The drink is an agua fresca made from small, ripe strawberries, while my platillo is albondingas (meatballs) in a spicy tomato/vegetable sauce with frijoles de olla and rice. Not show is Erin's pollo in mole Colorado, which consisted of a small leg and part of a thigh in rich sauce with the same side dishes.
Everything about this kind of food is so far removed from what passes for Mexican food in the U.S. For starters there's the just-right portion size - though it'd seem shockingly skimpy to anyone used to N.O.B. Tex-Mex. Then there's the matter of flavor (far spicier); freshness (nothing canned - and in this case everything on the plate came from within the market we ate at) and last not least fat content: no chips, no guacamole, a dusting of queso fresco vs. mounds of gloppy faux cheddar and Monterey Jack back home.
It's all too easy to get used to. Total price today for the two of us including the drinks and tip: 100 pesos ($7.50).