Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Mexicans are obsessed with breakfast but a traditional breakfast in Mexico? There is none! Lamb? Take your choice of Barbacoa or Mixiotes - they’re both delicious. Tacos? Dig in - there are plenty on the street including this tiny spot on Calzada de La Luz. Tequila?  Well, we do that for breakfast too!


Getting it off the street? Here’s a short list of some of the best street food in SMA for breakfast.


Barbacoa: Rodriguez Brothers 

How can you find the famous Rodriguez Brothers Barbacoa stand in the congested, Tuesday market? Easy, just look for the busiest spot or follow your nose or hit up Robinson’s newest place this Sunday morning at 71 Insurgentes, just steps from my house.

Mixiotes: El Pato

This little bundle of lamb is cooked in broth and has such a rich taste that even I wouldn’t try to duplicate it. The meat is slow-cooked in a pit every night and the owner, Jose Luis, never buys a lamb that is over 6 months old so the food is consistently rich and sweet. I did not find it too rich to have a second helping however.

Only Jose Luis knows the secret blend of spices that makes it the best Mixiotes in SMA. At Calzada de la Estación #121 open Wednesday – Sunday from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM. 

Chamorro: Las Marias

Las Marias got my attention because they’re one of the few places in SMA that serves Chamorro Tacos in SMA. The owners are from Queretaro and open their street side restaurant on the weekends. They also serve carnitas; one of our favorite breakfast foods. They taste different from the other carnitas - Apolo XI and Bautista Brothers - we know and love and thought that was reason enough to try them.

Next time around we’re going for the Guacamayas, a Mexican torta we ate at the market in Guanajuato, made by filling a bolillo roll with crispy chicharrón pork rinds and avocado and topping it off with spicy salsa.

This tiny spot is another great addition to the bustling, Guadalupe neighborhood.

At Calz de La Luz #41 open Thursday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

SMA Newest Pizza Restaurant: The Pizzeria

We stopped at The Pizzeria to talk with Giovanni Finotto, a charming pizza maker from Italy who also builds specialty pizza ovens for restaurants and private homes.

Giovanni is working with Chef Donnie Masterton at The Pizzeria, Donnie’s new restaurant, at 53 Mesones, to make last minute changes to the menu and put the final touches on the crust. We were thrilled to see that the Brussels sprout and red onion and the honey and jalapeno pizzas made the cut.

He’s taken his time to make things perfect but everything is finally open for pizza lovers who want something out-of-the-ordinary. Even his Margherita pizza doesn’t taste like the typical Neapolitan pizza, made with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. He definitely has that magic touch, using ingredients from the best farms around San Miguel de Allende. And of course, there’s always that one ingredient that no one can guess.

We certainly never would have named Chef Donnie Masterton one of SMA’s best pizza makers a year ago but it’s funny what 365 days and a little imagination can do when one of SMA’s best chefs is involved.

The Pizzeria is open at 6:00 PM for evening service. Other shifts will be added soon.

Antigua to Chichicastenango: Katok Restaurant


In Guatemala we ate at many restaurants and one of the best meals we had was at an large, wooden cabin on the side of the road going from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Everything was so Guatemala.

Katok restaurant was selected by our Mayan guide, Bryan, a former high school teacher who was never stumped by the hundreds of questions we asked him along the way. The restaurant has its own pig farm, slaughterhouse and processing plant and sell meats and sausages in the restaurant.

I know what you’re saying – this breakfast looks pretty ordinary and it was for Guatemalans and it was but the flavors were exceptional, especially in combination with one another.

So how do you make a menu selection when you just don’t really know the ins and outs of Guatemalan food? Easy!  I had what he had!... two fried eggs with a thin, grilled steak, tortillas with cheese, volteados (boiled, mashed, and then refried) black beans, the most delicious fried plantains I’ve ever eaten, sweeter than sweet pineapple and, as usual, fabulous Guatemalan coffee. In the states, I drink 1 cup of coffee a day but in Guatemala, try 5-6.

By this time, just like the natives, I was already craving the refried black beans and the Guatemalan coffee for breakfast every morning. The breakfast also included mosh, which I didn’t get a picture of, but is made with milk and oats and tastes like porridge; the ideal preparation to take off the early morning chill that was with us 24/7 that day. We also lucked out - our table was located right next to an oversized heater so Bryan had to practically pull us from the table after breakfast because it was so cozy warm.

Later, I found out that in 2010, Katok was awarded a golden fork by the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism, the Restaurant Guild and the committee for the Guatemalan Food Fair for culinary excellence in Guatemala.

My head is still in that spot on the highway to Chichicastenango, ready for another breakfast; perhaps this time the breakfast soup I didn’t try with a raw egg floating on the top.

Katok Restaurant is open daily from 5:30 AM – 9:00 PM daily and both Patsy and I thought it was one of the best finds of our entire trip. It’s located at Km 87 Pan American Hwy to Tecpan, Chimaltenango 04001 Guatemala. Phone: +502 7840 3387. You don’t want to miss it.

Amorino: San Miguel de Allende's Healthy Ice Cream

I’m pretty sure if I haven’t had at least one scoop of ice cream before breakfast, I haven’t started my day yet. What else would you expect from someone who carries around an ice cream freezer disguised as her camera bag? Pure and simple, I’m obsessed with Ice Cream. My father’s stores had Bridgeman’s fountains in them so when I was growing up, I ate the best ice cream on the planet. When I was living in Guadalajara in the late 60’s, there was a Bing’s ice cream store just around the corner from school. Eating Flan de Lemon every day after class was part of the sweet experience. In my 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, David Lebovitz's homemade vanilla ice cream took me through 30 years of cooking and entertaining. By the time my granddaughter Olivia came along, I bought the ice cream attachment for the Kitchen Aid so she would know the delights of homemade ice cream. Dipping her long handled, silver spoon into the mixing bowl before it was even close to being done was the ultimate pleasure of our ice cream culture together. I’ve never claimed that ice cream is healthy but Armorino, the new gelato store in Doce 18, is as close as it gets. Besides having AMOR in its name, Amorino: has made Gelato without flavor enhancers or artificial colorings for more than 15 years. has promoted Organic since 2002, proudly integrating organic ingredients into its recipes like fresh, free range, organic eggs and the highest grade of whole, organic farm milk. has developed more than 20 organic flavors; all of them USDA Organic and ECOCERT certified. sorbets and cones are vegan and certified by The Vegan Society. Since 2017, all of Amorino’s Sorbets and Gelato have been 100% gluten-free. We found the Amorino management team, brothers, Christopher and Christian Roldan, sitting in the living room of the Amorino’s store at Doce 18, contemplating their next flavor fix. Christopher fell in love with the combination of lemon and chocolate when he was working in Paris and brought Amorino to the states and ultimately to Playa del Carmen, Amorino’s first property in Mexico. He lives in my hometown of Chicago with Amorino stores on Michigan Avenue and at both the airports. San Miguel de Allende became their 16th property in Mexico with 218 stores in 18 countries. Our current, flavor favorite is the Dulce de Leche but we’re not stopping there. We plan to eat the entire menu over the next month. An ice cream purist, I only eat one flavor at a time but you can pile on as many as you’d like, all formed into a flower, Amorino’s signature shape for the past twenty years. Amorino also has Borbone coffee from Naples, Macarons filled with Gelato, Waffles, Tarts from Reggio Emmilia and 10 types of authentic, Italian hot chocolate. How’s that for having your sweet tooth covered? Open from 10 AM to 10 PM, seven days a week, Amorino is located in Doce 18 at Relox 18.