November 9, 2004
The romantic dining areas take up much of the hotel's first floor. You can opt to eat in the lovely courtyard, decorated with religious painting and lit by candles, or in one of two cosy rooms off the bar. They are decorated with antique furniture and Talavera pottery and festooned with colorful streamers of papel picado -- tissue paper with lacy cutout designs.
The restaurant's chef, Alonzo, turns out delicious, subtly spiced dishes that are unlike any Mexican food available in the US. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is open from 8am to 11pm. The breakfast menu includes traditional Mexican favorites such as chocolate caliente, enchiladas, chilaquiles (corn tortilla chips and shredded chicken in either red or green sauce, garnished with onion, fresh cheese, avocado, and creme fraiche), and molletes naturales (refried black beans with fresh cheese and crusty rolls). You can also have American dishes, like pancakes and waffles or scrambled eggs with ham.
For lunch or dinner, the menu's standouts include perejil frito, an appetizer of crispy, deep-fried parsley garnishing bacon and shrimp, served with a chipotle cream cheese -- it's really delicious and one of the chef's family recipes. If you like soup, be sure to try the sopa sacristia, a brothy soup with chiles, chicken, tortilla strips, and avocado, served with cubes of fresh cheese (not unlike Indian paneer) and crispy, fried pork rinds (chicharrones) for garnish. Also don't miss the Carne Franciscana, tender marinated skirt steak garnished with rajas (grilled poblano peppers and onions) and fresh guacamole, traditional Pueblan pipian verde, an herb sauce that's thickened with toasted pumpkin seeds and served over poached chicken breast, or Alonzo's own Cazuela Poblana, a dish of flank steak cooked in red sauce with black beans and cilantro.
If you have a sweet tooth like me, try the crepas de cajeta for dessert -- crepes covered in goat's milk caramel and served with vanilla ice cream. You can also opt for a plate of sweets that are Pueblan specialties, including the famous camotes -- fruit-flavored candies that are made with sweet potato. The restaurant also has a full bar (the Sacristia cocktail is particularly tasty) and good espresso and cappuccino.
The service is excellent -- attentive without being intrusive -- and the food so universally great that, though we tried several other area restaurants, Sacristia was our hands-down favorite. Also, the restaurants at Mesones Sacristia de la Compania and its sister hotel are two of the few in Puebla to have obtained a special certification for cleanliness. Having cooked with Alonzo, I can attest to the rigorous standards there. All water and ice is purified -- in short, if you're worried about eating and drinking in Mexico, don't worry about it here -- I felt safer than I do eating in many restaurants in the US.
From journal Puebla, un ciudad muy linda.