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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2015
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Originally Posted by PlayadelSolDos View Post
I have said for years that el Fogon, while OK, is way overrated.

As someone who lives here, I strongly agree with this sentiment.


However... For someone who is only here for a week, or only has a meal or two out, I still highly recommend El Fogon.


I've tried many places with similar food here. El Fogon (and Don Sirloin) has the best staff (as far as knowing how to deal with tourists), well located (far enough away to feel like you're getting away from 5th, but still close enough to "feel safe"), prompt service, clean, and their prices are good when compared to 5th Ave. Also, high volume restaurants have the added benefit of fresher food on average. The problem with many of the "real local places" I go to is that they are inconsistent.


Example- I love the tacos across the street from Centro Maya and think they are much better than El Fogon, but the same restaurant space actually houses two different businesses/kitchens with different menus, and often times the good one (or both) is inexplicably closed. They also run out of some of the menu items sometimes. Also, when the main cook isn't there, the quality takes a hit. Sometimes I get tacos there in 5 minutes, other times half an hour. Seating is limited, so a group of 4 or more may not always get a place. So while I choose this place 9/10 times over El Fogon, I still recommend El Fogon to most tourists, unless they are very flexible with time and transport. If someone goes there and it happens to be closed, the only other option is to cross roads in a non-pedestrian friendly area, pay for another taxi, or the Centro Maya Food Court (which actually has some decent options!). If El Fogon (the one across from Mega) has a long line, you simply go to El Juardo (better IMO) or Don Sirloin.


Another example: Probably the best tacos I've had in Playa which rivaled those from Mexico City, were some I had in or near Plaza Papagayos (I think that's the name, it's between 40th and 45th I believe) on Juarez. However, as I started going there more often, it turns out that more often than not the tacos were below average, though sometimes excellent. So do I recommend them to tourists?

Last edited by DrewJones; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:57 AM..
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewJones View Post
As someone who lives here, I strongly agree with this sentiment.


However... For someone who is only here for a week, or only has a meal or two out, I still highly recommend El Fogon.


I've tried many places with similar food here. El Fogon (and Don Sirloin) has the best staff (as far as knowing how to deal with tourists), well located (far enough away to feel like you're getting away from 5th, but still close enough to "feel safe"), prompt service, clean, and their prices are good when compared to 5th Ave. Also, high volume restaurants have the added benefit of fresher food on average. The problem with many of the "real local places" I go to is that they are inconsistent.


Example- I love the tacos across the street from Centro Maya and think they are much better than El Fogon, but the same restaurant space actually houses two different businesses/kitchens with different menus, and often times the good one (or both) is inexplicably closed. They also run out of some of the menu items sometimes. Also, when the main cook isn't there, the quality takes a hit. Sometimes I get tacos there in 5 minutes, other times half an hour. Seating is limited, so a group of 4 or more may not always get a place. So while I choose this place 9/10 times over El Fogon, I still recommend El Fogon to most tourists, unless they are very flexible with time and transport. If someone goes there and it happens to be closed, the only other option is to cross roads in a non-pedestrian friendly area, pay for another taxi, or the Centro Maya Food Court (which actually has some decent options!). If El Fogon (the one across from Mega) has a long line, you simply go to El Juardo (better IMO) or Don Sirloin.


Another example: Probably the best tacos I've had in Playa which rivaled those from Mexico City, were some I had in or near Plaza Papagayos (I think that's the name, it's between 40th and 45th I believe) on Juarez. However, as I started going there more often, it turns out that more often than not the tacos were below average, though sometimes excellent. So do I recommend them to tourists?
There is a taco stand next to Oxxo (in front of Mom's) that has some really good chicken and arrachera tacos. When they keep their "fixins bar" stocked, they are even better. About 15 pesos each, but well worth it. The stand next to the bus stop at WalMart (the stand actually has a sign "Veracruz........") has some really good empanadas, gorditas y salbutes. The papas and chorizo empanadas rock. Good salsas too.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewJones View Post
...I've tried many places with similar food here. El Fogon (and Don Sirloin) has the best staff (as far as knowing how to deal with tourists), well located (far enough away to feel like you're getting away from 5th, but still close enough to "feel safe"), prompt service, clean, and their prices are good when compared to 5th Ave. Also, high volume restaurants have the added benefit of fresher food on average. The problem with many of the "real local places" I go to is that they are inconsistent.
The above paragraph is well put, right on the money, and the key to El Fogon's success. The service and quality control are essentially identical among the three locations, no mean feat in the restaurant business.

Not likely to find El Fogon closed unless you want breakfast between 7 AM and 1 PM - the one on 30th and 6 bis is open from 1 PM to 7AM; the one across from Mega is open from 1 PM to 5 AM; and the one on 30th and Calle 32 opens at 5 PM (but I don't know when it closes - at least 3 AM, probably later - I've come out of club La Selva, directly behind this branch of El Fogon, at 3 AM and Fogon is still up and running - likely subject to seasonal change, though).

Last edited by beam-eye; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:31 PM..
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19 (permalink)
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There's a couple place I like to go for Empanadas Juarez and 25th there's a hut on the corner that does great cheap eats. Also 3 sur bis and 45th on the corner they have good empanadas as well. My wife loves their tostadas.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by beam-eye View Post
Not likely to find El Fogon closed unless you want breakfast between 7 AM and 1 PM - the one on 30th and 6 bis is open from 1 PM to 7AM; the one across from Mega is open from 1 PM to 5 AM; and the one on 30th and Calle 32 opens at 5 PM (but I don't know when it closes - at least 3 AM, probably later - I've come out of club La Selva, directly behind this branch of El Fogon, at 3 AM and Fogon is still up and running - likely subject to seasonal change, though).
The detail in your post isn't surprising, except for the where to eat at 3 AM I've mistaken you for someone who is not out and about at 3AM. I'm envious - I cannot do that anymore! 3 AM is
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #21 (permalink)
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El fogon is surprisingly busy @ 3am a few years ago we flew in on Good Friday. We got to our hotel dropped off our bags and walked over to El fogon we got the last table in the place it was full of resort workers (still in uniform) having a taco.
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