El Fogoncito - Mexican Food
Mexican food is nearly impossible to find in Beijing. As of August 2007, Taco Bell hadn't opened a single store closer than Shanghai. This made El Fogoncito something of a culinary oasis in Beijing.
Four weeks into my most recent trip to China I was sick of noodles and rice and had a craving for Mexican food. Lucky for me, one of the members of my travel group was a Mexican national, who contacted a friend she knew through the Mexican Embassy, who turned us on to El Fogoncito. The restaurant is part of a chain based in Mexico City, with remarkably authentic food. Tacos, burritos, and even the fajita dish are all lightly seasoned, with various salsas and guacamole available to garnish your dish and spice it up. Tortilla chips are heavier than anything I've sampled in either the U.S. or Mexico, but a welcome change. The guacamole is a bit unusual, consisting of something closer to a sauce, but it's apparently hard to track down avocados anywhere in China. Several Mexican beers and many tequilas are available from the bar.
This video is in Spanish, but shows the inside of the Beijing El Fogoncito:
1-01, Bldg. 19, Wanda Guangchang, 93 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang district (phone: 5820 6551). Open 10am-2pm, 4:30-9:30pm.