Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Ladies lunch at Bellasario March 22nd

As much as last week's lunch at Juanito's was a bust this week's lunch at Bellasario was a hit and a truly "tranquillo" experience. 
As the restaurant is just west of the plazuela down in centro we decided to take an auriga or red truck to get there.
Although it is getting late in the season there were still nine of us ready to go.

Bellasario on.....Bellasario Dominguez!
We pretty much had the place to ourselves.
The waiter told us that they had only been open about 8 months and the decor looked new and fresh.
Ruth, Marilyn and Cathy....hmmm what shall we order for drinks.
I decided to mix it up today and have a Mai Tai today instead of my usual pina colada.  I'll order this drink again.
While we waited for our lunch order we were served the most delicious little warm buns.  It is so hard to get really good bread in Mexico so this was a welcome treat.  Made in house and baked in a stone oven.
I shot this through a window as the bakery part of the restaurant is all enclosed.  The waiter knocked on the glass and said " smile!" to the young baker. 
Very tasteful and everyone was intrigued to watch the young baker rolling buns.
So what did I order?  Well whenever it's on the menu I always order tuna....rare.  I've never had it served in such an artistic manner.  It was delicious!  However....tuna at Agatha is still my favorite!
Marilyn ordered an appetizer dish with beef which turned out to be a Mexican style" poutine!"  French fries covered in cheese with beef and served with a side order of gravy.  Interesting and good.
Chicken fettuccine.
Ruth decided to have a curry dish and the shrimp were quite spicy.  Some of the ladies don't like things as hot as they are often served in Mexico but she said they were very good.
A few Rustica salads today.  Bugs bunny would be proud of them!
Janice had chicken and gravy....once again artfully presented and delicious.
I was hungry today and dessert was in order.  This is a cheesecake with fruit compote on the side served with a guayaba sauce.  This was yummy and yes I did eat it all.
Robyn likes chocolate and she ordered a brownie with ice cream.
Ruth had a chocolate mousse and as she is a very good cook she did critique it.  She explained how to make mousse and said this wasn't quite up to par but good anyway.  She also said she could make it but....she never does!

So that was lunch at Bellasario.  The service was top notch, the food was fabulous, the prices a bit upscale but not out of line, the ambiance was very pleasant and we all said it was definitely a restaurant we would return to.  A very good choice!  Give it a try. 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Return to Teacapan to have lunch at Otto's Japonesa Restaurant

If you remember a few weeks ago Frank/Sandi joined us on a trip to Teacapan and it was  a Wednesday.  We had a nice ride but we didn't get to see our friend Otto or have lunch at his restaurant because he is closed on Wednesdays....who knew!
 9:30 am and we are on the road.  It's over 90 miles to Teacapan so we need an early start.  Here we are heading right (south) to take the Mazatlan bypass around the city.
 The gravel truck who is being pulled out has somehow accidentally driven off the highway and spilled part of a load of gravel in the process.  There is gravel spilled all over the road which a lady was shoveling up.  Hmmm.....I wonder if it was his wife who was along for the ride.   Bet he'll get an earful!  At this point we are south of Villa Union.
 Nice little nursery which appears to be full of small mango trees.
 We are crossing some very bumpy topes (speed bumps) here and this small truck appears to be ready to fall over.   Eric decided to pass before the hay fell on us.
 We passed him and he made it through.  A big load for a little truck.
 Just north of El Rosario there was some road widening.
 Appears to be part of some large project just off the highway.
 As we head south it gets a bit greener.  It is a pretty ride and although it's a bit hot at this point it will cool off as we get closer to the coast and the ocean breezes.
 The never ending pothole patches which then become "topes" as they never get the patch smooth.
 Coming into Esquinapa where we will turn right (west) and head for Teacapan.
 Not too busy today.  Look at the mess of wires overhead.  To head south you must go right through downtown Esquinapa.
 Turn right for Teacapan.
 The estuaries start to appear.
 The pretty little place down by the water is a restaurant.
 This road widening and huge transmission line is in preparation for a proposed devopment by Fonatur. " Playa Espiritu just north of Teacapan is considered one of the eight most outstanding beaches in the country.  The development is considered a white elephant that may be inherited by the next administration....The Mazatlan Post Oct 2018"  It is supposed to be the new Cancun of the west.  Wonder if it will ever happen. The news reports about this development started back in 2009...ten years ago!  The transmission lines are not connected to anything as they have no where to go and there is no sub station to connect to!
 We could smell them before we saw them....the chilies are drying.  In the rear there are pits where they roast them over the wood fires.  You need lots of wood for that.
 This place was lovely last year before the October hurricane.  Now...not so much.
 Huge areas of crops under remay which is a light fabric used to protect vegetables from frost or...sun.
 The crops have all been replanted and are happily growing.
 This greenhouse has not been resurrected.  We saw much of the same as we traveled along...the hurricane flattened so much.
 Coming into Teacapan.
 Yeah....Otto is open!
 It appeared to be much brighter as we sat down we noticed that the big palapa that was there had been replaced with a much simpler flat one.  The hurricane hit hard here in Teacapan.
 We started with a couple of egg rolls.
 Then lunch.  I never seem to get my order right as I thought I'd ordered tempura vegetables as well.
 Eric had vegetables over noodles and....the other half of my rice.  The food today wasn't as good as we's remembered it to be.
 You can see Big Red across the street waiting for us!
 A timed photo...never the greatest.
 Otto loves his plants and....his cats.  At this point he had come out of the kitchen to have a chat.  He speaks decent English and understands what we are saying.
 He said that he did not evacuate when the hurricane hit but chose to stay.  He has a large amount of cats and also some turtles that he refused to leave behind. He did say that the big wind only lasted about 3 hours but did incredible damage.  The large covers over the pumps at the gas station ended up in his yard,  his big palapa blew away and the big mango tree in his yard was uprooted.  He seemed to have actually enjoyed the whole experience although he had weeks of clean up after it was over.  There was no power for a couple of weeks and many small wood houses just blew away.  The hurricane also hit Esquinapa and El Rosario but it missed Mazatlan.
 We chatted with him about his work travels as well.  Here you can see him with his wife in the window of the restaurant.  Yuki is his daughter and we saw that she now has her own ice cream brand.  When we first visited in 2009 she was just a baby.  Otto has other older children (from a previous marriage?) who are at school in Mazatlan and Chile.  He crossed over the street when we were getting ready to leave to admire the bike.  He remembers the 1997 robin's egg blue Harley heritage that we came on in the early years.  He had his picture taken on it and after we left I wondered if he wanted to sit on Big Red and have his picture time!
 When we came last month the gas pumps were " topless "  now they are not.
 Time to head for home.
 Widening the road.  When we asked Otto about the huge resort development he just laughed and said "maybe in 20 years!"  He hoped he'd get to see it....we definitely won't!!
 Coming back through Esquinapa.
 As we traveled along the free road we were passed by four guys travelling on BMW's.  They were moving fast.
 Coming into El Rosario where we stopped for fuel and a "bum" break.
 There we are!
 This truck was doing about 20 miles an hour and had two oldsters in the back sitting on a couch!
 That sign doesn't say you can get to Mazatlan on the bypass can.  Very poor signage because it you don't turn here you are going through the city when you get farther north.
 The bypass is only a few years old and it is already breaking up. What is the matter?
 Beautiful, straight and quick for a mere 23 peso toll (for a motorcycle) and worth every peso.
Way off in the distance you can see the Riu which means we are almost home.

A good ride and in an hour after getting home I was off to bingo.   No rest for the wicked!