is properly cooked.
    Casa Oaxaca | Our server checking to see if all the seafood is properly cooked.
  • Casa Oaxaca's vibrant rooftop terrace.
    Casa Oaxaca's vibrant rooftop terrace.
  • Casa Oaxaca | Our team posing with executive chef and owner of Casa Oaxaca, Alejandro Ruíz (second from right).
    Casa Oaxaca | Our team posing with executive chef and owner of Casa Oaxaca, Alejandro Ruíz (second from right).
  • Chef Alejandro Ruíz at Casa Oaxaca.
    Chef Alejandro Ruíz at Casa Oaxaca.
  • Pujol | A tepextate mezcal from Campero enjoyed with Oaxaca´s Sabina Sabe Mezcal Bar.
    Pujol | A tepextate mezcal from Campero enjoyed with Oaxaca´s Sabina Sabe Mezcal Bar.
  • Mexico Day 04 - Sabina Sabe-4
    Mexico Day 04 - Sabina Sabe-4
  • Sabina Sabe | One of servers carefully pouring and explaining our selections to our table.
    Sabina Sabe | One of servers carefully pouring and explaining our selections to our table.
  • Sabina Sabe | An interior shot of the beautiful space.
    Sabina Sabe | An interior shot of the beautiful space.
  • Texture doesn't get better than the walls at Sabina Sabe.
    Texture doesn't get better than the walls at Sabina Sabe.
  • Sabina Sabe | A exceptional bar set up with many of our favourite Mezcal's on display.
    Sabina Sabe | A exceptional bar set up with many of our favourite Mezcal's on display.
  • The exterior street entrance to Los Danzantes.
    The exterior street entrance to Los Danzantes.
  • Toasted Magueys in the foreground. Freshly harvested Maqueys in the background.
    Toasted Magueys in the foreground. Freshly harvested Maqueys in the background.
  • The mezcal mill at our second stop in our Mezcal Distillery tour in Santiago Matatlan.
    The mezcal mill at our second stop in our Mezcal Distillery tour in Santiago Matatlan.
  • An inquisituve Nacho carefully listening to our guide on the first Mezcal distilling tour.
    An inquisituve Nacho carefully listening to our guide on the first Mezcal distilling tour.
  • Mezcal tour
    Mezcal tour
  • Marcelo admiring the generous nature of the maguey.
    Marcelo admiring the generous nature of the maguey.
  • A very spirited team post the Mezcal sampling.
    A very spirited team post the Mezcal sampling.
  • Marcelo trying the cooked maguey pineapple rich in sugar and flavour. One of the first steps in the Mezcal making process.
    Marcelo trying the cooked maguey pineapple rich in sugar and flavour. One of the first steps in the Mezcal making process.
  • Nacho posing with a maguey pineapple.
    Nacho posing with a maguey pineapple.
  • Marcelo standing infront of the an ancient mezcal mill, a traditional tool used in Mezcal production.
    Marcelo standing infront of the an ancient mezcal mill, a traditional tool used in Mezcal production.
  • Los Danzantes production facility.
    Los Danzantes production facility.
  • One of our team members sampling Mezcal at one it's first stages, when it's at it's strongest.
    One of our team members sampling Mezcal at one it's first stages, when it's at it's strongest.
  • Admiring the distillery´s Master Mezcalero at work. His passion was a source inspiration to us all during the tour.
    Admiring the distillery´s Master Mezcalero at work. His passion was a source inspiration to us all during the tour.
  • An interior shot of a distillery in Santiago
    An interior shot of a distillery in Santiago
  • A team picture in Los Danzantes Mezcal tasting room.
    A team picture in Los Danzantes Mezcal tasting room.
  • Our tour guide testing the Mezcal's alcoholic content by suctioning the Mezcal through a hollowed piece of sugar cane, releasing the liquid into a jicara before it touches his lips and looking at the size of the bubbles the Mezcal produces. A delicate and
    Our tour guide testing the Mezcal's alcoholic content by suctioning the Mezcal through a hollowed piece of sugar cane, releasing the liquid into a jicara before it touches his lips and looking at the size of the bubbles the Mezcal produces. A delicate and
  • Our tour guide testing the Mezcal's alcoholic content by suctioning the Mezcal through a hollowed piece of sugar cane, releasing the liquid into a jicara before it touches his lips and looking at the size of the bubbles the Mezcal produces. A delicate and
    Our tour guide testing the Mezcal's alcoholic content by suctioning the Mezcal through a hollowed piece of sugar cane, releasing the liquid into a jicara before it touches his lips and looking at the size of the bubbles the Mezcal produces. A delicate and
  • Filtration, one of the last steps Mezcal takes on it's journey to completion.
    Filtration, one of the last steps Mezcal takes on it's journey to completion.
  • One of the Mezcal Distillery´s workers enjoying the fruits of his labour with us.
    One of the Mezcal Distillery´s workers enjoying the fruits of his labour with us.
  • Nacho and Marcelo smiling at the end a deeply satisfying day of learning about and drinking Mezcal from some of the hardest working and endlessly dedicated Mezcaleros in Oaxaca.
    Nacho and Marcelo smiling at the end a deeply satisfying day of learning about and drinking Mezcal from some of the hardest working and endlessly dedicated Mezcaleros in Oaxaca.

FURTHER TRIPS FARTHER AFIELD

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