Leilani Lim-Villegas, Austin Restaurant Editor and food critic for culinary news website The daily meal, who speaks five languages and holds a Master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas, presented in her most recent article the ancient indigenous dishes that people still prepare in San Miguel de Allende.
The beautiful San Miguel de Allende (SMA) is a colonial-era city in central Mexico known for its well-preserved baroque Spanish architecture. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was rated “The No. 1 City in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler, defeating trending favorites such as Paris, Rome, and Tokyo.
I proudly call SMA my childhood hometown where I lived for over ten years. But when our best kept secret exploded in the media, thousands of travelers from all over the world flocked to witness what the hype was all about. Because SMA is extremely popular with tourists, there has been a proliferation of food-lovers destinations, from street food to gourmet and fine dining restaurants.
On this edition, I am writing about my city with a culinary perspective to feature an ancient indigenous dish that is so complex to make, even the ingredients and cooking methods were challenging to translate from my Spanish interview and restaurant review.
El Itacate Mexican Grill is an authentic Mexican hotspot owned by executive chef Paco Arciniega and restaurant partner Andrea Romay. The word “Itacate” is not in fact Spanish, but Náhuatl, an indigenous Aztec dialect still spoken by the fading population of central Mexico natives. It literally means “wrapped lunch in a handkerchief or basket.”
From sopa azteca(Aztec soup) to enchiladas, carne asada, and burritos, the menu offers vast choices of traditional Mexican favorites.