Monday, September 26, 2011

South of the Border, Segundo Parte

Crap, this is what happens when I don't post immediately. I forget. I think I will remember but my memory is certainly hazier than when I got back a month ago, 6 weeks ago? Good Lord, this month FLEW!

Anyway, we found this taco place on the main drag, Taco los Arboles I think it was called. Blew Urge out of the water! They were open at 6am and so two mornings in a row, I ate tacos for breakfast and it was glorious. The first day I went a little nuts with the hot sauce though, hot sauce in Mexico is realllllly hot! We had shrimp and fish and chile rellenos (yes, in a taco!) and my favorite was a sort of stewed pork in a green sauce. MMMMM. Washed down with some deeply colored flor de Jamaica, which I believe is just dried hibiscus flowers soaked in water. The color is like loganberry, so intense! I plan to make some of my own to make a fancy cocktails. I couldn't ever take pictures here though because I always had pork juice running down my hands and that's bad for the camera.

So after eating at all the town's taco stands and lollygagging on the beach, Ben and I rented a scooter and that was an excellent choice. I have no words for it but riding was one of my favorite moments in Mexico.

We went to some ruins, I'm not really a fan. But Ben enjoyed it and after we spent the day in the unforgiving sun at a dusty ruin with thousands of tourists and vendors trying to hawk you crap, we stopped to go swimming here.

The cenote, as they are called, was cool and deep and when you swam out into the middle and floated on your back, you could stare up at the sky and admire the treetops dancing above.

Our last night in Tulum we spent walking along a street parallel to the main drag but completely off the tourist grid. Well, not completely of course, it was only a block away but it was a stark contrast to the shops and restaurants that catered to visitors. It felt like we were another place completely. And there was street food! I went crazy when I saw a sign for churros but our attempt to procure them failed, the churro lady was having issues with her batter. But then we saw a guy making marquesas, which is like a slightly sweet and crispy crepe with cheese melted inside and rolled up. Good, but my heart belongs to churros.

I have one more installment from Mexico and if I'm lucky, I'll write it up by Christmas. Adios!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tonight on Our Table

Pork roast, butternut squash and spinach salad. Blueberry sour cream crumb cake with vanilla frozen yogurt.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I think I'm going through a beer phase

I've never been much of a beer drinker, I like it sometimes but generally, it's too filling and too carbonated and the taste gets overwhelming to me. However, lately I've been wanting to try different beers and I've been enjoying them and I'd like to keep track of them. I should really do that with wine too and I started doing it with cheese a few years ago and never followed through. The story of my life!

Anyway, I think it started this winter when I went home for Christmas and had something brewed by Goose Island in Illinois. It was dark and coppery, with caramel and coffee undertones and I still haven't gotten it out of my mind. Goose Island doesn't distribute in Louisiana but I heard that they were bought up by Budweiser. This initially made me sad until someone told me that it won't change anything except they will have better distribution. Fingers crossed for Louisiana!

Yesterday I got a bottle of Saison Dupont, which is from Belgium. It had a nice, blond color although on first sniff, it smelled like Heineken to my unrefined nose and Heineken smells like funky skunk. But it tasted really crisp and refreshing, I even felt like there was some banana lingering. I did not much care for the aftertaste, which I am too beer-ignorant to place. Hops? Malt? Not sure. I did a little sleuthing to see if someone else could more eloquently describe it and I found a lot of very amusing descriptions like;

"Nose is a very dense earth, soil, it feels like fresh tilled dirt. Mild chlorophyll and resin, with a big giant lemon zest."

"Hazy straw yellow with 2-3 finger stark white tightly-bubbled, frothy head with good retention with numerous blobs of lacing."

These guys clearly drink more beer than I do and for the record, I don't really know if I could place the taste of resin. I sipped mine some Havarti cheese with caraway seeds and I thought the combination was mighty fine.

Be aware that the alcohol content is somewhat higher than an average beer, which I think is usually about 5%. The Saison Dupont I think is about 6.5%. That coupled with the fact that one of them costs almost $5, makes it a perfect beer to sip on leisurely and then call it quits.