Hail Mexico, Full of Grace

Virgin mary with fish and seal

Hail Mexico, full of grace. Even though I’ve spent many years in this country, all told, I’m still in awe of the Mexico’s grace: the magic of small moments, the smile that redeems a weary journey; the stroke of strange luck that saves the day. Take today, for instance. I am homeward bound to Oregon, leaving the beach, leaving Mexico, which always makes me heartsick. We arrived in Melaque this morning to discover that (for some odd and no doubt […]

Read more »

More on the Hidden Perks of the Mexican Bus System

I found myself alone around noon on a 1st class bus just north of Mazatlan. I watched with curiosity as the “ayudante,” the driver’s helper, worked his way back to my seat midway down the length of the vehicle. “¿You speak Spanish?” I replied to the affirmative. “¿Do you like pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense?” Yes of course I love charcoal grilled chicken. Why the questions, I wondered? “Si!” Me gusta pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense.” Without another word the […]

Read more »

Chiles of Mexico: Chiltepín

Pickled and dried chiltepín at roadside restaurant.

“Rich, what’s a burro?” “I don’t know. Maybe a large burrito?” We decide to test our powers of deduction and stop at a comedor by the side of the winding road between Hermosillo and Agua Prieta. This will be our “last supper” in Mexico, and I want something special. I have a good feeling about this place: bright cardboard signs tacked to the hut-like exterior advertise burros, queso fresco, jerky, and salsa chiltepín . I don’t know what salsa chiltepín  is, […]

Read more »

Road Notes: Puerto Angel to Melaque

An '87 Dodge Van in Mexico with palm trees.

If you happen to stop in at Playa Banco de Oro, stop in at Restaurante Hermanos Galinda. The proprieter, Carmen, is super nice and makes a mean fried huachinango. Plus you can camp at her restaurant. Miss Lousiane hangs out at Restaurante Hermanos Galinda Fish for breakfast!                                                     photo by Gina Dilello Restaurante Hermanos Galinda                                               photo by Gina Dilello A massive renovation of Highway 200 seems to be underway. Entire sections are being created, and some are already drivable. We were […]

Read more »

Road Food Round-Up: Barbacoa and the Search for Taco Greatness

A man cuts meat at a Mexico City taqueria.

                                                  “Barbacoa Don Cuco” The white rabbit blinks pink eyes and settles deeper into its nest of foil-wrapped lollipops. No, this isn’t a department store Easter display–it’s just another day at a roadside barbacoa restaurant on the highway between San Miguel de Allende and Queretero. Barbacoa Don Cuco is an airy room furnished with Mexico’s ubiquitous white plastic chairs and tables, a large horno, a sturdy wooden slab where a teenage boy dices meat with a cleaver and an old […]

Read more »

Goat Tacos!

A plate of goat birria

Finding a good eatery is a fine art, best practiced when you’re not in a state of hysterical starvation, but instead only pestered by a mild hunger that still allows for careful evaluation. In one such mood, we discovered “El Amigo Pastarano”, probably the fiftieth barbacoa de chivo joint we passed on one five mile stretch of Highway 200, in southern Guerrero. “This is the one!” I said, noting the banner that advertized homemade tortillas, free consome, and, of course, […]

Read more »

Mercado 20 de Noviembre!

Woman at food booth in Oaxaca food market in downtown Oaxaca, Mexico.

“I know there’s a market in Oaxaca that has a ton of food stalls,” I said disconsolately. We’d traversed the cavernous  Mercado Juarez in search of fondas, and we were still hungry. “I remember it being right downtown too…” I said, eying a couple of nearby booths. Was it possible that I had missed an aisle? “Let’s just go find a taqueria,” Rich said hastily, no doubt anticipating another interminable death march as I scoured the market for food. Unfortunately, […]

Read more »

Road Notes–State of Puebla

aVolcano Popocatépetl in Puebla

view of smoking volcano from Balneario “Los Cactus“ The toll road from Ixtapaluca to Puebla (150-D) costs 130 pesos. The cuoata, which is in great shape, passes through beautiful pine-covered mountains. We saw a couple of camping areas that looked nice, but wanted to press on a little further. We’d just spent several days in Mexico City and didn’t feel like another big city, so we bypassed Puebla in search of something more tranquilo.  We were in luck. Highway 190 […]

Read more »

Road Food: Torta Round-Up

A good torta is a thing of beauty. And in Mexico, a good torta is not hard to find. Any self-respecting Mexican city boasts hundreds of torta shops: from the steaming fondas of the mercado to the tiny tiled diner tucked between the behemoths of the business district. Each of these establishments has its own tricks, but seldom do you see drastic variations. You have your torta de pierna, your torta de milanesa, your torta de jamon, your torta cubana, […]

Read more »

Road Food: Burrito Round-Up

Desert ridge in Chihuahua Desert.

As I’ve mentioned, burritos are not exactly synonymous with Mexican food in my world. That said, Chihuahua is burrito country and I’ve resolved to eat as many as possible as we cross the state’s vast and thorny expanse. Burrito #1-“RR” Restaurant and Hotel, Jamas, Chihuahua The classic Chihauhau burrito is long, narrow, loosely rolled, open at both ends, and served without a fork. This fifteen peso ($1.20) chicken burrito filled the bill and was especially satisfying because we were cold […]

Read more »