The restaurant on the roof of the Hotel Majestic came highly recommended as
it offers a superb view over the Zócalo, the enormous square in the center of
Mexico City. Feeling peckish, we crossed the Zócalo from the Cathedral and tried
to find the entrance to the hotel among the clutter of small jewelry shops that
occupy the street level of the building. Here, a few outdoor tables and chairs
level form the rather unappealing Majestic Café, but this is not where you want
to be -- head for the lobby entered from the side street and ask for the
restaurant. The hotel dates from 1937 and the elevator may well be the original
-- it is driver-operated, but surprisingly quiet, and will swoosh you up to the seventh floor fast.
The restaurant has both an indoor area as well as a large veranda. The indoor
area is slightly more elegant, but all tourists head straight for the veranda,
which is covered by canopies according to the weather. The view is superb -- you
are almost at eye-level with the massive Mexican flag and the view of the cathedral and the Palacio National is inhibited. Some street noise also drifts up, but it''s not intrusive, apart from the police officer using a megaphone to move cars along.
The menu offers typical Mexican dishes -- not Tex-Mex -- as well as more
standard international fare such as pastas and various meat dishes. Most of the
main courses, especially the more international ones, looked a bit expensive and
priced for the foreign tourist market. We were planning on having Mexican food
anyway and the Executive Lunch Set at NM$85 looked like fair value. I had the
soup of the day (cream of cilantro, which fortunately didn’t taste too strongly
of the main ingredient) and slices of beef with onion, while my wife had a green
salad and chicken with mole. The dessert was a rather cheap-tasting ice cream,
although the coffee was surprisingly good and strong.
Service was prompt, friendly and fairly efficient as I came to expect in
Mexico City restaurants. (Decent restaurants here don’t tend to employ part-time staff.) Most of the other patrons were Europeans, which was not surprising
given the location and the early hour -- at 1pm, most self-respecting Mexicans
are still two hours away from lunch.
The food was fair to good, but not so good that I’m planning to eat here
again. I’d be happy to return for the view and would strongly recommend that,
but on such occasion, I would stick to drinks only and eat elsewhere.
(The Majestic Hotel is currently part of the Best Western group. A friend who
stayed here a few years ago said it was OK, the view of the Zócalo set the mood,
but the street noise, especially early in the morning, drove him away forever.)
Av Madero # 73
Tel: 5521 86 00