Saturday, April 29, 2017

Another day in Paradise

A few weeks ago our fellow Blogger, Felipe had taken a road trip on his way and through Ucazanastacua, which is halfway on the road to Tzintzuntzan. 

As I have mentioned before we enjoy getting out of the house for short jaunts around the area also especially on nice sunny days which we have in the season now. In another month our rains will arrive, bringing green to all the surrounding hills and mountaintops.
 We sometime find new things, new restaurants and new places see the rich history the area has to offer.

Felipe's story inspired us to take that trip again, and stop for lunch. We usually do these trips on Sunday, since that way we can be assured all  these little restaurants are open and there are other people out enjoying the day off or the family excursion day.

We stumbled on this place

The place is called Tharemuecha restaurant and it is located at the lakeside of Lake Patzcuaro, at the end of a windy crappy little road that shoots off from the main road that circles the mountain.  It is a little ways away from Ucazanastacua, which has a boutique spa and restaurant along with expensive rooms that are usually filled up with guests coming from CDMX for the weekends.
The road around the mountain has about 5 or 6 small little communities some of which probably have no more than 30 inhabitants, other have 3 or 4 dozen homes.  As you stay on the road it will empty you out in the back of Tintuntzan, about 7 or 8 blocks behind the main road that goes through town , the road if you stay on will put you in Quiroga.

Anyway, we stopped at this roadside or I should say lake side restaurant to enjoy a nice lunch which was served quickly along with a not so ice cold beer.  That would be my only complaint that the beer was cold but not enjoyably ice cold like I like.

I ordered the Sopa Tarsco and Chile Relleno while the wife got the Camorones Al Mojo de Ajo.
Both dishes were served with rice and a small salad with pedestrian salad dressing out of a bottle.
While sitting lake side there were 4 or 5 families also enjoying the view, their kids were running around int he adjacent grassy area and no one seemed to be in a rush to leave.  I asked for a colder beer after my first and it looked like they stuck one in the freezer for a few minutes because my 2nd one was much better which I enjoyed much more than the first.  It's usually the other way around most of the time!

Our meal was good, nothing stellar, since we were there for the lakeside experience and not a gourmet dining experience. It was good, tasty and moderately inexpensive.  All in all we would return here and tote along visitors from afar when showing them local dive places. Dive like in drinking joint not the wet kind.

In one of our other trips we had stopped at a restaurant that was perched on the cliff right off the road , again with a great view and basic road style food. There are about 4 or 5 places that one can stop and eat, along with the view on this road.

If you go all the way around the lake on the other side there a few places also, that will be for another posting.

We have lots of little places one can experience if one is adventurous and willing to try something new and out of the way.

We'll talk about our other lake restaurants  one of the next posts.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Not Mayonnaise.

Growing up the only condiments on the table were salt, pepper and occasionally mayonnaise.
Not any mayonnaise, it had to be Best Foods also know as Hellman's east of the Rockies.
Not Kraft, Not Gulden ( yes they did make mayonnaise in the 50's Not Dukes, or even Heinz.

Why, I don't know, but I have always used Best Foods all my life until being in Mexico which now it's McCormick's with lime is my favorite.
I also use to make it myself, couple of eggs, salad oil, salt and pepper and you have the best home made mayo know to man.

But the table condiments made a drastic 180 degree change here in Mexico. It's no longer mayo anymore, although you do see it at my favorite seafood restaurant, but mostly you will see at least 4 or 5 hot pepper  sauces, a bottle of Magi and even some salsa Americana or Worcestershire sauce.

Occasionally you might find a bottle of Tabasco sauce but not usually.  I only see Tabasco sauce is in restaurants that cater to tourists, since they don't have any experience with local sauces like Tapatio or Cholula.  Recently I have started seeing Seracha sauce which is a spicy not hot Asian style sauce.  In face Sriracha is the most popular pepper sauce in the states nowadays.  ( I am told).

Never the less, you can put lots of sauces and stuff on your food here.  The other day at our favorite taco establishment I ordered a half dozen lingua (tongue) tacos while my wife order a couple of tripa and asada tacos.  For 8 pesos each 10 or 12 small tacos make a great meal for us, wash it down with either a ice cold beer or coke light and we have a great dinner.

Presented usually for addition to tacos are cucumber slices, fresh pico de gallo, marinated onions, tomatillo salsa, guacamole salsa, habanero salsa and chopped cabbage.

 And you always have to squeeze a wedge of lime over the whole shebang too.

Additionally many places will have two or three hot pepper salsas, either chile de arbol, chile ancho and chile manzana salsas.

A veritable selection of salsas with various heat, smoke and roasted flavors.

I am also told that these salsas are gaining popularity in the states as accompaniment to many meals not just tacos and burritos etc.  These salsas can make fish meat and salads pop with flavor.  Not all salsas will blow your eyes out of your eye sockets either.  One of my favorites is the chile de arbol, which has some decent heat and still have great flavor.

Oh, I forgot, for some reason Ketchup is popular down here too.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A pleasant surprise!

I don't review restaurants much anymore, but one of our fellow bloggers had mentioned that he had a great meal at this restaurant.  I shy away from doing restaurant reviews after one of them caused the restaurant owner to meltdown and cause concern for my health after what I had written, which I thought was a decent non aggressive and informative review.
I figured it was not worth my well being especially when  the chief/owner believes that he is the creator of the best food on this side of the world.

So now before I write about anything, I consider the ramifications of the possibile outcome especially if the food is mediocre or down right awful.

This thankfully is not the case with this place.

It was a pleasant surprise, especially considering the absence of any half way decent eateries in Patzcuaro.

My last review was over a year ago of one of the places that is supposedly the hangout for many Gringos in the town, which for me was kind of a dud, both in the food and the fact of being horribly overpriced.

We found this place based on the good instructions and parked in front of this commercial looking structure fronted by a lot of glass.  As we stepped up to the door, both doors were opened for us and we were quickly welcomed.  We selected our table and were quickly presented very well photographed menus and asked if wanted some liquid refreshments.

I ordered a nice cold beer which surprising arrived, very cold, exactly the way I enjoy my bewskies.
My wife ordered the pepino agua which was presented to her a few minutes later after hearing the blender whirring in their open kitchen, across the expansive area which is their dance floor.

Her pepino agua fresca  was delicious as was the little appetizer plate which consisted of ceviche along with some tortilla chips.

The menu includes lots of various preparations of basic items.  Items such as Arrichera and Camarones included multiple ways of preparation. The fish selection was Salmon, Huachinango, Dorado which I consider ample this far in the middle of the country.

Chicken dishes as well as children's dishes like hamburgers, spaghetti and hot dogs at prices around 40 pesos completed the menu.

My wife ordered the Brocheta ($155) which had two nice skewers loaded up with camarones, arrachera and chicken with morrones (peppers) and , cebolla.
I had the Fajitas Mixtas ($145) Which arrived with two plates. The first had the sizzling hot arrachera, pollo and camarones with chile morron y chile toreado.  The second plate included a heaping serving of guacamole, re-fried beans, rice and fresh lettuce salad.


 We actually could have made it quite well on sharing one or the other order. We both had enough to take home which provided us with a decent lunch the next day.

 The food was well prepared, fresh and extremely tasty.  The thing that excited me is the price and quality, level or service and stellar experience when compared to the places in Patzcuaro,being a night and day difference.

For half the price we were satisfied overall especially when you compare the place with the popular joint in Patzcuaro. Where the average check for dinner for two, runs in excess of $800 pesos.  This place is a shining star and is not even on the same continent when comparing facilities, quality of food, service and value received.

We were so stuffed that we didn't even consider having any dessert. Their listing for dessert included of course Flan Napolitano for $ 45 pesos and a rare seen item in these parts, Sopaipillas for $35 pesos.

They had one page devoted to Cafes Batidos, with several special Chocolate drink creations. They also had one page devoted to bar drinks and liquors. All reasonably price too.

All in all, this place is a definite return for us, which is not often that we find anything fairly close and reasonably priced. This is not a place we are going to hop in the car for dinner twice a week, but two or three times a month, absolutely!

To find them, they are on the road to Quiroga, as you are approaching Quiroga, you will see a propane gas filling station on the left, ( I think it is Global Gas ) immediately next door to them a little off the road, 15 meters, a two story commercial building with a all glass front . You will see the sign with their name EL ZAUZ.
Being on the outskirts of Quiroga it took us about 20 minutes to get there.
I wonder how hopping the place is on the weekend nights, since they have the dance floor, a nice bar, a mezzanine with seating, and and outside balcony with sliding doors for fresh air.  A DJ area with lots of speakers and video screens completes the experience.  We may venture out there to see the place in action in the evening some time.
If you are on the road and pass or see the big green sine saying QUIROGA, you have gone about a half a kilometer too far.

Thank you Felipe for the heads up on this place!

Being on the outskirts of Quiroga, it took us about 20 minutes to get there, which is not bad considering the quality of the place. I wonder how hopping the place is on the weekend nights since they have a nice dance floor, a mezzanine with outside balcony, nice DJ stand with TV screens around and on the ground floor a nice quaint bar with an exceptional assortment of booze.