Sunday dinner has always been important for my family. It’s the day where we take time out of our busy lives to share a meal and catch up on events in eachother’s lives. If I’m not playing hockey on a Sunday, I can count on being at either my parent’s house or Ben’s for dinner. My parents seem to get a chuckle when I call to ask if I can go over for dinner on Sunday. I know they’re thinking, “atarimae” (Japanese meaning Why would I ask? It’s expected) and I know that’s true because family Sunday dinners happen at my parents house even if I’m not there.
In Oaxaca last Sunday, I was fortunate enough to share 2 meals with not only my family, but surrounded by many other Oaxacan families doing the same thing.
We started the day off at Fonda Florecita inside La Merced Market. I’ve been to many markets in Oaxaca and this one is my favourites to wander through because of the variety, cleanliness and reasonable size.
We stood by the cooking stand to figure out our order. Jo knew she wanted a chocolate con leche, but the rest of us couldn’t decide. There looked to be some interesting “fillings” that you’d add to your breakfast of choice. We weren’t sure what everything was, so Henry asked if we could have a sampler plate to try before we had to commit to our breakfast. From there, we could decide if we wanted to have these with a quesadilla, memelitas, empanadas etc.
We all had our favourites, mine were the spicy pork, the mushrooms and the huitlachoche, but knowing I had another big meal in the afternoon, I decided to just have the pork with a fried egg.
Henry befriended another one of the servers (as usual) and an exchange took place. Before you knew it, a little cup of mezcal was placed in front of him, a “digestif” as she called it and explained that it had herbs in the bottle to impart a different flavour. Although it felt a bit too early in the morning, I thought to give it a try. I’m glad I did, it was very good.
After breakfast, we decided to wander to find some action in the city. We made our way into the Zocalo to find it busy but not packed.
Sunday afternoons in my family are meant for being lazy and napping, which is exactly what I did by the pool. Sunday afternoons in Oaxaca mean comida (late afternoon lunch = their dinner). The gang had a lovely meal at Marco Polo the week before and thought it would be a nice repeat. We weren’t the only one’s with this idea as the place was packed with families breaking bread (literally as they had bread here) and enjoying their meals.
I took suggestions from the gang and ordered their “best of” meal from the week before. Actually, except for Jo, everyone else repeated their meal from the week before.
Our meal at Marco Polo was very pleasant. A solid meal of things that tasted good, but not spectacular or challenging so that attention wouldn’t be drawn away from the main purpose of dining there, which is to enjoy the company of the people you’re with. This is the way Sunday’s meals should be spent.
Fonda Florecita: inside La Merced Market on Insurgentes @ Morelos & Murguía, Centro, Oaxaca
Marco Polo: Pino Suárez 806, Centro, Oaxaca