Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Memorable Mexican Feast

I am hungry. The fact that our favorite Mexican restaurant in the area is still closed is putting us over the edge.    Craig calls Casa Blanca every few days for the update and when someone's there to answer the phone, the reopening date keeps getting rolled forward a week.  Their cover story is kitchen remodeling because they wouldn't want to admit to their mostly right wing customers that they were closed down by one of Sheriff Joe's illegal immigrant raids.

Back to my story.   My craving for Mexican food has me dreaming about the most memorable meal I've had in Mexico.  It involved a two hour drive from Bucerias, Mexico in an old Ford Explorer up into the mountains to a lovely hotel restaurant in San Sebastion del Oeste.  I'll talk more about the journey in a later post, but here are some snapshots from that mouthwatering lunch.

When Gustavo, our driver and partner in crime, pulled up to the restaurant, I made Craig check his wallet to make sure we had enough pesos.  I thought -- this is not going to be a cheap lunch.  Is there an ATM in San Sebastion?

I told you he was our partner in crime!  

The interior of the old hotel was absolutely stunning with antique furniture and original tiles. 

The waiter led us out to the gorgeous garden on the back of the restaurant.  When he saw us admiring the birds in their cage, he brought one over to me.  And Pedro didn't even scratch me with his claws.

Soon, Gustavo was arranging for appetizers to be sent to our table.  He was back in the kitchen talking with friends.  In the meantime, the waiter arrived with drinks.

Soon, fantastically fresh guacamole arrived at the table.  I was getting a little nervous because we still hadn't seen a menu.

Gustavo also insisted we MUST try his other favorite.  The grilled panela appetizer. The what?  At that point, I had no idea what panela was. I soon discovered it was a wonderful grilled cheese served with some type of tomato-y dipping sauce.  Yum!

Soon the waiter brought menus for us to choose our main courses.  By this time, I was almost full, so I decided on a bowl of soup.  I also got a look at the menu and was relieved that the food was extremely reasonable.  The sophistication of the setting was not indicative of the pricing.

Hands down BEST chicken tortilla soup I've ever had in my life! 

Craig decided to go for the gusto and ordered the baked chicken in pumpkin sauce.  OMG!  The photo doesn't do the smoky pumpkin flavor of the dish justice.

Soon, we were stuffed and anxious to start our tour of San Sebastion.  La cuenta por favor!  I can't remember exact details, but with the drinks (Craig had two beers), appetizers, soup, Craig's entree, and tip, the total came to a little over $30 U.S.   And it was the best meal of the entire two week trip!

After taking a quick tour of the rooms and admiring the outside courtyards, we were soon hiking up and down the cobblestone paths of San Sebastion.  I hope the restaurant's still open in this little hotel at the top of San Sebastion because we fantasize about going back someday!  Next time, we'll stay overnight! 


drgeoo said...

I know the food is good when you can't remember to take a photo before half of it is gone!

Ann said...

More food porn~! Maybe you should post these on the my Isla board for some fresh food photos (LOL)! That grilled cheese looks yummy!