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Nicholas Gilman is a renowned journalist and food writer based in Mexico City.

Nicholas Gilman es un renombrado periodista gastronómico radicado en la Ciudad de México.

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Oaxacan Smoke: Pasillo de Humo

Oaxacan Smoke: Pasillo de Humo

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Pasillo de Humo is a casual spot located upstairs at the laid back gourmet hall Mercado Parian in the heart of Condesa. Unassuming at first glance, it is an extraordinary Oaxacan ‘antojería’ under the baton of chef Alam Méndez, son of Celía Florian, chef/owner of Oaxaca’s renowned Las Quince Letras. The "pasillo" refers to the smoky passage in that city’s market where tasajo--dried beef-- is grilled over coals. Here, smoke from a showy wood-fueled grill area where several cooks work, wafts upward in the cheery, high-ceilinged space, designed by Paul Curuchet and Luciana de la Garza of Estudio Atemporal. 

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The restaurant, which opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, imports essential ingredients from Oaxaca. It offers classic regional specialties such as crispy tlayudas, tamales, intriguing egg dishes served in polished clay cazuelas and of course, moles. I love the mole verde, aromatic with minty hoja santa. At breakfast, huevos oaxaqueños are a cazuela of poached eggs, smoky sausage and oaxacan cheese bathed in a refreshing, fragrant tomato-chile broth.

While mom’s Quince Letras doesn’t stray from tradition, Méndez’ offshoot touches on the contemporary. His composed salads utilizing seasonal ingredients and native herbs are refreshingly creative, free of twee pretension. Earthy tortillas are fashioned by hand to order. This is a paean to Oaxaca, a much needed complement to that state’s under-represented venues in the city.

note: photos by @gastrotourdf

 Chef Alam Méndez

Chef Alam Méndez

Pasillo de Humo
Mercado Parian, Nuevo León 107, upstairs, Condesa
Open Monday - Wednesday 9 a.m. – 10 p.m., Thursday - Saturday til 11 p.m., Sunday until 7 p.m. Average per person: $200 - 300
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TACO TIME: Taco el Negro @La Negra Taquería

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Out of the Frying Pan: Padella

Out of the Frying Pan: Padella