Category — Mexico + The Caribbean

{getaway} Heavenly Holbox: Long Weekend on Isla Holbox, off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

I just got back from a long weekend in Isla Holbox, a little island off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Holbox is a weird name for a Mexican island, right? It’s actually a Mayan word meaning “black hole” and is pronounced “Ohl-bosh.” Whatever you call it, it’s pretty great.

holbox1

[Read more →]

May 29, 2013   2 Comments

{saucy getaway} Strolling Streets and Sampling Treats in Puebla, Mexico

A few months ago, I posted about some of my favorite things to do in Cholula, Mexico. This is the companion post, about Puebla. (If you go to Puebla, you will go to Cholula, and vice-versa–partly because they are both fabulously interesting places and mostly because they are only about a 15 minute drive from one another.)

[Read more →]

March 13, 2011   2 Comments

{perfect day} A Tale of Two Cities – Cholula, Mexico

Cholula is a town that’s just outside of Puebla, but there are actually two Cholulas, in more ways than one. The first way: literally. There are literally two Cholulas–San Andrés Cholula and San Pedro Cholula–that are connected to one another but that are absolutely different towns. I know this because they use the same numbers and addresses for their streets, so if you give an address in “Cholula” to a taxi driver and don’t specify which one, you might not get to where you think you want to go and you might have the driver running around asking every Tomas, Juan, and Pablo where the heck you’re going.

The second way: there are some very old things in Cholula and some very new things in Cholula, often separated by only a short walk.

[Read more →]

November 21, 2010   6 Comments

{restaurant} La Bombonera in San Juan, PR

Behold! This fantastically tasty sandwich is from La Bombonera, a funky, cheap-ass deli counter in Old San Juan.

American cheese, ham, crusty bread, all pressed in some 1950s machine. Heaven. I think it was only 2 dollars. Swig some cafe con leche along with it, and you’ve got a breakfast of champions. The place ain’t fancy and the people aren’t that nice, but that’s not what you’re after. There will be other tourists there, but plenty of locals too.

La Bombonera is at 259 Calle San Francisco in Old San Juan and open daily from 7:30 AM – 8 PM.

April 10, 2010   2 Comments

{getaway} Long Weekend: Mexico City

My friend Erica is heading to a business trip in Mexico City and asked for some food and drink recommendations, so I wrote some up for her. But why should she get all the insider info when I could just as easily share it with you?

Don’t fool yourself, Mexico City (DF to locals- which stands for “Distrito Federal) changes hotspots faster than NYC- with a population of 20+ million, there are sure to be a fair number of hipsters and trendsetters living and playing there. Here are some classic spots, as well as some joints du jour you should eat and drink at if you find yourself there.

[Read more →]

July 13, 2009   1 Comment

{travel + wtf} Night Border Crossing Experience in Mexico

I just got this email about vacation packages from the travel site Kayak.com- which incidentally I had heretofore felt was the best travel site. Now, I’m not so sure. WTF?!?! No seriously, WTF?!?!?

Mexico City FlightsHotelsCarswatch fares

Immigration and border patrol seems to be at the top of every political conversation. At Parque Eco Alberto, you can go on a pretend ‘Night Border Crossing Experience.’ The parque is owned by the Hnahnu Indians in Hidalgo, about three hours from Mexico City. The $18, four-hour night hike starts with the Mexico National Anthem. Your ‘coyote’ guide, Pancho, pulls off his black ski mask while actors gather around to scare you senseless along the way. Run from border control agents; dodge hidden actors shooting (blanks) at you, and make your way through barbed-wire fences. Survivors are blindfolded, led across a rickety bridge, and then set free to run across the border to freedom!

July 2, 2009   2 Comments

{10 second vacation} Papel Picado in Tlaquepaque, Mexico

June 24, 2009   No Comments

{photojournal} Food Tour of Guanajuato, Mexico

I go to Mexico quite often, and visit some interesting food and drink towns, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite food photos and experiences in brief. It’s a fair amount to consume, so to speak, so I’ll be breaking them down by city and sharing them one by one!

First up: the gorgeous colorful kaleidoscope that is the colonial town of Guanajuato. Guanajuato is one of my favorite places in Mexico, and as it’s centrally located, it’s easily reachable from many points.

This lovely burg in Central Mexico’s state of Leon was founded in the 1500s, and funded lavishly for hundreds of years by a massively prolific silver mine just outside of town. The town is built up two sides of a ravine, and the residents favor bright colors for their boxy houses, which are packed together on teeny-tiny streets. In fact, legend has it 2 young lovers who lived across from one another used to live on a street so narrow that they could kiss each other from their facing balconies.  For that reason, the street is famously known as Callejon del Beso– Kiss Alley. Auto traffic flows mainly through an incredible system of medieval-looking underground tunnels that were constructed in the early 1900s. The result is that traversing town, whether in a car or by foot, is a transporting experience.

Food Tour of Guanajuato, Mexico

Of course I bought this- handmade chocolate sold by an ancient man outside the Mercado Juarez. He said it was made by his 3 sons. Inside the paper, I found fragrant cakes of Mexican chocolate, rich with dark cocoa, cinnamon, and big crunchy granules of sugar. It cost about 30 cents for a stack of 5.

One morning, I spotted some guys hanging out by this old truck packed with hanging cow carcasses and a trash can near Mercado Embajadoras. Nice meat hook! :)

I love my Best Foods, but something about that giant hot jar of mayo made me think twice about that tasty-looking corn.

The signs on these delivery scooters for a Domino’s franchise have successfully managed to make me think of both explosions and lotion, neither of which is particularly tantalizing in relation to pizza.

Looking down into the food stalls and lunch counters in Mercado Juarez from the 2nd floor.

A fabulous torta de carnitas (pork sandwich) with spicy red and green sauces, for less than a buck each from one of those very stalls.

Obligatory Mexican market photo of a ginormous pile of dried chilies.

My brother-in-law loved this squash blossom/huitlacoche/homemade cheese concoction he got from a street vendor at the Pípila, but it was a bit too overpowering for me.

This is an official street sign, the likes of which normally point you to geographical or tourist locations- but this one is pointing out the different types of local food you can get at Mercado de Gavira.

Drinking is serious business in Mexico: for my money, you’ve gotta go with a shot of Herradura Reposado (for sipping, no shooting!) with sangrita (to chase each sip) and a Modelo Especial (in between.)

This guy was selling tamales from a bucket at 1 AM (35 cents for 2.) We got one because we were intrigued by “dulce” – sweet tamales. It was a tamale with pineapple goo inside. Not bad, but I’ll stick with savory. I should have tried acelgas (chard.)

We happened upon a minor league baseball game in an amazing stadium embedded right into the middle of town, and ate lots of salty roasted pistachios and pumpkin seeds, with cheap beers of course, while enjoying the action.

The stadium itself is nestled in a pocket of houses right in town, with the back walls comprised of rough-hewn rock.

bball-stadium

Your choice for tickets: sun or shade. Guess which one is cheaper?

sol-y-sombra

To visit Guanajuato: Del Bajio airport in Silao/Leon is about a 30 minute drive from Guanajuato. Mexicana, Aeromexico, Continental, American Eagle, and Delta all fly into Del Bajio from the U.S. The town is centrally located and can also be easily reached by bus from Mexico City, Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende, Queretaro, and many other places.

June 19, 2009   1 Comment