In the Historical District of Mexico City, stands an old 18th century palace built by the Count del Valle de Orizaba family. Sanborns is a chain of stores and restaurants, but this restaurant is special because of it’s history and beauty. It’s known as the “Casa de los Azulejos,” translated into the “House of Tiles.” Its facade is covered in expensive blue and white tile. It’s debated how the tiled walls came to be. One version is that a widow of the family came back after her husband’s funeral and wanted to show off the family’s wealth by remodeling it. Another version involves a man being fed up with his son’s lifestyle and told his son that he would never amount to anything or have a house of tiles (meaning a proud home). The son would then prove him wrong by covering his estate in tiles. This property was sold many times as a private residence, and then businesses took over. During the Mexican Revolution, the Zapatista army occupied this building. Eventually, Frank and Walter Sanborn wanted to expand their drugstore/soda pop business and bought the mansion. They added a beautiful stained glass roof and murals. The overall style is a mix of baroque and oriental.
The dining room is gorgeous with views of the surrounding landmarks. From the second you sit down, you will see another interesting part of Sanborns, and that’s the china. Notice the design, for it holds a tragic asian love story.
Here is the story…
Now to the drinks and food!
We all had micheladas 🙂 Very refreshing after a day of walking ruins and the historic district.
As far as the food goes, they are known for their famous chicken enchiladas in chile verde, topped with bubbling cheese. The name of this dish translates to “Our Famous Swiss Enchiladas.” They have five other enchilada plates but the name immediately challenges the tourist to find out why they are famous. The sauce is plentiful and it makes you want scoop up as much as you can with every forkful of enchilada. The sauce is surprisingly light and won’t make you feel disgustingly full. If you don’t read español, they have an English menu 🙂 This place is very affordable in contrast with its fancy walls. These enchiladas were 96 pesos, which the exchange rate was about 12 pesos per US dollar, making the plate about $11.
This was a great way to wind down a day of walking to the roof of a cathedral, exploring ruins, and taking a tour of the opera house, “Palace of Beautiful Arts.” We could see some of these famous sights from our window seating.
And then watch the sun set behind it…
Oh, and their store had this little guy….
It’s a cocker spaniel like our dog Guinness!