This article is from the March 2004 The Mexico File newsletter.
Back to Articles List

Restaurante La Cabaña

by Bruce McGovern 

Eating out pleases me only slightly more than visiting tourist places, and I’d rather have my teeth drilled than do that. Sometimes, I have little choice. This Sunday, in Cordoba, the family decided to eat out. They agreed on a place “in the country.” We climbed in the Beetles, and off we went, racing west down the cuota (tollway) which runs from Veracruz towards Mexico City. 

At km. marker 292, we turned off at a dirt parking lot in front of a collection of ramshackle buildings. Nothing looked like a good restaurant to me. 

But, right under the gigantic “Nissan Cordoba” billboard is a little cook shack with a large blue awning in front, and a hand lettered sign, “POLLO ASADO” (oven roasted chicken). 

Behind this little shack is a large, grassy lawn with umbrellas separated by appropriate distances. The lawn is fenced with flowers, decorative plants, and trees. Except for the traffic roar a hundred feet away, we seemed to be in an elegant, country estate. There was playground equipment so the fighting cousins could burn off energy. 

The menu said, Restaurante La Cabaña. We ordered a roast chicken, three large plates of barbacoa of lamb, two pitchers of orange juice, three cans of Coke Light, one plate of beef steak, and I had an order of french fries, Mexican style. The chicken, which cost 50 pesos, came with rice and salad. 

It was a leisurely, happy meal. My cuñado (brother-in-law) sex-harassed the waitress – as usual. We made the customary jokes that Mexicans make when they are having fun in a family setting. My cuñado took his grand-daughters to the snack stand and bought them some candy and junk, thus ruining their appetites and giving them more fighting energy. 

If eating out were always this stress-free, I might learn to like it. 

The entire bill came to 241 pesos, about $25.50US, for six adults and two kids. 

A few hundred meters away are two really flashy restaurants. I asked why we did not eat there, and was told those restaurants charge a lot more, and prepared their food three days in advance.