The Pujol Experience – CDMX

Here is my Pujol story – I have been obsessed with Pujol ever since I saw the episode of Chefs Table featuring Enrique Olvera. I am really into upscale Mexican food but my friends in America just didn’t understand that Mexican food was more than burritos. So Olvera really spoke to me when he talks about how much time, effort, and love goes into making a single meal.

Pujol currently sits at #20 on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. I didn’t even consider trying to get a table to Pujol until I was already in Mexico City, and obviously, they were all booked up. On a Friday after enjoying breakfast at Eno (a more affordable Olvera owned restaurant), I took a little wander around the Polanco district. I decided that since I was in the area I might as well go take a peek around the outside of Pujol. I arrived before opening and with my limited Spanish, the security guard helped connect me to the host. The host came out with his iPad and told me there was one seat at the bar available on Tuesday for lunch. I jumped on it. I was so excited until I realized I had nothing to wear to the Worlds 20th Best Resturant. I was nervous, oh so nervous.

I arrived a little early and was happy to see that my outfit was acceptable. I wouldn’t say that this place is super casual but I did my best with what I had brought with me. Pujol offers different service for the bar seats than the regular dining room seating. The bar will offer you much more of a surprise, all I knew beforehand was that it would be 8-10 courses. They will ask if you have any food allergies but other than that you have no say in what will be served.

If you sit at the bar you will also be served drink pairings, it is the same price whether or not you decide to drink so I went for it. I started getting a little tipsy so I can’t recall exactly when the drink pairings came out but here is the order in which they were served: guava mezcal margarita (the best margarita of my entire life), Tecate (which made me lol so much), a glass of rose, shot of tequila, a glass of red wine, and finished with a shot of mezcal.

Also, I saw Olvera a few times peaking out from the kitchen and hardcore fangirled. I didn’t ask him for a photo but it was very exciting.

Cost: I walked away paying $120. Broken down that’s $48 for the meal, $48 for the drink pairings, and the rest was the tip. The service is just incredible and the wait staff is so friendly.

Below is the list of the courses in the order they were served to me:

1. Street Snacks – Baby corn dipped in a sauce of coffee, eggs of the chicatana ants, and chiles. Infladita, a corn puff topped with cream sauce and Oaxacan cheese. Not pictured but the baby corn was one of my favorite things I ate during the meal.

2. Black Corn Clayuda with Oaxacan Cheese and Refried Beans. I was so impressed that every tostada and taco came with an entirely different salsa, I guess that’s fine dining.

3. This was supposed to be a scallop tostada and was the only substitution made to my meal since I don’t like shellfish. It was very simple and the most boring part of my meal.

4. Taco with Hoja Santa leaf laid on top of it with sea bass.

5. Pork Belly Taco – I love pork belly so it’s no surprise that I loved this one.

6. Lamb Barbacoa with squash blossom leaves and avocado mousse

7. Ribeye Taco – I was so full at this point that I just ate the steak and couldn’t eat the rest of the taco. I knew I had more courses coming so I was really trying to pace myself. The meat was so tender and just melted in my mouth.

8. Mole Madre 1257 days old – This is what made Pujol famous and it is the most amazing thing I have ever put in my mouth. It is so hard to describe. The flavors are so rich and earthy. I savored every bite. When I was done, the wait staff asked me if I wanted to repeat any courses. My friend said they didn’t ask this when she went so I am not sure if that is the difference between the lunch and dinner experience.

9. Palate Cleanser of Pulque Sorbet and Guava

10. Chocolate tamal with guava ice cream and soursop on the side. In the back left you can see the glimpse of the yaca fruit they served. I was not super excited about the tamal but the fruit was amazing. The churro was so good and the perfect ratio of sugar to pastry. It was the perfect way to end the meal.

My mouth is watering just looking at the photos again and I feel desperate to go back.

Some end notes: I was seated for around 3 hours and I was there much longer than the people seated in the normal dining areas. I can’t recommend Pujol enough. It was so incredible and the price is really affordable compared to other restaurants rated this highly.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Ximena.

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