Going to Oaxaca is supposed to be my time to slow down, eat well, relax, and catch up on posting. But it seems that when I’m there in the moments between my eating adventures, relaxing takes precedent over posting, so I fall quite behind.
When I return from Oaxaca each year, I am thrust into Christmas craziness and before I know it, I’ve been carrying the thoughts of my posts of Oaxaca in my pocket for a month. It’s time to get back to thinking about Oaxaca again.
Each year I return to Oaxaca eager for new food adventures but I’m finding that as I keep returning, it’s becoming harder and harder to “be surprised” in the dining scene. I’ve gone to so many fantastic restaurants, and each year I want to return to my favourites. With a limited number of unplanned meals in Oaxaca left, I have little opportunity to try new.
The other challenge in experiencing new places in Oaxaca is the with the group I’m with. My gang spends a lot more time in Oaxaca than I, and when I arrive each year, they have already been in Oaxaca for a month. They have more time than I, to decide where they liked and do not like. They have spoken to people who have steered them to or away from places for various reasons. And then there’s that darn Tripadvisor (since Yelp hasn’t found Oaxaca yet) with its anonymously scathing reviews which sometimes turns an undecided group against.
On nights, where we haven’t planned a dinner, it’s sometimes hard to decide where to eat in a city that I dream all year of eating in. This happened on the lovely Sunday evening I was in Oaxaca this year.
It was later in the evening when we had decided we wanted to go for a bite, but we didn’t really have a plan. Choices were thrown out, and thrown down quickly, but we decided to go back to Biznaga, which I hadn’t been to in many years. We walked over to Biznaga, but unfortunately on Sundays they are closed. Since we were close, we tried Zandunga, only to find that was closed as well.
Molly & I had checked out the menu at Zicanda a few days before, and the menu coupled with the funky space made me want to check it out. Zicanda was on my radar because the restaurant and its chef, Yiannis Rojas were a part of the El Saber del Sabor festival. I had mentioned it a few times to the gang, but for a few reasons above, it seemed hard to steer the group there.
In the end, I’m glad we went because it turned out to be a fantastic meal. None of us was that hungry, but we each ordered a separate small dish. I got to sample each and all were delicious.
I forgot to take a photo of the menu and there’s no website, so the descriptions are crude. Sigh, I just need to be a better blogger but I have a hard time pulling my focus away from the dining experience, so the photos and my memory will have to do…
At the end of the meal, I asked to see the kitchen, which I was happily granted. I was shocked at how “basic” the kitchen seemed and marvelled that such vibrant and exciting cuisine was being created in a space so white.
Zicanda: 409 Garcia Vigil, Oaxaca Centro