Sunday, November 17, 2019

Breakfast in a Palace

Today we had to go downtown for a morning performance of the Ballet Folklórico in the Palace of Fine Arts.  Alejandro was going to join Gail, Annette and me for the ballet, so we all met for breakfast at a restaurant close to the Palace of Fine Arts.  We ate at Sanborns Restaurant in the historic "Casa de Azulejos"... the House of Tiles.

This colonial palace was built in the late 1700s and was the home of the Counts of the Valley of Orizaba.  Later it was lavishly decorated with blue and white tiles, giving it the name by which it is known today.  In 1918 the building was purchased by two brothers from the U.S., the Sanborns.  They already owned a couple of pharmacies with soda fountains and lunch counters, a novelty in Mexico City.  The House of Tiles became the flagship of their chain.  A glass roof was built over the open courtyard of the mansion.  That space was converted into a dining room, and it became one of the most popular restaurants in the city. There are branches of the pharmacy / gift shop / restaurant throughout the city and nation, but none compare to the beautiful House of Tiles.   The chain was eventually sold to Walgreens, and now it is owned by the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

The courtyard restaurant was already decorated for Christmas with an enormous piñata hanging from the ceiling.

The stairwell has an early mural by the famous painter José Clemente Orozco which was commissioned in 1925 by the Sanborn brothers.


Our breakfasts.

Our waitress was kind enough to take our picture.
In the background you can see a portion of a peacock mural painted by a Romanian painter in 1919.

Most Sanborns Restaurants serve pretty good food, but they certainly do not represent the finest dining in the city.  However there are few places that can match the atmosphere of this colonial palace. 

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