Thursday, March 31, 2011


CONDESA df, Mexico City.  Image by The NewsGallery.
Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, and the largest metropolitan area in all of the Americas with a population that surpasses the Big Apple--becomes quite complex to navigate, if you're not one of the locals.  In fact caution to be extra mindful of your belongings--to make sure you don't get into the wrong type of taxi, and having to avoid walking around Mexico City at night at all cost--abound.  But what we didn't want is to allow these rumors to deter us; so luckily, we were given recommendations by an actual resident, who advised us upon our short-lived tour there to check out La Condesa area and CONDESA df--one of the hottest spots in the neighborhood.  

Hence, we were serendipitously surprised to realize that Mexico City, despite the floating unnerving rampant rumors (to the point where a once-visitor friend of ours, highly insisted that frolicking the streets without a guide--anywhere in Mexico--would prove to be dangerous), is actually quite charming and impressive--it is most certainly an underrated picturesque city.  La Condesa district, where CONDESA df hotel/restaurant/lounge is nestled, parallels a Mexican version of the West Village in New York.  The avenues are wide, tree-lined with vibrant colored houses--showcasing some remnants of the Colonial Spanish stamp--still quite apparent and ubiquitously echoed in this Central American town.  (See below + video!).

Across the street from the CONDESA df. Image by The NewsGallery.
In front of CONDESA df.  Image by The NewsGallery.

CONDESA df solarium. Image by The NewsGallery.
After hitting La Casa Azul de Frida Kahlo, (in Coyoacán, about half and hour from la Condesa), where the infamous Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo was actually born-- where she lived and worked for quite some time with Diego Rivera (her husband), and where she eventually died--after digesting her intense and rich story (which we highly recommend doing while in Mexico City), we were more than ready to have a nice lunch, some proper relaxing, and of course, we wanted to find the locals and move away from the touristic parts.  

We'd remembered the one place that our local friend suggested: CONDESA df, which like Soho in New York, is also known for its cafés and galleries.  Said to be the coolest spot in La Condesa, we were able to walk right in sans reservation to have a meal--in the solarium nonetheless, and get a nice table.  

It was about 1:30 pm on a Sunday afternoon, and the interior garden was full of high-end clientele--complete with their dogs hanging out next to their respective tables (at least for the most part, which we highly suggest being mindful of when they come close to your leg...).  As in many up-and-coming cities, (and yes Mexico City being one of them), there is a hotel-exclusive-party-movement.  Because most hotels are decorated with the utmost decadence and style, they make for a very chic fête scenario.  

Brunch at CONDESA df.  Image by The NewsGallery.
To the left of the garden, upon entry are lavishly prepared tables oozing with some of the best looking food one can ever hope for--this, after being forced to consider eating horrible Aero Mexico non-edibles.  

Although the staff was very friendly, we should report that they were slightly lacking in the service department.  Nonetheless, we were given a fixed menu that starts off with the buffet--already consisting of major entrée items: pasta, meats, fancy vegetable dishes and countless more.  

And then supposedly, after gorging on that, you'd still have a choice of three different styles of brunch dishes.  Not surprisingly, we never even made it to ordering anything else.  Why?: because another indulgent table full of desserts awaited--screaming to be tasted.  All this for $25, as well as a bottomless local flower juice to drink, (as any other additional beverages would be an extra charge).  And if you wanted to order á la carte, it simply wasn't an option.  Well who were we to contest--when all we wanted was: to do as la Condesans do--and that we certainly did.  

Have a look at our mini video for a more extensive peak into our CONDESA df, brunch (below).  We ended up spending a couple of hours there (much longer than we'd anticipated)--just talking and enjoying the atmosphere.  Of course, having to ask our waiter at least three or four times for our check might have helped, too.  On a side note: apparently there's also a rooftop dining/lounge area that we didn't get to check out.  So if you're ever in Mexico City and you decide to hit CONDESA df, try it out and let us know how it is.  We heard they have some pretty fabulous cocktails. 

Brunch at CONDESA df via The NewsGallery

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