Posts from the ‘Mexico’ Category
Recently, I’ve been craving tacos.
In the months of June, July, August, and September, I’ve traveled through Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia. I’ve had the great privilege of eating inexpensive and out-of-this-world Asian food including Chinese (Cantonese), Himalayan, Indian, Nepalese, Thai, and Vietnamese. I continue to eat, and I still want more.
But occasionally, the memory of visiting friends in Ciudad de México (México City) surfaces, and I think of tacos.
I needs the tacos.
On my final night in the city, Eva and I are out at a concert, but we leave before the end of the gig for the promise of late-night tacos. We’re going to a taco-place she frequented in her youth as an out-late after-party place for food in the early-morning hours.
Just before 4am, we arrive at Taquerías Brasil Copacabana in Delegación (the borough of) Coyoacán.
There are some ten or so tables around, but there are only a couple of people eating when we enter.
Bright fluorescent lights illuminate the cafeteria-like restaurant with a familiar cold glare. Decades’ old tables and chairs are scattered throughout the place, sitting on tired scratchy linoleum floors. There are more staff than customers; a couple of staff with hairnets are lingering about in quiet but animated conversation.
It’s absolutely perfect: it’s exactly the kind of place I had hoped to visit, and one I know only the locals would go for their taco fix.
As Eva describes the “hole-in-the-wall”:
… The name “Taquerías Brasil Copacabana” comes from the original location in Villa Coapa (in the Federal District or state of Mexico City). The place used to be a double cinema called “Brasil” and “Copacabana”. The cinemas closed down, and a bunch of small taco stands (carts) began popping up in the evenings. Over time, the taco stands became popular. Eventually, someone bought the entire place, cleverly converted it all into a single taco eatery, and decided to keep the name.
Tacos al pastor has been described as the Mexican version of döner kebab, but with porky goodness. Tender seasoned melt-in-your-mouth pork is fried on a metal grill right in front of you, and the pork is served hot, enveloped lovingly within heated soft taco wraps. Bottles containing sauces of varying evil and spice await your taco devouring needs. Alternatively, I ask for “alambre de pastor” complete with grilled onions and peppers and a layer of melted cheese for that stick-in-your-stomach soak-up-the-beer goodness.
But I’m also here for tacos de lengua: tacos with beef tongue. It’s not something most would entertain, but I know it’s commonly served here, and I’ve had beef tongue before. While tonight’s tacos de lengua is downright delicious, my preference of the three choices tonight would be the “simpler” tacos al pastor.
When everyone in the room nods at my eating pleasure, I know I’ve done exactly the right thing. And I know I’ve done right by them, too.
It’s a perfect way to end a fantastic week in México City with Eva, her husband, and their daughter.
I made the photos above with a 4th-generation iPod Touch on 10 March 2012. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
OK, I admit it – the title to this post is a little misleading, because I’m referring to the distance I’ve traveled during the first five months of 2012, the distance equivalent to 86-percent of the way around the world.
But first, here’s a little background …
Over the last ten-plus years, I’ve flown a total of over one million miles with American Airlines and their Oneworld alliance partners. This means a few key things:
- some “we love you” elite-status, which means faster check-in process, no “first checked-bag” fees, early boarding, and some use of the airport lounges,
- faster accumulation of miles “earned” by flying,
- and I’ve a chance to use these miles to see friends around North America in a short period of time without breaking the budget.
I began the North America portion of my around-the-world (RTW) trip the first week of 2012. With over 300,000 frequent-flyer miles in store, I’ve traveled throughout the continent by redeeming miles (plus taxes) for the following flights.
|Date||Destination||Route||Miles Traveled & Used||Taxes & Fees ($)|
|Jan 4||Vancouver, BC||SFO-LAX-YVR 1-way||1418 | 25k||5.00|
|Jan 19||Honolulu, HI||YVR-SEA-HNL return||5608 | 35k||66.00|
|Feb 21||Los Angeles, CA||SEA-LAX 1-way||954 | 12.5k||2.60|
|Mar 2||México City||LAX-MEX 1-way||1553 | 17.5k||24.90|
|Mar 10||San Jose, CA||MEX-DFW-SJC 1-way||2374 | 35k||47.20|
|Mar 20||NW Arkansas||SFO-DFW-XNA 1-way||1745 | 12.5k||5.00|
|Mar 26||Houston, TX||XNA-DFW-IAH 1-way||505 | 25k||5.00|
|Apr 3||Toronto, ON||IAH-DFW-YYZ 1-way||1424 | 12.5k||5.00|
|Apr 10||Minneapolis, MN||YYZ-ORD-MSP 1-way||770 | 12.5k||61.26|
|Apr 17||Washington, DC||MSP-ORD-DCA 1-way||946 | 25k||5.00|
|May 2||Nassau, Bahamas||BWI-MIA-NAS 1-way||1130 | 17.5k||5.00|
|May 29||Vancouver, BC||NAS-MIA-DFW-YVR 1-way||3058 | 30k||83.50|
|TOTALS||—||routes map||21485 | 260k||315.46|
Note that the equivalent frequent flyer miles reimbursed amounted to a total of 260,000 miles. With plane tickets obtained by redeeming miles, the actual miles flown came to a total of just over 21,485 miles, which would be the equivalent of making my way 86-percent around the world, with the Earth’s circumference equal to about 24,900 miles.
All of the flights were intracontinental, but that was still a lot of miles flown in the first five months of the year.
Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (cmp.ly/0). Full credits for the map are found here. This post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress (fotoeins.com).
Between the final week of 2011 and the end of March 2012, I made all of the photos above with a 4th-generation iPod Touch (960 pix by 720 pix). It’s remarkable how much food I’ve managed to stuff in the cake hole – sometimes, the food was more elaborate; other times, a coffee and donut were all I needed. Looking back over the last three months only makes me hungry again.
This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress (fotoeins.com).
Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (cmp.ly/0).
Something about the place seems magical.
Cobblestone streets, the narrow sidewalks.
The vibrant colours of the buildings in the style of Mexican baroque.
Art, lots of it – which would fit in Mexico City just as well as New York City.
Cozy bars and restaurants of all kinds : our excellent finds include the Thai at Venus Bar, breakfast (and an expat centre?) at Juan’s Cafe, and Sri Lankan at Dila’s.
Wide open plazas, the compact nature of the town.
Born in this town, Ignacio Allende helped to shape the independence movement from Spanish colonial rule to create the United States of Mexico.
The rich and the poor, the backpacker, and the nouveau riche. Really riche.
The sounds of spoken English heard frequently around town …
What may be unusual is the number of retirees from Canada, USA, Europe, and Mexico City, mixed with and yet separated from local residents. What’s definitely unusual is the real estate for which some reach seven figures in sticker price. As my friend wisely suggested: rent an apartment in Manhattan, but buy a winter house here in town.
For its historical and architectural significance, the town was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2008.
San Miguel de Allende can be reached by car or bus in about three to four hours time from Mexico City.
I made the photos on 3, 4, and 5 March 2012. This post is published on Fotoeins Fotopress (fotoeins.com).