Looking for a spectacular brunch spot in Oaxaca with gourmet taste at a moderate price? Look no further. Criollo restaurant offers it all! Note: Be sure to make a reservation! Doors open at 10 a.m.
There is a reason that this Top Chef Enrique Olvera (of Pujol fame) dining spot is packed with locals and a few foreign visitors on Sunday morning! The outdoor dining alfresco under the shade trees and palapas is a real treat. It’s casual. It’s beautiful. It’s delicious. Okay. Now I’m repeating myself.
Set in proximity to a cocina de humo — an outdoor smoke and grill kitchen — the picnic tables are adorned with huge vases of fresh flowers on a patio of crushed gravel. Waiters offer a choice of barrista made coffees or café de olla— the sweet, cinnamon and vanilla infused coffee that native Oaxacans love to dunk their breakfast bread into.
Now for the bread! The choices are conchas—bigger and more delicious than you find anywhere, sweet bread stuffed with vanilla cream, and a nutty fruit bread flavored with ashes—my particular favorite. One little bite was not enough to satisfy. I had to eat the whole thing. Estoy gordita.
Dean, Kay and I shared a plate of grilled meats. It comes with grilled veggies and pineapple, guacamole, beef, pork ribs and chorizo. It isn’t on the menu — so be sure to ask for this. We also had a fresh fruit platter. They added granola and yogurt to the meal.
As founders of Oaxaca Eats, they know the best eating and grazing joints in town. I trust their taste explicitly. We’ve known each other since North Carolina days, before they moved to Oaxaca over six years ago.
After breakfast, Kay says, wanna go to the symphony? Sure, I say. So we hop in a taxi and get to Teatro Macedonio Alcalá JIT.
Seems the symphony is auditioning for a new conductor. Today was a special treat. Maestro William Harvey was on the podium and not only dazzled us with Bach and Beethoven, showing off his own violin virtuoso, but performed his own composition paying homage to indigenous peoples and featuring a vocalist from the Spokane tribe of Washington state, of whom only 25 native speakers remain.
It was an amazing day, a cultural treat all the way around.