The Quinta Real in Zacatecas, Mexico is a stunning piece of architecture and one of the most unique hotels in the world. It is situated around a 19th-century bullfighting ring. After the final corrida in 1975, the bullring was restored and the hotel was built into its surrounding grandstand.
Zacatecas is the colonial jewel of Mexico. Its winding streets, narrow callejones and amazing architecture are a photographer’s dream (click here for a slideshow). The Quinta Real captures the essence of the city perfectly.
The plan was, after several hours of museums and sight-seeing, to grab a beer and chill a bit. Upon entering the hotel and seeing the location of its restaurant, it became obvious that a couple of hours were necessary to soak it all in.
If there’s one thing to be learned from travel, it’s that there could be something new or interesting around every corner. If you’re a travelling foodhound, you are constantly on the lookout for the unique, traditional, local fare. On my recent journey to Zacatecas I had my first gordita.
Gorditas are Mexico’s version of the pita pocket. A thick tortilla made from masa harina is baked on a flat iron grill, split and filled with a variety of ingredients.
Gorditas Doña Julia is, rumor has it, the best in town.
When I entered the restaurant I explained to the server, in my not-quite-perfect Spanish, that I was unfamiliar with gorditas. He then proceeded, in not-quite-perfect English, to describe all the various guisados (stews) that were on hand. The very first one he pointed to, he said, was “muy picante”. Enough said.