Los Huamuches Oaxaca Restaurant Review; En Route to Ocotlán

Los Huamuches Vegetable Plate; Safe Oaxacan Fare Credit: Starkman

Los Huamuches Vegetable Plate; Safe Oaxacan Fare Credit: Starkman

Los Huamuches Oaxaca restaurant serves only traditional, Oaxacan food, in a rustic setting. It’s the polar opposite of nearby restaurant, Azucena Zapoteca.

Two Oaxaca restaurants, physically less than a mile apart en route to the Friday market town of Ocotlán; equally good food, yet vastly different ambiance and fare. Azucena Zapoteca, with its unique, signature dishes, is the smartly decorated restaurant owned by the family of well – known Oaxacan folk artists Jacobo Angeles and María Mendoza. It’s at the entrance to San Martin Tilcajete of alebrije fame. Azucena Zapoteca caters to predominantly tourists, their drivers and guides. Hence, its contemporary styling. But continue driving a minute further down the highway, and on the left hand side before the entrance to the cotton textile village of Santo Tomás Jalieza you’ll encounter Los Huamuches Oaxacan restaurant.

Los Huamuches is an extremely traditional Oaxacan restaurant, as down home as they get. It’s equally deserving of accolades as Azucena Zapoteca, but for different reasons. Los Huamuches caters to an almost exclusively locale cliente, either residents of nearby towns and villages, or patrons en route from Oaxaca to Ocotlán or further beyond. It’s food, accordingly, is geared to the tastes of Oaxacans; there are no surprises, and no airs.

Atmosphere at Los Huamuches: Rural Oaxacan Restaurant With All the Mexican Trimmings
Live Music at Los Huamuches  Restaurant Credit: Starkman

Live Music at Los Huamuches Restaurant Credit: Starkman

Los Huamuches is a sprawling rural Oaxacan restaurant, with minimal decor, smacking of Northern Mexico ranchero: brightly painted wooden chairs, long tables covered with sheets of plastic conducive to communal – style dining, and cut – out plastic hanging banners proudly boasting the colors of the Mexican flag. Of course there are a few vintage spoked wooden wagon wheels leaning up against the bamboo – like river reed walls. Add a couple of guitar – strumming musicians to provide the entertainment, and you have a down – home eatery akin to what Clint Eastwood might have moseyed on over to in the 1960s.

Service is swift, and cordial even towards those with minimal Spanish language skills. There seems to always be more waiters than necessary milling about at a pace uncharacteristic of southern Mexico.

Typical Drinks & Snacks at Los Huamuches Oaxacan Restaurant: Peanuts, Mezcal, Beer & Soft Drinks
Gringas Amongst  Restaurant  Regulars Credit:  Starkman

Gringas Amongst Restaurant Regulars Credit: Starkman

As is customary in Oaxaca, drink orders arrive quickly. The house mezcal is one of the best and smoothest one will encounter in all Oaxaca. The other alcoholic beverage on hand is, of course, beer. Tradition often dictates chasing mezcal with beer. Soft drinks are also available. Shelled peanuts, seasoned with chili and garlic are served with drinks, again a Oaxacan tradition.

Food at Los Huamuches Oaxacan Restaurat: Small Selection, But Every Dish Tastes of Oaxaca

The limited selection of menu items assures that dishes arrive fast and fresh. On weekends there is usually barbacoa of goat or sheep. Barbacoa is not BBQ as most Canadians and Americans know it. Rather than grilled on a charcoal or gas barbeque, the meat is baked in a ritualistic in – ground, air – tight oven. If you haven’t had Oaxacan barbacoa, at least someone in your party should order it, with baked blood and all.

Aside from rotating daily specials, the menu is as one might expect at any roadside eatery in Oaxaca. There is generally at least one soup (usually sopa de guias), appetizers such as quesadillas and memelitas, and main courses consisting invariably of meat cooked over an open grill: tasajo (thinly sliced beef), cecina (thinly sliced pork with a dusting of chile), and chorizo (Mexican sausage). Restaurant meals are accompanied by rice and / or beans, unless Oaxacan tradition dictates otherwise. Specials sometimes available include ribs, fajitas, and stuffed chillies.

A complimentary plate of mixed fresh and grilled vegetables comes with each party’s order. A typical selection is radishes, avocado and lime slices, lettuce, cucumber, onion, grilled chile de agua, and traditional Oaxacan edible aromatic herbs.

Which Oaxacan Restaurant to Choose: Los Huamuches or Azucena Zapoteca

As suggested, Azucena Zapoteca has its own attracting attributes. Its unique creations distinguish it from many restaurants even in the city of Oaxaca. It’s a more relaxing dining experience than provided by Los Huamuches. But Los Huamuches is traditional to the extreme, and affords one an opportunity to eat as Oaxacans eat – and without concern that gastrointestinal afflictions may later arise. Food is fresh, tasty, and yes, safe.

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