Food Travel America

Sunday Family Meal(s) in Oaxaca

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.

Look for the wall with the writing, that's how you know you're at the right place.

Look for the wall with the writing, that’s how you know you’re at the right place.

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You’ll also recognize Fonda Florecita from their pink shirts.

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.

They may not be talking, but at least they're engaging in the act of a family meal.

They may not be talking or looking at one another, but at least they’re engaging in the act of a family meal.

Our server Cristian was very helpful (and spoke perfect English).

Our server Cristian was very helpful (and spoke perfect English). He wasn’t wearing a pink shirt because he was “family” of the owners.

The selection of breads for Jo's chocolate drink. I'm beginning to think that the breads are so dry because they're meant to be dipped.

The selection of breads for Jo’s chocolate drink. I’m beginning to think that the breads are so dry because they’re meant to be dipped.

Starting from the Left (clockwise): Stewed intestines, Tinga de Pollo,

Starting from the left (clockwise): stewed intestines, tinga de pollo (chicken in chipotle tomato sauce), huitlacoche (corn fungus), spicy pork stew & mushrooms.

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.

My yolk could have been runnier, but this was exactly what I was craving.

My yolk could have been runnier, but this was exactly what I was craving.

Henry's dish of scrambled eggs, pork and huitlacoche was very delicious as well.

Henry’s dish of scrambled eggs, pork and huitlacoche was very delicious as well.

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.

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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.

Jo has a saying that "if you don't hear music in Oaxaca, just wait 5 minutes and you will"!

Jo has a saying that “if you don’t hear music in Oaxaca, just wait 5 minutes and you will”.

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.

This location is across from Llano Park, it's the one you want to go to.

This location is across from Llano Park, it’s the one you want to go to.

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.

3 days in and this was my first margarita. So unlike me...

3 days in and this was my first margarita. So unlike me…

Prawn and oyster cocktail, enjoyed with saltines.

Prawn and oyster cocktail, enjoyed with saltines.

Huachinango (red snapper) baked in a brick oven topped with a chili butter.

Molly and I shared the huachinango (red snapper) baked in a brick oven topped with a chile butter which she grabbed half of before I took this shot.

Jo's stuffed crab.

Jo’s stuffed crab.

Henry&Tom shared the fried oysters which tasted exactly like my mom's oyster fry.

Henry&Tom shared the fried oysters which tasted exactly like my mom’s oyster fry.

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

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