Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ok, I'll get some fast food.

Fast food for us is waiting for about a minute and a half while Luis puts together a taco.  Options are tacos, tortas or if you go down the block or so, you can get a dried out hamburger.
I usually opt for the tacos because they are tastier and healthier as far as eat and run, or rather walk and eat food goes.

While the wife is gone, having sit down meals at the house are really not a big priority.  For breakfast I usually will toss a muffin into the toaster, one half with butter and salt, the other half with some great Mexican cheese.
While it melts, I'll make a cup of coffee, grab the hand full of medications I need to jam down the gullet, timing the larger pills with the synchronization of chewing so the large pills go down without choking.
If I get hungry for lunch, it off to finding the fast food stand that appeals to the appetite for that minute. Lots of times by the time I get there, I decide that I want something else and wind up going to my favorite seafood joint for a shrimp cocktail.
I like my seafood  joint because I can park right in front and keep an eye out for the doggies in the car.
I am sure that a shrimp cocktail is a healthier option than either tacos or burgers.
 I love burgers, but unfortunately I can count on one hand burgers that have been acceptable here in Mexico.
One of the best ones I have ever had was at a food truck, right next or past a caseta on the road to Guadalajara.
The problem with most burger cooks is they over cook the meat to the point where there is no taste or flavor and it is cooked to the point of being one more mode, past well done. The other thing the kills me and makes me want to scream is when they toss the meat on the flattop or whatever they happen to cook it on , and then proceed to use their spatula and keep pressing the patty over and over again pushing any last milligram of flavorful grease and moisture out of the patty.

We did have one of the best burgers in Mexico a few weeks ago. This food truck had a wood fired grill, yep in a food truck, that didn't over cook the patty. I'll try and find the photo I took there a few weeks ago on our trip to take my wife to the airport.

Anyway, there was one burger joint  in Patzcuaro that was decent but sadly for some reason they changed the cook or meat composition which left me less than happy my last visit.  Most burger stands buy there meat already in patties already frozen, Costco style.

For those of you who have never had a typical Mexican burger, more is better is the normal philosophy of Mexican burger joints, where my idea is less is better, as long as you use good meat.

My ideal burger that I make at home is chopped short rib meat, that I chop up in the Cuisinart, not overwork the meat, don't press the crap out of it when you put it to cook, turn it as soon as you see a little moisture come out of the top, turn it and finish it off with a piece of cheese. ( salt it sufficiently also)
Lettuce, tomato, red onion, maybe a little pickle or relish, mayo on the bottom, ketchup and mustard on the top and that's it.

The typical burger in Mexico , is  the bun, some mayo ( usually way too much ) then a smidgen of lettuce, then the dried out piece of meat, with cheese on top, then a slice or two of pressed ham, topped with a tasteless hot dog cut in half, topped with a few jalapenos, a tomato then ketchup and maybe a slice or two of tasteless bacon, then topped with the top of the bun saturated with ketchup.

For my tastes that is just a little too much. But based on the amount of people that are in line at the stand, that tower of excess is very popular.

That burger usually is around 35 or 40 pesos on the average.

While a taco is 7 or 8 pesos, usually requiring about 5 or 6 to make a filling meal.

SO, is it taco or burger? The price is about the same.

Or, maybe it will be a medium shrimp cocktail with all the fixings for about 65 pesos.

Too bad there isn't a nice place close by that has a massive salad bar, I like those but the only one I know if is at the Sirloin Stockade, but having lunch there is really expensive.


Saturday, January 07, 2017

I don't want to cook tonight!

My wife is visiting family in Honduras so I am fending for myself.
 I get into a rut of cooking or rather making do, because cooking for one is too much of a hassle.  I enjoy cooking as  long as it's for someone which includes the planning, shopping and execution.

Going out to eat is also a hassle too. It would be different if we lived in the middle of town, walking distance to restaurants or food carts, taco stands etc.

The taco stand that we frequent is actually way out of town right in front of Don Chuchos store.  Yes there are closer food choices but when you find a favorite one you kind of stick to it.  We've tried a few other places which are closer to the house but have not found anything we really like.

Anyway, that brought me to think of other options like delivery.

There are lots of pizza joints around town, but because of were we are, by the time it would arrive it would be cold or like other delivery pizzas, when you finally open the box you see that half the pizza has slid over to one side of the box, exposing half a bare pizza , not a great dining experience.

I guess we could try and order something from a restaurant and have it delivered via taxi , but it's really not worth it, when you figure that I am sure that they are not set up for delivery like places in the states are.

That triggered a memory almost as good as Sherman's way back machine.

When I was working for a few radio stations in the city, back in the 60's I always had a late evening shift, starting at around 9 PM, running sometimes all night.

So, what does one do when you want to eat in the middle of the night?  Simple, you call Chicken Delight!

What's Chicken Delight?

It's a defunct chicken dinner delivery business that was very prosperous in the 60's. They had over a 1000 franchises in the US, at that time even more than KFC.
San Francisco had about a dozen of them, you could call them and have a delicious chicken meal delivered to you in about 15 minutes for a couple of bucks.
If you didn't like chicken you could also have either ribs, shrimp or fish sticks also. This was presented in a sectioned paper plate, which included french fries. They would also deliver soda pop or other beverages.

Other people at the radio station also enjoyed this service as evidenced of overflowing garbage cans of used paper plates and fried chicken scent permeated in the room.

When you are hungry at 1 or 2 AM, there is not much choice for food selection, let alone food delivery.  Couple of other staff ( not me)  would sometimes ask if there were any listeners close by that could bring by some food or a sandwich and quite often, we would walk into the studio to be greeted with a display of food delivered by some local restaurant for the employees to enjoy.

 This was generally brought about by having the jocks mention how good the food was and which restaurant was so generous to bring some food by for the starving staff.

( This was generally frowned upon by management because of this type of free advertising.)

I would love to be able to call Chicken Delight tonight and get a  $ 1.39 chicken dinner delivered.
  Based on inflation, that $1.39 dinner would probably be around $11.18 according to the inflation calculator.

My other option is to go get 6 tacos which average about 6-8 pesos each , 36 pesos would be about $1.75 -$2.00, about 2 dollars worth of gas, so still cheaper to eat in Mexico.

Thinking about all the changes from back in the 60's we no longer have,  like Chicken Delight, we lost Granny Goose, Wonder Bread and others, but that's fodder for another story.

So, maybe I'll look in the freezer and see what I can thaw out.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Another year, more stuff.

I remember as a little kid it was forever or at least it seemed like forever that Christmas rolled around.  Well, it is amazing how fast this last year has gone by, and it's Christmas time again. This last year has especially gone by fast since it was about this time last year that my femur snapped as I was getting into the Honda.
January whizzed by, surgery, rehab, on and on, then about April the titanium implant that got wedged into the bone snapped.
Back to remove the broken part, (This time the surgery to remove it took 12 hours) April and May pass, then complications from being hospitalized too long, on and on, so I have only really been back on my feet for the last 3 or 4 months more or less, so it's nice to put this year away.

Now, a new chapter in life, means that I can't climb up on roofs anymore, because I need to be careful because I do not want to wind up in the hospital every again if I can help it.
  It's interesting to see how some limitations now effect ones day to day activities.  No, I didn't fall down, which is the kiss of death for anyone in our golden years. It just seems that  the balance is not as good as it was during my tennis playing days.  But I guess nothing is.

On to Christmas which we are lucky because we celebrate it twice. Once on December 25 and one more time on January 6.

Mexico will basically be closed down from tomorrow to the weekend after January 6th, in the new year.  I have no problem with that because it should be a time where people spend time with families and enjoy traditions.
 Growing up back in the old days, there were many things that I appreciated. One of them was that stores and stuff were closed on holidays and Sundays. The streets and shopping districts were empty on Sundays. One exception was in December where some not all the stores were open late  until 9 pm and some were open on Sundays from 10 to 3 during the month.

Now, lots of stores are open 24 hours 7 days a week. I keep seeing TV commercials saying that Lowes, Macys and a few others will be open 24 hours and until 6 on Christmas eve.

At least they will close on Christmas. Wow, what a sacrifice.

Because the stores were closed on Sundays you got all your errands done before Sunday, all the shopping got done beforehand, no one starved because the supermarket was closed on Sunday.
Restaurants were open, so families who wanted a family meal could enjoy them on Sundays. Most of the time Sundays was the day that families could get together and enjoy dinner together either at home or out.
Society has sure changed, NOB, you can drive through fast food joints 24 hours a day, shop 24 hours a day, watch TV 24 hours a day.

It was nice to be able to see the TV and radio stations sign off at midnight, playing the national anthem and showing the flag waving. Radio stations would go off at midnight also. Are there that many people listening to the radio at 3:45 am that warrant the power bills of operating a radio station at that time of the night?
  How did we possibly survive without going nuts?  I think it was called planning and control.  We didn't have to have instant gratification by being able to buy a coffeemaker at midnight.  More people led a much more calm life, in my estimation.  Nothing was that important that it couldn't wait.

I have seen Mexico change from the closed on Sundays to more stores staying either open or keeping later hours.  Big Box stores have been somewhat responsible for that, if you go visit Morelia, on Sunday all the shopping centers parking lots are full. Even though Mexicans still have Sundays for family, a lot of them are out and about too.

It's time to slow down and enjoy a few weeks in the season.

 Merry Christmas! to you and your families and too bad if that offends you.

 You can have a Happy New Year then....