My recent four-day trip to Mexico City yielded a wealth of options for this week’s Dose of Vitamin P, including the humorous – an empty lard bucket outside Fonda Margarita imprinted with a pig and the word “paraiso” (paradise) – and the grisly – fresh-cleaved pig heads hanging from hooks in Mercado Merced. Ultimately, I decided to go with the stupendous, a massive chamorro (shank) prepared at the chic Cuauhtémoc cantina known as Bar El Sella. During my visit to Fonda Margarita with Street Gourmet LA founder Bill Esparza, a trio of local women suggested El Sella, an 80-year-old institution named for a town in Spain that was surprisingly refined, featuring a dapper waitstaff and customers sporting their best suits and dresses.
Bar El Sella’s Chamorro is the only menu item listed as an “especialidad” and is available Entero (whole), Deshuesado (boned) and a La Mexicana (with pico de gallo). We went traditional and of course ordered our pork on-the-bone, since that almost always adds an extra dimension of flavor and moisture. The Chamorro (140 pesos ~ $14) was cooked in the oven, bathed in a sauce of garlic, onion and water, which made the meat unspeakably tender, flavorful and crusty at the edges. Pan juices pooled at the bottom of the plate, and as we effortlessly plucked meat from the bone, we ran the meat from through the juices and formed world class tacos using steaming corn tortillas.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.