Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Benito's Hat does Day of the Dead

Photo: Benito's Hat
In honour of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, Benito’s Hat will be serving up some special dishes at both its New Row and Goodge Street restaurants.

From Saturday 30th October, you will be able to sample tamales and a Day of the Dead sample plate, featuring nachos, quesadillas, and Taquitos, served with Salsa Verde and Guacamole. The traditional Day of the Dead speciality, Pan de Muerto, will also be on the menu and free to diners on 2nd November.

Celebratory drink will come in the form of a Vampiro cocktail, Mexico’s answer to the Bloody Mary. If you fancy making it at home, just throw the following together:

100% Blue Agave Tequila
Tomato Juice
Freshly-squeezed orange juice
Freshly-squeezed lime juice
A squeeze of pure agave syrup
A touch of tabasco
Two dashes of Worcestershire sauce

For more information, see http://www.benitos-hat.com/ or their facebook page. Their locations can be found here.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Routes of Mexico; a gastronomic geography lesson

2010 has been a busy year for the Mexican tourist board. Not only does it mark the country's bicentenary of independence but November also sees the 100 year anniversary of the 1910 revolution. All in all, it's been a year of celebration and there's no doubt that more sand more people are drawn to visit Mexico.

However, the ongoing bloodshed and violence, particularly in the Northern states, continues to plague the news, leaving many tourists questioning where is safe to travel. In an effort to disperse this fear, the tourist board launched a campaign across the USA and Canada earlier this summer, highlighting the diverse delights of Mexico. 'Routes of Mexico' is aimed at travellers with special interests, from bird watching to wine tasting and gastronomy. Here's a quick summary of those routes and the areas they cover:

Wine country and the aquarium of the world - Tijuana down the Baja California peninsula.

The millenary Tarahumaras - Chihuahua and Sinaloa

Magic of traditions and nature - Michoacan and Guerrero

Birthplace of history and romanticism - Guanajuato, Queretaro and Jalisco

Art of tequila and music under the sun - Guadalajara

The Huastecas and their outstanding beauty - Hidalgo, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi

Thousand flavors of mole, a blend of unsweetened chocolate, dried chili peppers and spices - Mexico City, and the states of Tlaxcala, Puebla and Oaxaca.

Mystery and origin of the Mayan culture - Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche and the Yucatan

Colonial experience - Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Jalisco and San Luis Potosi

Encounter between history and modern day - Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Sonora

It's a great idea to highlight the diversity and attractions of such a vast country but which areas are truly safe to visit? This article colour codes each itinerary by how safe the route is and certainly makes for interesting reading.

Visit Mexico

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Make way for the Mexican at London's Restaurant Festival

  Yesterday was the first day of the annual London Restaurant Festival which runs until 18th October. In keeping with current food trends, Mexican food is one of this year's highlights and many of London's Mexican restaurants are offering diners a special festival menu. Those involved include:

Boho Mexica
Cantina Laredo
Benito's Hat
Café Pacífico
La Perla

For details of these and others, see map.

In addition, this year's festival food market at Old Spitalfields Maket is showcasing Mexican food. A number of Mexican food producers will have stands, as well as several of the restaurants listed above so now's the time to stock up on all those hard to find ingredients! The market will be open next week, between the following times:

Mon 11th, Tues 12th, Wed 13th, Fri 15th and Sat 16th Oct: 12.00-6.00pm
Sun 17th Oct: 9.00-6.00pm

And if all that doesn't sound like a good enough reason to indulge, next week is also London Cocktail Week, with many of London's best bars serving up a whole plethora of special cocktails. If margaritas are you thing, then there's certainly no shortage on offer, as well as many other delicous concoctions. How about the Mexican Passion Mojito (Tapatio, lime juice, fresh passion fruit, mint and agave nectar) at Cafe Pacifico or the Olmeca Altos Paloma (Olmeca Altos tequila, lime juice and Ting) at El Camino?