Not that you need more options for this, but put Papatzul on the list for your next birthday/bachelorette party/big night out that starts with a mediocre dinner. As far as we can tell, Papatzul is basically where people who love Tortilla Flats graduate to when they get a boyfriend or a job where something is actually expected of them.
We didn't end up at Papatzul because someone we know named Lindsey was turning 27 again, but because a few different people mentioned it to us within the span of a month. Sometimes random coincidences happen like that, and we usually take those coincidences to mean that the universe wants us to eat somewhere. We're also always hoping to find some unexpectedly good Mexican food in this town. Unfortunately that's not what we found here.
Instead, Papatzul seems to be just more middle-of-the road Mexican that pairs acceptably with strong margaritas. It's the kind of place where you have to yell at the person sitting across from you, and should probably order everything the moment you see your server because you might not see him again for a while. There are a few highlights on the menu that are more than serviceable for a big group looking for a fiesta, but otherwise there's little to get excited about here. Unless, that is, you get really excited about paper hats.
Elote de Coyoacan
The ubiquitous Mexican corn that you'll find on menus around the city. This version has way too much of the crema fresca on it. To the point that it sort of tasted like corn covered in mayo covered in Parmesan.
Ensalada de Palmito y Ciruela
A hearts of palm salad that you certainly won't be mad about. This is a good option for the vegetarians in your crew, and there aren't a ton of options for veggies on this menu.
Flautas de Pollo con Salsa Borracha
A decent flauta for sure. We won't tell you that these are the best things in the house, but they're certainly a safe order.
Tacos de Carne Asada con Chile de Arbol
Carne asada tacos that were too dry for our taste. For anyone's taste, really. Pass.
Our favorite thing on the menu at Papatzul. These tacos are filled with a holy triumvirate of skirt steak, chorizo, and chicharron (pork rinds), then topped with pickled jalapeños. Order them. Order many of them.
Tacos de Pescado Estilo Baja
A perfectly appropriate fish taco. Get them grilled as opposed to fried.
Enchiladas Rojas de Pollo Gratinadas
We like our enchiladas good and messy. These were too composed and lacked flavor. Like someone thought too much about them.