TACO TIME: Tacos de Costilla @ La Pasadita
This holy grail if there ever was one, is hidden in the depths of the Mercado Merced, the largest public market in the city (aside from the Central de Abastos, the wholesale market.) It's an area stretching many city blocks, each specializing in its own product. Functioning like the old Les Halles in Paris, the Merced sells to individuals as well as to retail businesses.
La Pasadita’s amazingly swift taqueros work over coals – aromatic meaty smoke constantly rises and wafts out of the busy stand. The grilled morsels are generously heaped over several warmed tortillas topped with charred nopal and onion then augmented with top notch spiky salsas. Tacos de costilla are the winners here: meat is as tender as a baby’s behind. Chorizo, chicken breast and arrachera are also worth sampling. This place, a known entity to the myriad denizens of this forever bustling forum has been one of my secret favorites for years. Now, word is out.
Tacos La Pasadita
Open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily
La Pasadita is in the aisle that runs along the front (western) edge of the Nave Mayor, or main fruit and vegetable building of the Merced; it is outside of the building, almost facing "puerta no. 5" (the entrances to the building are numbered, above the doors.)
La Merced is easy to reach by metro: Take linea 1 to the “Merced” stop and exit from the front of the train. You will be inside the main market building. To reach La Pasadita, walk straight (heading west) when you exit the metro – doors are labeled with numbers; follow the west side of the building, turning right as you exit, until you pass door ‘5’. La Pasadita is just past this one; it faces the building.