This summer, star chefs Javier Plascencia of Baja and Alejandro Ruiz of Oaxaca collaborated to create a seasonal pop up restaurant in San Antonio de las Minas serving Oaxacan cuisine. It's last day of service was October 20.
Three weeks ago I had the chance to try it on a Sunday evening with a friend who lives in the area. We started with mezcal: Espadin for him as the least smoky and Madre Cuishe for me. Accompanied with chapulines (grasshoppers), wonderful sweet oranges and gusano (worm) salt, and I ordered a sparkling water chaser.
For a light dinner, we shared an order of Quesadillas de flor de calabaza. Such a simple dish, but so stunning and truly exceptional when made with fresh masa of aromatic, toasty corn imported from Oaxaca, creamy quesillo cheese, hint of epazote, juicy crispness to the squash blossoms plus guacamole. This tasted even better with the trio of splendid condiments: salsa de chile de arbol, salsa de serrano, and fresh Oaxacan chile de agua with white onion. The meaty Costillas de cerdo adobada con salsa de chicatanas (ant larvae) had a nice nonsweet marinade and tinge of smoke but were too dry. The chicatanas did not add much other than the crunch of chitin. The little side salad, lightly dressed and featuring ripe and so sweet tomatoes, was a refreshing palate cleanser.
I certainly got my fill of the insect world in this meal!
La Central Valle
(next to Finca la Divina)
San Antonio de las Minas
Valle de Guadalupe
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