La Taqueria’s Team Goes In Search Of Inspired Deliciousness In Oaxaca

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Marcelo Ramirez and Ignacio Arrieta of La Taqueria and La Mezcaleria recently took some key staff members on a homecoming “research” field trip to Mexico and were kind enough to share notes and images of their experiences and adventures with us. Part One can be read here. What follows is Part Two.

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by Marcelo Ramirez | We couldn’t wait to explore Oaxaca – the heart of Mexico – and connect to its culture, tradition, and people as a team. Through meeting and conversing with locals with open minds we were able to enjoy the sort of genuine warmth and hospitality that we would love to see more of in Vancouver.

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Aside from the late night Mezcal sessions, delicious “Al Pastor” tacos, and walking the streets without agendas, what struck us most of all was Oaxaca itself. Given the people’s kindnesses and the quickness with which they were willing to embrace complete strangers, it never occurred to us that we were in the poorest state in Mexico.

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Of course the poverty and violence of the place can’t be denied, but it wasn’t hard to look beyond this. What we saw in this part of Mexico defied the many misconceptions we see so often in the news. The people were honest, hard-working, humble, and good-natured, and there was never a point when we felt the least bit endangered.

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Though we’ve tried in the gallery below, how we feel about Mexico can’t really be put into words or images. They are sentiments that we carry deep in our hearts, and the best way we can express them is with food and drink. The trip reminded us of how privileged we are to be able bring you a small piece of the country every time you enjoy a taco with us. We look forward to seeing you soon.

  • Our trip started with a visit to the legendary EL Tizonito, who are responsible for bringing the world the famed 'Al Pastor' taco.
    Our trip started with a visit to the legendary EL Tizonito, who are responsible for bringing the world the famed 'Al Pastor' taco.
  • Arriving in Mexico was definitely an experience. Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, gave us a taste of the traffic to come during our stay in DF...
    Arriving in Mexico was definitely an experience. Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, gave us a taste of the traffic to come during our stay in DF...
  • Dulcerija de Celaya is like paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth visit Mexico City.
    Dulcerija de Celaya is like paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth visit Mexico City.
  • Dulceria de Celaya | One of the most amazing storefronts we got to see! There's so much preserved tradition in Mexico City. Texture and old world charm come in abundance where ever your eyes take you.
    Dulceria de Celaya | One of the most amazing storefronts we got to see! There's so much preserved tradition in Mexico City. Texture and old world charm come in abundance where ever your eyes take you.
  • The vibrant colours of the Dia De Los Muertos can be seen here and found everywhere this festive time of year. The paper flowers are a representation of the Cempasuchil flowers: the flower of the dead.
    The vibrant colours of the Dia De Los Muertos can be seen here and found everywhere this festive time of year. The paper flowers are a representation of the Cempasuchil flowers: the flower of the dead.
  • Stunning skeletons traditionally used as offerings during the day of the dead festivities.
    Stunning skeletons traditionally used as offerings during the day of the dead festivities.
  • Itanoni, from the patio to the kitchen we were stunned...
    Itanoni, from the patio to the kitchen we were stunned...
  • The menus at Itanoni were some of our favourites of the trip. They truly inspired us with their rustic yet subtly modern aesthetic.
    The menus at Itanoni were some of our favourites of the trip. They truly inspired us with their rustic yet subtly modern aesthetic.
  • Itanoni | You know you're in the right spot when tourists are few and far between.
    Itanoni | You know you're in the right spot when tourists are few and far between.
  • Itanoni | A tradition clay coma. All of the dishes prepared by this restaurant will eventually end up on it's hot surface. The food tastes like nothing you've ever had thanks to the character the comal adds.
    Itanoni | A tradition clay coma. All of the dishes prepared by this restaurant will eventually end up on it's hot surface. The food tastes like nothing you've ever had thanks to the character the comal adds.
  • Itanoni | One of the cooks working away on the next order.
    Itanoni | One of the cooks working away on the next order.
  • Itanoni | Tostadas. The clay utensil guarantees that the tostada will be cooked to a crisp evenly.
    Itanoni | Tostadas. The clay utensil guarantees that the tostada will be cooked to a crisp evenly.
  • Itanoni | a beautiful kitchen, very traditional in Oaxaca.
    Itanoni | a beautiful kitchen, very traditional in Oaxaca.
  • Itanoni | The owner was kind enough to show us the different variety of corns used at Itanoni. They are very proud of their connection to their land.
    Itanoni | The owner was kind enough to show us the different variety of corns used at Itanoni. They are very proud of their connection to their land.
  • Itanoni | The owner
    Itanoni | The owner
  • Itanoni | A egg is fried directly on the comal. The subtle depth of flavour added to the egg was to die for.
    Itanoni | A egg is fried directly on the comal. The subtle depth of flavour added to the egg was to die for.
  • Chorizo at Tacos Memo. A common scene on the streets of Mexico.
    Chorizo at Tacos Memo. A common scene on the streets of Mexico.
  • The flavour of the tacos = comfort food at its finest. Nothing sophisticated here, but the some of the best tacos you'll ever have.
    The flavour of the tacos = comfort food at its finest. Nothing sophisticated here, but the some of the best tacos you'll ever have.
  • Tacos Memo | Carne asada topped with nopal (cactus) and potato, and of course you can't forget to add the salsa roja.
    Tacos Memo | Carne asada topped with nopal (cactus) and potato, and of course you can't forget to add the salsa roja.
  • Tacos Memo | Another view of our good friends at Tacos Memo. Located in the North of Mexico.
    Tacos Memo | Another view of our good friends at Tacos Memo. Located in the North of Mexico.
  • Corn street vendor on the corner of a Oaxaca street. You'll see them on every other corner through out the city and make for the perfect snack.
    Corn street vendor on the corner of a Oaxaca street. You'll see them on every other corner through out the city and make for the perfect snack.
  • La Catrina, an emblematic symbol in Mexican culture. These were designed by Jose Guadalupe Posada. A famous Mexican illustrator.
    La Catrina, an emblematic symbol in Mexican culture. These were designed by Jose Guadalupe Posada. A famous Mexican illustrator.
  • A closer look at Jose Guadalupe Posada's La Catrina.
    A closer look at Jose Guadalupe Posada's La Catrina.
  • Los Danzantes, a hip Oaxacan eatery. They make some tasty Mezcal, which we enjoyed during our stay.
    Los Danzantes, a hip Oaxacan eatery. They make some tasty Mezcal, which we enjoyed during our stay.
  • A look into Los Danzante's kitchen and bar through the small window / pass. Adobe construction which you can note above the window are the traditional way houses were constructed.
    A look into Los Danzante's kitchen and bar through the small window / pass. Adobe construction which you can note above the window are the traditional way houses were constructed.
  • Santo Domingo, a plaza which many locals and tourists come to enjoy life together. It's very common to see wedding parties spill into the streets, a truly unique experience.
    Santo Domingo, a plaza which many locals and tourists come to enjoy life together. It's very common to see wedding parties spill into the streets, a truly unique experience.
  • Globero, a street vendor who sells balloons and toy windmills.
    Globero, a street vendor who sells balloons and toy windmills.
  • A quick stop at a cemetery connected to organic farmer's market we visited.
    A quick stop at a cemetery connected to organic farmer's market we visited.
  • A play of light, shadow and texture. This is the kind of collision between age and architecture that you will not find anywhere else in the world. An enriching experience to anyone with an eye for design.
    A play of light, shadow and texture. This is the kind of collision between age and architecture that you will not find anywhere else in the world. An enriching experience to anyone with an eye for design.
  • Juices and smoothies made lovingly with the freshest organic ingredients available in the area.
    Juices and smoothies made lovingly with the freshest organic ingredients available in the area.
  • Tejate, a non alcoholic maize and cacao concoction. If you get past it's odd presentation, you will find an elixir that speaks to your soul.
    Tejate, a non alcoholic maize and cacao concoction. If you get past it's odd presentation, you will find an elixir that speaks to your soul.
  • Another example of a comal. The chalupas at this stand provided for a much needed break from the heavier tradition of Oaxacan food.
    Another example of a comal. The chalupas at this stand provided for a much needed break from the heavier tradition of Oaxacan food.
  • Champurrado, is a chocolate-based atole, a warm and thick Mexican beverage. There's a misconception that atole can only be enjoyed at breakfast. But for Mexicans it's best served at any point in their day be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
    Champurrado, is a chocolate-based atole, a warm and thick Mexican beverage. There's a misconception that atole can only be enjoyed at breakfast. But for Mexicans it's best served at any point in their day be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • A medley of locals gathers under a tree for shade from the hot Oaxacan sun to enjoy a bite and drink with their friends and loved ones. The ambience can't really be expressed in a photograph. Unseen and unheard are an accordion player and the chatter of p
    A medley of locals gathers under a tree for shade from the hot Oaxacan sun to enjoy a bite and drink with their friends and loved ones. The ambience can't really be expressed in a photograph. Unseen and unheard are an accordion player and the chatter of p
  • A bird's eye view of the comal. We couldn't wait enjoy it with some salsa.
    A bird's eye view of the comal. We couldn't wait enjoy it with some salsa.
  • A breakfast fit for kings and queens alike. Simple, traditional, exceptional!
    A breakfast fit for kings and queens alike. Simple, traditional, exceptional!
  • Master Mescalero proudly showing off his selection of goods. He was kind enough to teach us about his process and journey. Upon sampling his Mezcal we felt a connection with the drink and the stories he told.
    Master Mescalero proudly showing off his selection of goods. He was kind enough to teach us about his process and journey. Upon sampling his Mezcal we felt a connection with the drink and the stories he told.
  • Talking with the Mescalero in the Organic Farmer's Market-63
    Talking with the Mescalero in the Organic Farmer's Market-63
  • These quesadillas were incredible! Needless to say, we went for seconds...
    These quesadillas were incredible! Needless to say, we went for seconds...
  • The church plaza where the farmer's market is held every weekend.
    The church plaza where the farmer's market is held every weekend.
  • Some of the organic goods on offer. Pictured are chestnuts, zucchini, and dried herbs.
    Some of the organic goods on offer. Pictured are chestnuts, zucchini, and dried herbs.
  • Mexican yellow plums, easily the tastiest fruit that don't exist in Canada. The sweet and milky nature of the fruits is indescribable.
    Mexican yellow plums, easily the tastiest fruit that don't exist in Canada. The sweet and milky nature of the fruits is indescribable.
  • Exploring Oaxaca | A look at Quinta Real, one of the most iconic hotels in all of Mexico rich in monuments, art, tradition, food and culture.
    Exploring Oaxaca | A look at Quinta Real, one of the most iconic hotels in all of Mexico rich in monuments, art, tradition, food and culture.
  • Exploring Oaxaca | A courtyard. These kind of romantic nooks are prevalent to the region and a treat to residents and tourists alike.
    Exploring Oaxaca | A courtyard. These kind of romantic nooks are prevalent to the region and a treat to residents and tourists alike.
  • We end our journey with you here in Plaza Santo Domingo. We hope you've enjoyed Mexico through our eyes and senses!
    We end our journey with you here in Plaza Santo Domingo. We hope you've enjoyed Mexico through our eyes and senses!
  • Oaxaca detail | the kind of interior we would love to see in Vancouver! Maybe we'll have to take on the task someday.
    Oaxaca detail | the kind of interior we would love to see in Vancouver! Maybe we'll have to take on the task someday.

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