El Cardenal Mexico City: The Ultimate Mexican Breakfast Experience

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El Cardenal Mexico City: The Ultimate Mexican Breakfast Experience

El Cardenal Mexico City

Welcome to the ultimate Mexican breakfast experience at El Cardenal Mexico City, where tradition meets elegance. In this review, we will delve into the enchanting world of El Cardenal San Angel, a branch of the famous chain, located in the southern part of Mexico City. Known for its authentic Mexican cuisine and refined atmosphere, El Cardenal has been captivating locals and tourists alike since its establishment in 1968. Join us as we embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Mexico’s flavors, where every dish tells a story.


A Mexican Culinary Legacy:

El Cardenal began its journey in 1968 when the first restaurant opened its doors in the historic center of Mexico City. From the very beginning, it gained a reputation for serving traditional Mexican cuisine crafted from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Over the years, the restaurant has expanded and become a restaurant chain of eateries, with each location maintaining the same quality standards as the original location in Centro Histórico.

Elegance and Ambiance in El Cardenal San Angel:

Step inside El Cardenal San Angel, and you’ll be transported to a world where elegance and tradition converge. Housed in a restored colonial building, the restaurant exudes an air of sophistication. High ceilings adorned with intricate chandeliers, dark wood furniture, and warm hues create a cozy yet refined atmosphere. The attentive staff welcomes guests with warm smiles and ensures that every visit is an unforgettable experience.

Mexican Breakfast Delights:

El Cardenal’s claim to fame lies in its Mexican breakfast offerings. The menu boasts a variety of mouthwatering options that showcase the richness and diversity of Mexican cuisine. From the moment you sit down, you are presented with freshly baked bread, including the iconic bolillo and concha, served with creamy butter and sweet jam.

The Warm Conchas and Hot Chocolate:  A Must for this breakfast experience

The Warm Conchas offered at El Cardenal are undeniably one of the breakfast highlights that should not be missed. A concha is a traditional Mexican sweet bread known for its distinctive seashell-like appearance. It is characterized by a soft, fluffy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. The top of the concha is adorned with a sugary, crumbly topping that resembles the patterns found on seashells, giving it its name.

At El Cardenal, the conchas are freshly baked, warm, and incredibly inviting. The moment you bite into one, you’ll be greeted with a delightful combination of softness and a subtle sweetness that melts in your mouth. To enhance this already delightful experience, it is highly recommended to pair your warm concha with the famous Mexican Hot Chocolate served at El Cardenal.

Mexican Hot Chocolate is a beloved traditional beverage made with rich, high-quality chocolate, often infused with cinnamon and other spices. Served steaming hot, it has a smooth and velvety texture that is incredibly comforting. The combination of the warm concha and the indulgent Mexican Hot Chocolate creates a symphony of flavors. Consider dipping a piece of the concha into the hot chocolate, allowing the bread to absorb the rich chocolatey goodness. The result is a heavenly bite that perfectly balances the sweetness of the bread with the aromatic warmth of the chocolate.

Indulging in the warm conchas and Mexican Hot Chocolate at El Cardenal is not just a breakfast choice but a delightful ritual that allows you to savor the best of Mexican flavors. So, be sure to treat yourself to this heavenly pairing, and let the warm, sweet concha and velvety hot chocolate transport you to a state of pure bliss.

The Mexican Flautas soaked with Hot Green Salsa Verde

El Cardenal Mexico City

One highlight of our dining experience at El Cardenal was when my mom ordered the Lamb Flautas soaked with salsa verde. Flautas are a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine. They are made by rolling tortillas tightly around a filling, typically chicken or beef, and then deep-frying them until they become crispy and golden. At El Cardenal, they took this classic dish to another level by offering it with succulent lamb as the filling.

The lamb added a robust and distinct flavor that elevated the flautas to new heights. The crispy tortillas provided a satisfying crunch, while the tender and flavorful lamb inside created a delectable contrast in textures. To balance the heat and spiciness of the salsa verde, the dish was thoughtfully accompanied by a side of flavorful Baked Beans. The combination of the lamb flautas and the comforting beans created a harmonious balance of flavors, ensuring that each bite was a delightful experience.

My all time favorite Mexican Dish for breakfast:

One of my all-time favorite Mexican dishes for breakfast at El Cardenal Mexico City is the Mexican Enchiladas with Carnitas in salsa roja. Enchiladas are a beloved Mexican culinary delight consisting of tortillas rolled around a flavorful filling and topped with sauce. The tortillas are typically filled with ingredients such as chicken or beef, but at El Cardenal, they take it to another level by incorporating succulent carnitas. This unique twist adds a rich and savory element that sets these enchiladas apart from the traditional versions.

The enchiladas are generously smothered in salsa roja, a vibrant red sauce that infuses each bite with a delightful kick of spice. The combination of tender carnitas, soft tortillas, and the zesty salsa creates a symphony of flavors that is simply irresistible. To balance the heat and spice, the dish is thoughtfully served with a side of Baked Beans. The creamy and comforting beans provide a soothing contrast, allowing you to savor the complex flavors without overwhelming spiciness.

Each bite of the Mexican Enchiladas with Carnitas in salsa roja at El Cardenal is a tantalizing experience that showcases the restaurant’s commitment to exceptional Mexican cuisine. The blend of flavors, textures, and the careful balance of heat make this dish a breakfast masterpiece worth savoring. It’s a true celebration of the diverse and captivating flavors that Mexican cuisine has to offer.

The Huarache con Costilla, my main dish for this Mexican Breakfast experience:

El Cardenal Mexico City

I had the pleasure of savoring the famous Huarache con Costilla with salsa verde. A huarache con costilla (Beef Rib) is a quintessential Mexican dish that tantalizes the taste buds. It starts with a large, flat tortilla made of corn masa, serving as a canvas for a delectable array of toppings. The star of this culinary masterpiece is the succulent grilled or stewed beef rib, imparting rich and smoky flavors. Layered on the tortilla are velvety refried beans, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and a generous amount of chopped onions.

The huarache is then elevated to perfection with the vibrant and tangy salsa verde. With each bite, the contrasting textures and harmonious blend of flavors transport you to a realm of gustatory delight. Whether enjoyed as a popular street food or in the charming ambiance of El Cardenal, the Huarache con Costilla is a must-try dish that captures the essence of Mexican culinary excellence.

Other Signature Dishes for Breakfast

One of the signature dishes at El Cardenal is the renowned chilaquiles. This classic Mexican breakfast delight features crispy tortilla chips smothered in a flavorful sauce, typically made from tomatoes, chili peppers, and spices. Topped with tangy cheese, crema, and accompanied by refried beans, chilaquiles at El Cardenal are a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that awaken the taste buds.

El Cardenal Mexico City

For those seeking a heartier breakfast, the machaca con huevo is a must-try. This dish combines tender shredded beef, scrambled eggs, onions, and peppers, creating a savory symphony on the palate. Served with warm tortillas and a side of beans, it offers a satisfying start to the day.

Lunch and Dinner Options at El Cardenal

In addition to its renowned breakfast offerings, El Cardenal Mexico City also delights diners with an array of lunch and dinner options inspired by the diverse culinary traditions found throughout Mexico. Drawing inspiration from regional techniques and dishes, the restaurant presents a menu that showcases the rich tapestry of Mexican cuisine. From the robust flavors of mole poblano to the tangy ceviches of the coast, El Cardenal offers a culinary journey across Mexico’s culinary landscape.

Each dish is crafted with care, using fresh ingredients and traditional cooking methods to ensure an authentic and memorable dining experience. Whether you’re craving a comforting bowl of pozole or eager to try the complex flavors of cochinita pibil, El Cardenal’s lunch and dinner options are a testament to the richness and diversity of Mexican gastronomy.Here are some of the Dishes I’ve tried during lunch in el Cardenal.

The Spicy Shrimp Tacos

One standout dish at El Cardenal Mexico City is the Spicy Shrimp Tacos with guacamole. These tacos are a true delight, offering a burst of flavors and textures that excite the taste buds. The succulent shrimp are perfectly seasoned and cooked with Adobo to perfection, providing a delightful seafood experience. Served with a generous dollop of creamy guacamole, the combination of the tender shrimp, creamy avocado, and the warmth of the tortillas is simply irresistible.

For those who can handle the heat, adding the habanero sauce as a salsa on the tacos takes the experience to another level, providing a fiery kick that amplifies the flavors. The Spicy Shrimp Tacos with guacamole offer a tantalizing journey of taste, highlighting the skillful blend of ingredients and spices that make Mexican cuisine so beloved.

The Famous Beef with Escamoles. Let me explain to you what Escamoles are:

El Cardenal Mexico City

One intriguing dish served at El Cardenal is the Beef with Escamoles, accompanied by guacamole. Escamoles, considered a delicacy in Mexican cuisine, are the edible larvae and pupae of ants. They are often referred to as “insect caviar” due to their unique texture and flavor. The dish features tender beef cooked to perfection, paired with the buttery richness of escamoles.

he combination of the savory beef and the earthy, nutty taste of escamoles creates a remarkable culinary experience. Accompanied by creamy guacamole, the dish achieves a harmonious balance of flavors. The beef and escamoles offer a unique exploration into the diverse and adventurous nature of Mexican gastronomy, showcasing El Cardenal’s commitment to presenting traditional ingredients in a remarkable and delicious way.

Regional Mexican Dish Treasures:

Beyond its celebrated breakfast dishes, El Cardenal also showcases regional specialties from across Mexico. Each location takes pride in offering dishes that represent the culinary diversity of the country. Delve into the smoky flavors of cochinita pibil, a Yucatecan dish featuring slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus and achiote. The tender, flavorful meat is served with pickled onions and warm tortillas, creating a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and savory.

If you’re in the mood for something greasy and Meaty, try the barbacoa. Originating from the state of Hidalgo, this dish consists of succulent, slow-cooked lamb or beef, infused with aromatic spices and wrapped in banana leaves. The tender meat is traditionally enjoyed in tacos or consommé, a rich broth that accompanies the dish.

A Place of Gathering of Locals and Tourists:

El Cardenal’s popularity stems not only from its delectable cuisine but also from its role as a gathering place. Locals and tourists flock to the restaurant, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely breakfast with loved ones or engaging in animated conversations with fellow diners, El Cardenal’s warm ambiance fosters a sense of community and celebration. The bustling sounds of laughter and the clinking of glasses fill the air, creating a convivial atmosphere that adds to the overall dining experience.

As you enjoy each part of your meal, take a moment to appreciate the attention to detail that goes into every dish at El Cardenal. The chefs meticulously prepare each ingredient, ensuring that the flavors are authentic and the presentation is visually appealing. From the vibrant colors of the salsas to the perfectly cooked proteins, every plate is a work of art.

In addition to its culinary delights, El Cardenal is also known for its extensive beverage selection. Pair your breakfast with a cup of rich, aromatic Mexican coffee or indulge in a refreshing glass of freshly squeezed juice. The restaurant also offers a variety of traditional Mexican hot beverages such as champurrado (a thick, chocolate-based drink) and atole (a comforting corn-based beverage flavored with cinnamon or vanilla).

Final Thoughts:

El Cardenal in Mexico City, and specifically El Cardenal San Angel, offers a quintessential Mexican breakfast experience that is truly unparalleled. With its rich culinary legacy, elegant ambiance, and a menu that pays homage to the country’s diverse flavors, El Cardenal continues to captivate food enthusiasts from all walks of life. From the moment you step through its doors, you’ll be greeted with warm hospitality and treated to a memorable dining experience that celebrates the richness and authenticity of Mexican cuisine. So, if you find yourself in Mexico City, make sure to enjoy the ultimate breakfast experience at El Cardenal, where every dish is a celebration of Mexico’s culinary heritage.


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