One of Roma Norte’s claims to fame is its Food Markets. Mercado Roma is the most well known with multiple floors and even a Beer Garden, but what about the smaller less hectic ones. Would they be as unique, affordable, and quite frankly tasty as Mercado Roma? I decided to find out by visiting the Terraza Orizaba Food Market for a sample of some local and Latin-American foods.
The journey began by getting my first taste of ceviche in Mexico City at Cevichento. The small restaurant with a couple of seats is situated on the outside of the market. Friendly English-speaking staff mentioned how a lot of New Yorkers have been coming by Roma Norte. I have yet to run into any, but will l sure be on the look out :).
I figured the best way to sample ceviche was to get a tostado de ceviche de pescado (55 Pesos/ $2.75). It is filled with fish, avocado,lime, onion, and other mildly spiced goodies. I didn’t love ceviche when I sampled it in Peru, but the tostado surprised me by tasting fresh and without an imposing sour aftertaste.
A cautionary tale for other gringos, don’t eat your tostado like a sandwich or yours may suffer the same fate as mine (RIP). Don’t worry I was still able to enjoy it with a spoon. After the mini-disaster it was time to head inside and see what else I could eat (and not destroy).
One of the first spots on your left hand side is an Argentinian based restaurant called La Reina Del Sur. They specialize in unique pizzas and empanadas. I didn’t think I could handle a full pizza, so went with an elote and queso empanada for just 25 pesos ($1.25).
The owner of the restaurant asked me where I was from and was happy to hear New York City. He said he moved to Mexico City 25-years-ago because NYC had priced him out. He recalled having cheap rent in East Harlem. What he paid then has likely tripled or quadrupled since the early 90’s. Still, he seemed happy to have his own business going in Mexico City in a popular food market.
Overall, it was one of the better empanadas I have ever had with the corn and cheese blending together smoothly. I am sold on coming back to try one of their Pizzas in the future.
While I was eating, a local musician decided to come in and perform. This is actually fairly common even outside of restaurants and cafes, as they hope for tips. I think he did a good job and gave him 10 pesos.
The final stop on the food market tour was at a place affectionately named El Sr. Flauta Y La Sra. Flauta. Of course a 22 peso ($1.15) flauta was just what I needed. The only hesitation was whether I could handle the green sauce (salsa verde).
Lucky for me they provided a small sample. As a gringo from the North East I wouldn’t say I grew up eating very spicy food, so it has been an adjustment. I think the way spice works down here for me is: Ok nothing… im fine… wait a second… oh crap! Proceed to drinking sprite.
This salsa did give a bit of a late kick, but I agreed to have it put under the flauta.
I ordered the beef flauta with cotija cheese sauce smothering the top. By gently adding the green sauce with a spoon it gave it a zesty kick. Overall, the savory combo of beef and cheese made it the most memorable of my food market selection. Think of it like a crunchier 10x better version of a 7-11 tacquito.
All in all, I left the market super full and down less than $6 dollars. I am excited to see what other cool and unique foods I can sample while south of the border. A taco is a taco. Time to see what else I can get my hands on in Mexico City. I would highly recommend anyone in Mexico City to try this small food market in Roma Norte.
What is your favorite kind of Mexican food other than a taco? Tell me in the comments below.