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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lunch at La Capilla Restaurant, Zaachila, Oaxaca...

The menus at La Capilla are printed on oversized wooden planks

Oaxaca is known for it’s great food and with good reason. Molé, tlayudas, tasajo, cecina, quesillo and of course the famous chili de agua are all Oaxacan delights that you will come across if you ever find yourself traveling in this region.

One of the best places to experience the breadth of the Oaxacan gastronomic world first hand is at La Capilla, or in English, The Chapel, a rustic restaurant near the entrance of Zaachila, about 30 minutes from the center of Oaxaca City. I had the pleasure of sharing a meal there recently with some good friends.

The moment you get here, you realize this is not your grandmothers restaurant.

Entering under a bougainvillea archway, you are quickly transported away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into a world of private palapas, banquet tables and the biggest open kitchen you will ever see.

While the service here is impeccable, the food is the real star.

We started with quesadillas, in this case fried tortillas stuffed with quesillo and epazote, a local Oaxacan herb. They came with a delicious black bean puree and a choice of salsa verde from tomatillos, or salsa roja, made from chile de arbol.

Alongside our appetizer, we shared a large pitcher of ice cold jamaica, a light sweet fruit punch made from a hibiscus like flower, la flor de jamaica. It was perfect on a hot day.

Next up was our consume, or soup, I had the chicken while my friends had the lamb. Both were light and wonderful, but perhaps even more so with a little bit of salsa
and lime.

That was followed by a plate of tender beef or tasajo, chorizo, more quesillo, and one of the best chile rellenos I have ever had. Unlike the typically heavy greasy variety you find in so many Mexican restaurants in the US, this delight, made from a dried pasilla chile, was light, fluffy and not greasy at all.

Of course, every part of our meal was accompanied by all the fresh handmade Oaxacan tortillas we could eat, making for a wonderful afternoon.

Unfortunately, many people will never find this wonderful jewel of a restaurant because it is off the beaten path. Don’t be one of them!

A short bus or taxi ride from Oaxaca City, or one of those little moto-taxis from the center of Zaachila will get you right to the door of one of the best restaurants you’ll ever visit. Just like a visit to Oaxaca is not complete without a trip to the ruins of Monte Alban, the same is true with La Capilla.

Ask any Oaxacan and they will tell you food is central to their culture. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn why at La Capilla, one of the true temples of Oaxacan food.

Here's a short video I shot after lunch...

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Comments on "Lunch at La Capilla Restaurant, Zaachila, Oaxaca..."


Anonymous Denny Eitniear said ... (6:16 PM) : 

Next year, I'm coming in early, this sounds awesome !


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