Almost across the street from the hotel, on the corner of San Diego Ave and Noell St in the Five Points neighborhood, was Las Brasas. There is nothing pretentious about this place, with its take-out order window, plastic ware and styrofoam. The menu had many an item that initially confused me (of course those are the things I ordered), in stark contrast to a couple tourist traps we visited later in the week with their over-explained gringo-plain menus. Now, when I am on vacation in a distant city, my primary mode of eating is usually to eat as many meals as possible in as many different places as possible. So it is the greatest testament to Las Brasas that we ate four meals there. I loved Las Brasas. Every meal after was compared to Las Brasas. "The beans at Las Brasas are better." "This meal would have cost $50 less and made me 50% happier at Las Brasas." and so on. I ate at least three meals I regret, not because they weren't good, but because they weren't as good as Las Brasas, making it an opportunity missed.
Our first meal was dinner, the night we arrived. With three tables outside and two inside, we decided to take our food back to the hotel, mostly due to the crazy rain. Huge portions, great tortillas, the best refried beans in the country, fun dishes like menudo, and nopales, and every time our total came to $11 and change.
Breakfast couldn't come soon enough - breakfast burritos with crumbled chorizo, potatoes, cheese and egg. Putting potatoes in burritos seems like the most basic thing in the world. So good. So right. Yet I've never had a breakfast burrito with potatoes before. And chilaquiles. Crisp up some corn tortillas, cut them up, then simmer in green chile sauce. At Las Brasas, they scramble eggs and cheese into it, and every dish is served with beans and rice.
Las Brasas beans and rice make my party world go round.
I had awesome fish tacos from Las Brasas, too, even though they were served with lettuce instead of the traditional cabbage. And some crazy good carnitas, which is amazingly cooked pork, seasoned well but not spicy.
Each morning B and I would walk past the other tourists crowding the hotel's continental breakfast, balancing corporate pastries and week-old fruit on their laps and think, "suckkkas."
This may have been our cheapest vacation yet, food wise. We had a brief moment of planning how to move the entire Las Brasas organization- building, morning cook, morning counter girl, afternoon cook and afternoon counter girl-to NH. Preferably across the street from our apartment.