Tag Archive for 'Foodie'

Happy Birthday Mexico!

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence, President Calderon declared Wednesday and Friday to be national

This was the rotunda next to the Cathedral where I was supposed to catch the tour bus, alas the tour was canceled.

holidays (Thursday was already a holiday). Mission Mexico decided to follow suit… so here I am on TDY in Guadalajara and I have the rest of the week off! Pity I already planned my trek to Puerto Vallarta for next weekend, or this would have been the perfect time to go. I’m sure we will pay the price next week when we are slammed with applicants, (we already felt the brunt of the first wave yesterday as some of the appointments were already rescheduled) but in the mean time I’m certainly trying to enjoy the extra time off. I thought I would start the day by going down to the center of town and taking the Tapatio Tour bus which stops at the most popular tourist spots all over Guadalajara and goes to the shopping district of Tlaquepaque. It was a good idea in theory but the roads were all blocked off and most of the museums closed… so no bus. Instead I spent several hours hiking downtown and walking through the various plazas. Since I have a love all things kitchy, I figured the Plaza de los Mariachis would be a good bet. I attempted to navigate by my moon guide map which didn’t seem to have all the streets labeled quite right. Luckily I spotted a

A torta aghogada, and a pretty tasty one I might add!

tourist information booth. Armed with my brightly colored map I headed in the direction of the Mariachis.

On the way I spotted a Torta Ahogada stand. The literal translation is basically drowned sandwich. It is a Jalisco specialty, a pork filled sandwich drowned in spicy tomato sauce. After a quick lunch I continued my walk through downtown Guadalajara towards the plaza. It took me a while to figure out I had made it because once I got there all I saw were people sitting around and a few street sellers hawking

The only mariachis I saw in the Plaza de los Mariachis

t-shirts. The only “musician” I saw was a really drunk guy singing tunelessly into a bullhorn and the only mariachis were the ones painted on a wall and a few statues on a building. Apparently there was a shoot-out in the plaza a few years ago which scared a lot of them off. Maybe they are still there on the weekends, but tragically there was not a mariachi in sight there today. Given that all of the tourist sites were pretty much closed or roped off, I figured I would head back to the Plaza del Sol and do some shopping. I stopped in the local Starbucks on the way back because I was in need of caffeine, I also remembered that my friend in Nuevo Laredo said she has been hanging out in Starbucks as a part of her plan to make friends. Since I had been trekking around alone all I day, I figured chilling out in Starbucks in the hopes of having a conversation couldn’t hurt either. Jackpot! The barrista came over and struck up a conversation with me after a few minutes, asking me where I am from (I guess my thick accent gives me away pretty quickly). I have found that telling people even though I am from the DC area, that I live in Juarez is a sure fire conversation starter. All in all, a very successful tourist outing despite the number of closures. I managed to see a pretty good section of the downtown area and had a lovely chat in Spanish. He claimed that my spanish was very good, how kindly he lied. I shall have to remember the Starbucks tip in the future, something about coffee seems to make people social. Being here has certainly been a good opportunity to practice my Spanish. Tomorrow hopefully I’ll be off to Tequila or Tlaquepaque depending on the road closures.

Adventures in Juarez Dining

I’d like to say I used the unexpected day off to something wildly interesting but the honest truth is I ran errands and did housework. I think I entertained my community guard though. I have a tiny patch of grass in front of my house that is too tiny to use the lawn mower on. So I hauled out the weed whacker to deal with it. The day guard never sees me so I swear he hoped on his bicycle and started circling the street (which takes 30 seconds since it is a tiny street) just for the sheer entertainment of watching me trying to cut the grass without chopping down my bouganvilla shrub.  I lost a good solid branch in the struggle but now I can get into my garage without driving through branches and the grass is no longer taking over my driveway, so I declare win.

After my early morning gardening, this being Juarez and being so close to the border, we wound up trekking across the border to the U.S. for shopping. So there you have it, probably the most adventurous part of the day was when we went out for Sushi in Juarez. It was certainly like no sushi I had ever seen. I had a banana roll which was actually pretty delicious and a “Texano roll.” You could tell it was Mexican sushi because like most things in Mexico they chucked the whole thing in the deep fryer before serving it. I suppose I should be pleased since it probably isn’t a good idea to eat raw fish this far from the ocean… but really? Deep fried and breaded sushi? Don’t get me wrong it was actually pretty good if you adjust your idea of what sushi is, I just cringe to think what anyone from Japan would say if they saw this bastardized version of one of their signature dishes.