Café de Tacuba in Mexico City, Mexico glorifies the traditional with sensory elements. Go for beautiful surroundings, strong plates, and some entertainment in the city’s historic center.
Rise Rating: 67%
The Obsidian Rise diagram above provides a visual for the rating explained in writing, below. From left to right—
Story (3/3): It’s difficult to beat the history of a restaurant that has had the heart, grit and luck necessary to operate for over a century. Founded in 1912, the doors of Café de Tacuba were opened by don Dionisio Mollinedo to share his love of Mexican food with those of the capital. The Story line goes that with the passing of time and the comings and goings of so many locals, visitors and intelligentsia, it became apparent that food is a language that all understand and also something cultural that everyone shares. And so, the café prides itself on sharing important moments with customers through the traditional dishes that it serves and in the artful space that houses it. For an additional bit of folklore, check out the church across the street, whose Santa Clarisa is said to keep watch over the Tacuba property.
Sustainability (1/3): While the longevity of the business speaks to the soundness of Café de Tacuba’s practices, it appears that its environmental Sustainability is limited to keeping a national focus on the ingredients that it sources and food that it serves.
Experience (2/3): Café de Tacuba’s large size within a multi-room structure made it easy for our party to arrive for a weekend meal unannounced. Despite the busy-ness of the locale, we were greeted warmly and seated right away in a high-ceilinged room, adorned with stained glass windows, hanging plants, and heaps of natural light. Far from the trendy hot spots of Condesa and Roma Norte, this city-center restaurant conjured the splendor of old-world Mexico City. We smiled at the waitresses donning formal, white uniforms and hair bows as they went from table to table. We laughed as a mariachi group appeared out of nowhere and made its way through the ground floor of the restaurant and up its stairs for better positioning. With perhaps three parts reality and one part show, the Experience at Café de Tacuba hit the spot when wanting to see something more authentically Mexican in the capital city, but then lost a bit of appeal when leaving us wondering how many of the orchestrations had been re-produced just for tourists.
Cuisine (2/3): The Cuisine at Café de Tacuba was as expected: abundant in variety and portion and with generally above average, traditional flavors. While the house-made bread basket could have been better, pairing a Mexican hot chocolate with a plate of mole poblano, fried eggs and refried beans was a fantastic idea, on top of giving the gleeful feeling of having dessert for breakfast. For a unique punch to your meal, try the extracto de café, a small vase full of syrupy coffee (usually to be mixed in a large glass with milk). Sides of fresh, local fruit ensure proper nutrition.
Diversity (2/3): Café de Tacuba has nearly reached its Diversity potential, with both male and female servers and a menu as long as one could imagine at an all-day eatery. However, it would be interesting to see a few traditions rocked here, especially in regards to the historically male management of the family restaurant.
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