FRESH: Vegan but for all/ ÁNIMO: ¡Ay, caldos! / Havre 77’s Lunch Menu

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Havre is chef Eduardo ‘Lalo’ García’s venue for classic French cuisine. It is set in a pretty turn of the 20th century house in colonia Juarez. The menu is comrised of bistro classics such as frissé aux lardon, confit de canard, steak frites and bouillabaisse, all done textbook perfect as only Lalo can do. The raw bar features the best seafood from Baja California and even France itself.

Now, he is offering a 4 course bar menu during lunch hours – 1-5 p.m. – Tuesday – Friday. At $290 it is a great way to sample the superb fare for those on a budget. C’est magnifique!

Havre 77, Calle Havre 77, Col. Juarez, Tel. 5208 1070
Open Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 11 p.m., Sunday, Monday 1 – 5 p.m.

FRESH – Vegan for all

The spectacular 100-plus year old Art Nouveau apartment building at Chihuahua 78 has lived several incarnations since it was saved from neglect a few years ago. The latest is a branch of the small Canadian chain Fresh, a very good, completely vegan restaurant. The original, in Toronto, began as a juice bar and then quickly expanded to include real food.

The menu, although standardized – it is a small chain after all – includes faux burgers, salads, wraps and even tacos. This is not the usual “health food” everything-good-free kind of abnegating experience, however. Dishes are beautifully presented, utilize local produce and are carefully crafted. The vegetarians will be delighted and the tolerant carnivorous surprisingly satisfied. And the multiply divided space, respectfully re-done is a tranquil haven – modern, but reminiscent of its turn-of-the-century grandeur. Fresh is highly recommended.

Chihuahua 78, Roma
Open Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday, Sunday 9 a.m. -11 p.m.
tel. 55 6385 5081

ÁNIMO: Ay!, caldos…
Ánimo is a great new concept developed by the gregarious norteño chef Antonio de Livier. The affordable lunch spot, not far from the WTC, offers nothing but soups and tacos. But the soup offerings are varied and unusual – ‘birriamen’ is the house special, combining the heartwarming picante of Jalisco birria with filling Japanese ramen. $109 pesos buys a bowl, 3 tacos such as lengua en adobo or hongos con quelites as well as a drink. It’s a bargain.

The spiffy light-wood furnished moderne space centers around a communal table as well as wraparound counters. Service is US cafetería style, i.e. order, grab a tray, pay and sit. Anyone remember SoHo’s legendary Food, of the ’70’s and ’80’s? The chef promises more branches soon, but meanwhile it’s worth the trip to colonia Napoles. ¡Anímate!

Ánimo Calle Pensylvania 205, Napoles; Open Monday-Saturday 1 – 9 p.m. 

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