Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ladies Lunch at the Union Bakery and Kitchen

A few weeks ago I was reading Carol’s blog and she’d mentioned that she and Bill had been to the Union Kitchen and bakery to eat and that they’d thought it was very good.  I added a slip to our ladies lunch draw bag and it was pulled out for today’s lunch. 

Pam, Sue, Sandi and Robyn ready to go.  Today there was a dozen or so of us split between two auriegas and a couple more to join us at the restaurant.  Ruth always orders trucks if we need them and calls the restaurants to make a reservation so that they know a large group is coming.  We all communicate to her on a Facebook group site so she knows if we are coming or not.  Lots of organization for her.  Thanks Ruth!

There she is explaining were we are going (just off the the plazuela in old town) and negotiating a price. 

Get on board Pam!

In the Golden Zone and the trucks are side by side.  At one point Robyn rapped on the back window of the truck to ask the driver to turn down the music so we could talk and….he stopped dead in the middle of traffic to see what she wanted!   Only in Mexico and no even one blinks an eye.  We were astounded!

We could have taken a bus (but not the Cerritos Juarez) but then there would have been a bit of a walk to the restaurant from where we would be let off.  Not everyone can do the walk easily. 

Union Kitchen and Bakery.

Here we are seated and ready to order drinks.

Very spiffy little restaurant.   Today there were only a couple of other people eating lunch so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  Many restaurants don’t open until 4pm because the lunch crowd isn’t big enough but….this is a bakery as well.

Looks nice don’t you think?  I asked if they had any multigrain bread left but all they had was sourdough which Robyn bought a loaf of.  Pam had ordered bagels from them on line and they were ready for her after lunch.  How upscale is that!

Pam ordered sangria today and I copied her!  Very good.

The specials included onion soup and quiche.  This is my lunch which is a pear and carmelized onion panini.  Delicious.

Pear salad.  Pears are a big thing on the menu.

I don’t know what that is but it looks good.

One of the many vegetarian quiches ordered.   Good as well.

You can see it’s filled with vegetables.

Hmmm…..fettucini of some sort and eaten by Janis.

Just about all the meals are out and everyone is laughing and talking.  This was an especially pleasant outing in a really nice restaurant.  One of the more enjoyable places we’ve been.

Ruth ordered two things and the first was Brie in a puff pastry.  Delicious.

Beautiful and tasty shrimp salad.

The second part of Ruth’s order was thinly sliced salmon over cheese on a toasted bread.  I had a taste and it is something I would order on another day….perhaps with a bowl of onion soup!

This is the young chef and he did a bang up job on the meals.  We ordered drinks and meals at the same time.  He got those meals out very quickly and everything was delicious.   Big thumbs up from the ladies. 

This young man was going out on a bagel delivery and I noticed his T-shirt and I just had to take a picture.  Big “ Go Canada” and a cheer from us.  I believe that’s the restaurant owner on the left. 
Good food, really good atmosphere, excellent service at a top notch place to eat.  Google it for more info. 

Next week????

Ride to San Ignacio....Big Red is back on the road.

Wednesday January 23rd and as Big Red was repaired and back on the road it was time for a ride.  Frank and Sandi were busy so we hit the road by ourselves.  We don’t mind either way but they are good company!

My usual first “down the highway shot” with the Riu in the background.

Heading north and it’s a pretty, cool morning for a ride.

This truck was ahead of us and it was smelly.  At first we thought it was manure but it had a sweet smell as well so it was likely some sort of silage.  Needed to pass it quick before we were covered in it!

That is one huge herd of goats and/or flocks of sheep.  Going to end up in tacos at some point.  Sorry Vegans!

Turn right.

Coyotitan is first and it is a really pretty little town.  Clean, neat and well maintained. 

Baseball is big in Mexico and every town has a ball field.  This one is especially nice.

Just past Coyotitan and they are attempting to grow agave.

The little pack of dogs behind in the distance took a run at us but they weren’t very enthusiastic about it!

They’ve done some repaving over the past two years and the road is in good shape.

Here we are ready to head through the beautiful big gate into San Ignacio. 

Looks like the big Jesus in the distance has had a fresh coat of paint.

Spiffy clean streets and lots of trees.

We are parked next to the lower town square and are ready for lunch.

This is our usual restaurant to eat in but we have eaten at the taco stand and one little Pollo place.  You wouldn’t know this is a restaurant because there is no big sign. 

Old posters.

They’ve redone all the yellow paint in a sponge type method and it looks good over the rough plaster.

An old Indian motorcycle.  I wonder if that guy actually rode it or was just posing for a photo.

View out the door towards the square. 

This restaurant serves varieties of shrimp and chicken.  Today Eric chose camarones rancheros and he said they were the most tender shrimp he had ever eaten.  Served with refried beans, tortillas and a salad plate of lettuce, onions, cucumbers, avocados and tomatoes.

I had polla a la plancha or thin chicken fried.  Good but a tad salty! When we have a big lunch like this we skip supper and have a couple of crackers and a bit of cheese after happy hour.  A good meal today.

Back on the bike and heading out of town.

Now who’s that peeking over the roof?

The very large and very old church just off the square. 

Over the bridge towards the gate and then home.  A nice 120 mile ride and an enjoyable way to spend a day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Harley Starter Repair

As you may remember we have been having some vehicle issues lately.  First the truck…it would start sometimes and sometimes not.  Eric spent some time on the net and decided that the suspect part was likely the safety neutral switch that is mounted on the transmission.  A common GMC failure for this truck and year (2005.)  The part was ordered from Rock Auto in the USA and it was shipped out via DSL and arrived in “ 5 days!” and that was over a weekend.  Eric made an appointment to have Armondo install it and off he went.  Interestingly enough the truck started here in the park and when he got to Armando’s shop and shut it off it would not start and they had to push it into the shop!  Good thing we hadn’t tried to go shopping with it.  Good news is the cost of installing the part only cost 400 pesos and the truck is back on the road.  The neutral safety switch has 11 wires so it controls numerous functions.  Rock Auto part $93.62 Canadian delivered but….the DSL carrier asked for 580 pesos for tax and import fees….no receipt although it was written on the box.  A bit odd and maybe we paid something we shouldn’t have. 
Now onto the Harley which had a starter problem….once again a common failure.  The over running clutch was failing which meant that we would be dead in the water if it failed while we were on a ride.  We tried to get the part in Mexico at Culiacan Harley but no luck.  Eric then called Harley shops in Arizona but…they wouldn’t ship to Mexico and some wouldn’t even ship within the USA.  Eric has ordered parts from J&P Cycle from home and it turns out they ship internationally so that’s where he got what he needed.  This part was $94 US  and it was shipped via UPS and arrived in one week with no request for tax or import duties.  Odd that DSL wanted those fees and UPS did not. 

Here is the bike on the pad getting ready to be torn apart.

This is the starter.

Starter removed.

Where the starter used to be.

Starter and solenoid dismantled.  In the middle bottom is the old over running clutch. 

The cardboard from the beer flats is always useful for something!

Left to right starter motor, solenoid and clutch housing.

Starter reassembled.


The hardest part of the whole job was prying apart the starter because of the wrinkle paint that was covering it.  Eric also ordered a solenoid rebuild kit just to be on the safe side but in the end it didn’t need it. 
Eric has had to change the over running clutch on Blue (1997 Harley Heritage) twice in 60,000 miles and it was a much harder job than this one.  This is the first time for Red (2009 Harley Ultra) at 40,000 miles.  Slight improvement but still ridiculous.  The first time that part failed on Blue Eric was on a road trip and had to push start it for two days and leave it running when fueling up in order to get home.  Not fun!

So….both vehicles are back on the road and we can head out on a road trip on Big Red soon.