The Best Breakfasts in Oaxaca – No.1: Fonda Rosita

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Wake up dreaming of your favorite breakfast, which might be – or might become – Green Chilaquiles. You’ll need to walk out to el Mercado de la Merced (Merced Market) on Insurgentes (8 blocks east of the Zocalo) between Morelos and Murguía. It’s a good-sized, wonderful and practical neighborhood market full of every kind of fresh produce, meats, breads, chiles, seeds and spices, flowers, plastic toys, and several fondas (food stalls with tables and benches.)   One of the larger (they’ve taken over 4 stall spaces – a sure sign that business is good) and more popular of which is Fonda Rosita.
Their neon pink t-shirts say: “We’re not the only fonda Rosita, but the best”.You can grab a seat on a bench at the communal table and your host will come over and ask what you’d like to drink – café de olla (coffee brewed in a pot with sugar and sometimes cinnamon), chocolate with milk or water??  After serving those in bowls, with a bowl of fresh sweet bread, he’ll rattle off their breakfast offerings.

On my last visit those included Cheese in Sauce Queso en Salsa (Cheese in Salsa), Enfrijoladas (Tortillas Dipped in Bean Sauce), Entomatadas (Tortillas Dipped in Tomato Sauce), Tasajo, Cecina, any style of eggs you can think up…and Chilaquiles (from the Nahuatl) – broken up bits of (often old) tortilla, fried and covered with either a red or green salsa.  And this is where Fonda Rosita excels:  their tortilla bits are freshly fried, heaped in a clay bowl with Mexican crema (thick, like crème fraiche) cheese, cilantro, raw white onion rings and broiled.  Served while still bubbling.  Best eaten with fresh bolillos (crusty buns) and maybe some black beans.

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• marzo 8, 2013

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