Don't tell Allah you ate here


When I got to Mexico City all those years ago I was never very enthusiastic about eating a dish called chamorro, a pork shank so huge that when it is finished it looks like a lost dinosaur bone.  But then an advertising executive named Jorge Loaeza invited me to join him at a cantina called Bar El Sella, on Calle Dr. Balmis #210, a stone's throw from Avenida Cuauhtémoc and just a few steps into the Colonia Doctores. El Sella's version of chamorro (pictured above) is braised and steamed and so delicious that I am convinced it would convert any Jew or Muslim who took the trouble to eat it.

Other house specialties are variations of the tortilla española and parsely fried in bacon fat. It is around the corner from the Hospital General, so many of its patrons are doctors in their lab coats on their lunch hour. Last time I was at El Sella, I spied a table full of medical men, sharing a chamorro, a tortilla and a steak. Given their menu choices, I asked them if they were cardiologists. I'm afraid they didn't think I was very funny.