Before I got here I never would have imagined that I would eat some of the most amazing seafood of my life in Mexico City, 7350 feet above sea level. But last weekend our friends took us to an absolutely wonderful restaurant called Mi Gusto Es. It’s huge, informal, and very popular, spanning an entire block with lots of tables spilling out onto the street. The food is from the Mexican state of Sinaloa (which is where Mazatlan is) and it’s to die for. We started out with ceviche tostadas and Clamato Michiladas. I loved making my own tostada by squirting some mayo on a crispy corn chip disk, adding the ceviche, and then sprinkling it with lime and hot sauce.

Pretty soon two stone bowls arrived at the table, one filled with raw shrimp, cucumbers and red onions and the other the same but with scallops. The whole mix had been briefly but powerfully marinated in lime, super hot chilies, and lots of salt. This dish is called Aguachile and I have no idea why I’ve never heard of it before. How could I have gone for 32 years and never tasted this! It wasn’t  like a ceviche because the seafood hadn’t been “cooked” in the acid of the lime. The shrimps and scallops were still translucent and totally raw  but yet they still tasted powerfully of the spicy marinade. I can’t say enough about how good this was.

For our final course we had shrimp tacos. These shrimps were cooked with thin slices of guajillo peppers and wrapped in flour tortillas. I wished I wasn’t so full because I wanted more!

Then today, to further our seafood adventures we had lunch at a fancy spot right around the corner from our house, Contramar. This place is on every “best of” Mexico City list, and rightfully so. It was fabulous.

Like at Mi Gusto Es we started with tostadas. But these were a bit more upscale: spicy mayo, buttery thinly sliced raw tuna that had been marinated in lime and orange, crispy fried leeks and avocado. What more can I say, it was so so so so so good.

Then we had octopus and shrimp tacos (the filling is on the left) and another shrimp aguachile. In this aguachile the shrimp had been cooked in the acid of the marinade. It too was absolutely incredible, so spicy and fresh. It reminded me of Thai food in that way.

The octopus was so tender and spicy and it was exciting to put it inside of the tiny, warm handmade tortillas like this:

In the middle of this meal I actually looked at Rafael and said, “This is living!” as I took another sip of my Michelada.  And then I got this beautiful fig tart for dessert:

The crust tasted like a fresh Pecan Sandy, the filling like sour cream cheesecake, the figs like fruity sunshine… a great end to a great meal. I can’t wait to see what I get to eat tomorrow!

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