After Acapulco, I bussed over to Mexico City (henceforth DF, which stands for Distrito Federal, the real name). DF is a wild, amazing place that deserves far more than the three days I spent there. I´d love to live in the city for a few months.
Anyway, I decided to take a look in my handy Fodor´s guidebook for recommendations on restaurants near my (excellent) hostel (that wasn´t in my guidebook).
I went to a place called Los Girasoles (sunflowers) that supposedly served good nueva comida mexicana. Well, the decor was nice and the staff was friendly, but the food was really not impressive (I had chiles rellenos). And it cost me a fortune – over $25 for a small appetizer, main dish, and 2 drinks at lunchtime.
The following day, I went to an awesome artisan market and walked past a small staircase with a sign pointing up to a restaurant called…Los Girasoles. I went up. Inside was a small room with attached open kitchen, it looked like a house. An older woman was alone in the kitchen and asked me if I wanted to eat. The menu was set: cream of broccoli soup, rice with ham, chicken tacos, and horchata. For 35 pesos. That´s less than $3.
The food was riquissimo (delicious). And it cost less than my dinky appetizer at my guidebook´s recommended restaurant.
Here´s the thing: guidebooks are good for telling you about things to do, but they are TERRIBLE at recommending food and lodging. Why aren´t there any companies that have cheap, delicious food options listed? Not all travelers are rich, American tourists.
Anyway, I just arrived in San Cristóbal in the lovely region of Chiapas in south Mexico. I´m staying with a lovely family here (thanks Lisa!) and will be sightseeing throughout the area and perhaps even joining the family on a trip to their ranch near the Guatemalan border to help them pick coffee beans.