The Search for Ceviche in Mexico City
El Caguamo (slang for a liter-size beer bottle) is a humble street stall always packed with hipsters and old-timers chowing down on fried fillets, shrimp cocktails, tostadas and, of course, ceviches, which are served in a parfait glass or on a tostada. They can be made of pescado, jaiba, calamar or pulpo, (fish, crab, squid or octopus), with the addition of chopped tomato, chili, onion and cilantro. Ceviche here is marinated in lime juice and white herbal vinegar, then finished off with a little olive oil and a few slices of avocado — a perfect balance of salty, sour and fishy umami.
Colonia Escandón is a solid middle-class neighborhood of single-family homes and small apartment buildings, built in the ’40s and ’50s. Its market has one big attraction, Marisquería Playa Escondida, where foodies make the pilgrimage for a sophisticated array of classic seafood. The young chef concocts a simple ceviche de pescado with strips of fresh snapper artfully seasoned in a strong, lemony vinaigrette. Its closer to the way they do it in Lima, more Peruvian than Mexican. Acerbic and briny, biting and vibrant, it was made muy Mexicano by the lashings of green chilies that gave it heat.