Wednesday, December 31, 2008

San Miguel de Allende quest

Centro Historico


View from the top of the hill overlooking el centro historico.

El jardin

La Parroquia

San Miguel de Allende is beautiful, and strange,with its Mexico but not really charm. The historic center is a food wasteland as others vistors have mentioned, but some others on this work trip spent one of the mornings walking around to the top of the hill to see a great view of the city.There was a fonda near La Parroquia that was promising,but they didn't open 'til 1PM, and upon returning at 1PM we discovered that the waitress wouldn't be there until later.With my groaning companions in tow, we went to Aqui es Mexico.We ordered mole rojo and verde, tinga, and the worst chiles en nogada ever made.Think, "new from Taco Bell, Chilis n nogaahhhda."The moles?The rojo was just Ok, more beer,please.

On the way to our gig, I spotted the place a fellow traveler had spoke of, a mercado and tianguis(flea market)not far from centro El Parian.I had to wait until the next day, but awoke after another wild night to get to some recon.We stopped for some tortas de carnitas, beautiful, in one of those little stands we are all familiar with.Amazing, my unadventurous companions avoided the exotics, so all the pleasures of pig parts were mine and mine alone.Next, El Texano, for a primordial Bajio style barbacoa.Earthy lamb, with pancita,a substantial consume, and a little moranga thrown in to appease the higher pleasure centers.The moranga had a texture and flavor that'd make you cry.Forgeting that I had many good foods awaiting, I really went to town at El Texano,with a hot comal blistering tortillas behind my back, ignoring the disgusted looks from my friends at the sight of me eating blood sausage.

This area just goes on and on as you are leaving town, we entered a tianguis and a sweet viejita said it was called Tianguis El Chicano.The women were selling gorditas de trigo(gorditas of wheat), and other homebaked breads, nopales, and artisenal products.Nearby, I managed to find room for a gordita with an orange cheese resembling requeson filled with frijoles.In a round pan, rellena(blood sausage), a travesty that I could not taste this.My regrets are crescendoing as I write.

If I had a full day to investigate Mercado El Parian and all its food stalls and restaurants I could have unearthed countless gems, but I was pleasantly surprized by this encounter in San Miguel de Allende.

My last taste, a fresh raspado of grosella(gooseberry)engulfed in a swirl of drunken, lazy bees.Best raspado ever.We also went to Winestyles, a chain of wine bars, with the San Miguel location showcasing the wines of the Valle de Guadalupe and other wine regions of Mexico.They have a pretty extensive selection of Mexican wines including boutique wineries, definitely worth a visit and a belt or two.

You won't find many great eats in the Centro Historico, but the tianguis and market is walking distance from the city center.Be sure to walk around the beautiful colonial buildings and take in this historic city, but take your appetite to elsewhere, where the local fleamarket, stalls, and markets will do you right.

Carnitas, at the tianguis

Barbacoa and pancita,El Texano

Moronga, blood sausage from El Texano


Rellena,another way to say blood sausage,que rico!

Mercado El Chicano

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