Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beverage graphics in Mexico are some of the best!

Mexico has some of the best graphics when it comes to their beverages.
Walking around the market in Oaxaca and I came upon such a nice lady that was more than happy to pose for me.  I could not have choreographed this any better if I had tried.  The colors in her outfit with the turquoise enamel pot were just so colorful against the Coca-Cola graphic behind her.  When I returned the next year with one of my groups, I brought her a copy of this photo and she was so excited to receive it.
Driving back into San Cristobal de Las Casa from visiting the small villages of Zinacantan and San Juan Chamula up in the highlands, I shot this as I was at the wheel passing by.  

 These are tiles making up the Coca-Cola sign in the Guadalupe area in San Miguel de Allende.
When traveling around Chiapas with my friend Esther in 2016, we were driving from San Cristobal de Las Casas to Palenque.  We stopped at a comedor for a bite to eat and there were 4 big Corona trucks in the parking lot.  I am sure these drivers thought, what are these gringas doing in the middle of no where eating at this roadside comedor.  They were very polite and we all wished each other, "buen provecho".
After leaving San Cristobal de Las Casas on our way to Palanque, we stopped to take some photos of the countryside and a gorgeous waterfall.  This Coca-Cola graphic was painted on the side of a little road side stall.  Has a bit of Andy Warhol to it.
Indio cerveza, a crisp amber lager that I had at a restaurant on the main plaza in Guanajuato.  Made by Bohemia, it's a very refreshing beer on a hot day.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

A few changes over time in San Miguel de Allende

Remember when.....  I shot this photo of Plaza Civica with the Salud Church and the Oratorio Church in the background in San Miguel in the mid 1990's.  A lot of changes can be seen around town but you really don't realize it until you look at some old photos. 
The landscaping around Allende's sculpture has been enhanced along with new stone pavers on the plaza.  The trees have matured and are beautifully trimmed.  The lights have become more elaborate.  And the white facades of the buildings have taken on some color.  Even the bell tower of the Oratorio Church has been painted in some colorful tones.
It's subtle changes though.  Ole San Miguel will never lose its colonial charm.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My special birthday lunch at Gombos in San Miguel de Allende

We had left the house in Denver around 3:30 in the morning and really had not eaten much of anything all day.  We arrived into San Miguel de Allende around 4:00 in the afternoon and we immediately headed down to Gombos on Calle Hidalgo No. 34 (formerly known as Casa Blanca) for a margarita and some nachos.  I asked Louis if there were squash blossoms in the market and he said SI!   They are my all time favorite seasonal food in Mexico.  I asked if Maricela (his sister and chef) and I could make them one day.   Lucky for me, we scheduled it for noon on my birthday, July 4th, at the other Gombos in Colonial Guadalupe (Calle Tata nacho No. 2).
With my Gombos apron on, Maricella and her other brother, Pablo started to get to work.  We had over thirty squash blossoms which were rinsed off, the pistil taken out of the center and then stuffed with goat cheese.
In the mean time, I had Pablo roast some tomatoes, a serrano pepper and a few cloves of garlic.  He then pureed all of the vegetables in a blender along with some cilantro and salt to taste.
Next step was to mix up the beer batter (beer, salt, flour and a pinch of cayenne).
Once the vegetable oil had come up to boil, around 350', we dredged each squash blossom into the beer batter and carefully set them in the hot oil.  Then fried them until golden brown and drained them on some paper towels.
In the mean time, Len was in the restaurant reading his book, enjoying a Negro Modelo and eagerly waiting for the squash blossoms to be ready.
With Maricela's other brother, Miguel, we sat down to a wonderful meal of squash blossoms with a roasted salsa and a cold beer.  Life is good and what a treat on my birthday.  And I now have my own Gombos t-shirt.  Does that mean I am part of the team?
 The day before I left San Miguel, I went to Gombos on Calle Hidalgo 34, for my last comida (lunch) and Maricela surprised me with a huge plate of squash blossoms.  I was in heaven.
This was taken at Christmas time in 2003, 14 1/2 years ago!  What a great family, great friends, not to mention a great restaurant.

For more on my dining experiences at Gombos, go to my post dated July 14, 2010.  The menu and great food is the same, just the name changed from Casa Blance to Gombos.

For more on my Squash Blossoms, go to my post dated August 2, 2010.

Buen Provecho!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Restorante Italiano D' Yoalli outside of San Miguel de Allende

One of my all time favorite places to dine when I am in San Miguel de Allende is at the Restorante Itlaiano D' Yoalli just outside of town.  Len and I were celebrating my birthday, well actually I had been celebrating all week.  The margaritas are some of the best in town.
The setting is beautiful and the landscaping has really matured.
This particular day, we had the whole patio to ourselves with the view of the campo (countryside).  Every time I am here, I spot one bird that has the brightest red chest.  No, it is not a Robin.
Today we started with freshly made spinach ravioli in a butter Gorgonzola sauce.  Delicious as always.  Other days we opt for the squash blossom raviolis.  And the pastas are all hand made and so good.  The week before I could not decide what to have as our starter.  The calamari salad is one of my favorites but this time we had the beef carpaccio that was also excellent.
For our entree we had the veal served with a little butter and sage sauce that just melted in your mouth it was so tender.   Other entrees that I also like to order is the fresh fish, quail and lamb. 
We finished off the meal with a glass of black sambuca.  Another great birthday meal!
Another component that makes dining here so special are the two waiters, Jorge and Juan Manuel.  As we were leaving,  I had them all sing La Cucaracha.  The Three Tenors!  Len was doing a great job belting out the song but I love the way Jorge is looking at Len and Juan Manuel was just laughing at the whole ordeal.   When ever I call for a reservation, their voice always light up when they hear it is me calling.  They certainly treat me like royalty.  It's also one of my favorite places to bring my groups when I do my San Miguel de Allende tour.

Buen Provecho!

Ristorante Italiano D'Yoalli
Open Thursday - Sunday
Carr. San Miguel de Allende - Atotonilco Km. 7.4
(415) 185-2317