Doing time in the State of Guanajuato

In the jail of Dolores Hidalgo, State of Guanajuato

WHEN LAST we spoke, the Hacienda Duo was hightailing it out of our hardscrabble neighborhood due to the approach of Carnival, which is when our neighbors go berserk.

We stayed three nights in a pretty swanky place off the highway between the Gringo-infested burg of San Miguel and Dolores Hidalgo, which is a bit farther north.

The drive last Sunday was uneventful. We had lunch in a San Miguel restaurant named Hecho en Mexico where we’ve eaten quite a few times.

The following day we drove to Dolores Hidalgo and hit a few tourist spots, one of which was the Colonial building that housed the city’s jail down to 1957. It’s not a place you’d want to be in the slammer, but it’s a museum now. My child bride snapped the mugshot above.

Not surprisingly, it’s not the first time I’ve been in jail.

We dined in the Restaurante Plaza, which faces the plaza as the name indicates. We’ve dined there before, happily. The place where we had intended to eat, a joint called DaMonica, was closed Monday. Dang!

Back in San Miguel on Tuesday, we ate somewhere new for us, a restaurant named La Frontera. It was recommended to us by the inimitable Jennifer Rose, a woman who thinks red shoes are better than bacon. I do not agree.

While Ms. Rose may misjudge the value and/or taste of red shoes, she does know restaurants, and La Frontera was a good call. I had a BLT, and my child bride ate some brisket thing. They were both good, but they weren’t the highlight of the meal.

That was the root beer float. We love root beer floats. The only root beer float my child bride had ever tasted was near San Antonio, Texas, years ago. I have never seen root beer in Mexico. I asked the owner where she got root beer, and she said at the major supermarket in San Miguel.

There are some advantages — few but some — to living in a Gringo-infested town. Having root beer at the store is one of those advantages. I am jealous.

Now let’s venture on to politics. San Miguel hates Donald Trump. We walked through a street market and saw lots of T-shirts on sale that sported (expletive) Trump this and (expletive) Trump that. Tsk-tsk.

We walked around an art gallery and saw a huge oil painting of the great American president, but the artist was really angry with The Donald.

Oh, the ill will at losing an election, fair and square.

Wednesday morning, Ash Wednesday, we packed our bags, hopped into the Honda and headed southwest to our mountaintop home, having avoided the worst of Carnival here, which was the objective, after all.

Child bride on the cobblestones leading to the hotel.
Unoccupied edifice near our hideaway hotel.

28 thoughts on “Doing time in the State of Guanajuato

  1. Funny you mentioned the root beer, Felipe. When living in Puerto Vallarta I could not find Cherry Coke or Dr Pepper anywhere but at a “Gringo grocery store” in Plaza Paraiso and at about twice the price of any other soda. Having loved both of those at the time I would make the trip regularly to purchase them. On a recent trip there I saw that Dr Pepper was widely available in most places but not Cherry Coke yet. I give it time. It will happen.
    Disfruta tu viaje!


    1. Mike: Ah, Cherry Coke, a memory from my distant youth. However, it did not come prepared. You had it mixed at the soda fountain. And Dr Pepper! I had totally forgotten about Dr Pepper. I used to like Dr. Pepper, but now I don’t even remember what it tastes like.


        1. Ms. Shoes: Alas, I never look in the sugar-water section of supermarkets, so even if root beer were there, I’d never see it. Maybe the next time we’re in San Miguel I’ll go by that Mega store (oddly named El Comer, but it’s still a Mega) and stock up with a couple of six-packs of root beer. Alas, I hope never to set foot in San Miguel again. Really. That’s my tardy New Year’s Resolution.


    1. Señor Gill: I assume you’re referring to Dr Pepper. Though I do not recall its taste, I don’t recall it tasted of prunes either, and I would surely have remembered that. I liked Dr Pepper. (Trivia observation: Dr Pepper has no period after Dr.)


  2. You lack your identifying sign on a chain around your neck and a side profile. Of course, if a picture like that made it to social media, people would talk.


  3. I used to drink Hires root beer. Don’t know if it was sold in the U.S. It was so fizzy it constantly came out your nose. A&W was pretty good, but then it got milder and sweeter. I like to have it strong.


    1. Kris: Hires sounds familiar, so I think it must have been available below the maple tree line. Ah, A&W! Now there’s a memory. Where I grew up in the Jacksonville, Florida, suburb of Arlington there was an A&W joint, an actual outlet. I don’t recall if they sold anything other than their root beer. Surely, they did. The served it like real beer in frosty mugs right out of the freezer. God, that was good, especially on summer days. It was strong.


      1. Felipe: I used to get a Teenburger, “top loading,” meaning nothing under the patty, (I think mustard and dill pickles have no business near a hamburger) and root beer. That was in the old drive-in days. I don’t go to fast-food places much anymore, but the last time I was at an A&W, I thought I was eating dog food.


        1. Kris: First, Andrés tells me that root beer floats are for children, and now you tell me that mustard and dill pickles have no business on a burger! Have I entered an alternate universe? You prefer just meat and bread? Good Lord. Even a good-looking woman improves with a pretty bikini.

          So A&W still has outlets? I did not know that. Interesting. I don’t recall eating at one, but I sure did like their way of serving root beer 60 years back. I could go for one right now, especially with ice cream in it.


      1. Smokesilver: Thanks for the confirmation. I thought it sounded familiar. I did a bit of internet digging just now. Hires has had a very checkered past. It’s still available in the U.S., but not in many places.


  4. My usual at La Frontera is the brisket sandwich, although their filet special is always appealing. I didn’t even know about the root beer, because I’m always so focused on the iced tea. But I am happy that you and Marta enjoyed the place.


    1. Ms. Shoes: Who is this Marta to whom you refer? I am baffled.

      My child bride ordered the brisket sandwich, and she pronounced it excellent. It did look tasty. My BLT was quite tasty. Yes, cast your eyes down the liquid list next time. There it sits: root beer float!


  5. We ate at both places. Usually a group met up on Fridays at Frontera, and Peter never swayed from having the same thing which was the drunken burrito. It was huge. I tried quite a few dishes, and they were good.


    1. Shelagh: We’ve eaten at Hecho en Mexico many times. The only thing there that’s ever disappointed me was a pastrami sandwich, which I ordered because I had read someone else recommending it highly. To me, it was okay, but just okay. We liked La Frontera a lot, especially the root beer floats, but as I mentioned earlier, it is my belated New Year’s Resolution to never set foot in San Miguel again. Aside from the restaurants, I’m way past weary of the place. In recent years, we’ve gone there almost exclusively out of habit when we want to get away from home, but I’ve started a list of other, better, options. I intend to build on that list.

      Dunno why your feedback went to the moderation file. I didn’t do it. Maybe you changed your email. Anything will trigger WordPress.


  6. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things like root beer floats. There are many food and beverage items available in Mexico that are not available in the states.

    Every morning I get a tall soda glass of carrot juice that costs less than a dollar. It takes about seven large carrots to make which would cost more than a dollar north of the border.

    I put extra hot chile habanero sauce on most everything I eat every day.
    I am grateful for what is available here.


    1. Andrés: Root beer float is a childish thing??? Dem’s fighting words, old boy! A root beer float is a thing of joy, a blessing from on high, a gift from the Goddess. It is a tragedy of monumental proportions that root beer floats are virtually unknown in Mexico. I weep.

      But if you’re satisfied with a measly glass of carrot juice, power to you! As Trump would say: Sad.


  7. Old folks have such funny hang-ups. That’s probably a part of the reasons I enjoy this blog so much. Continued success to you, Señor Felipe, and while we’re at it, to all your followers, motley group that they are.


  8. SMA doesn’t like Trump. Big surprise, really. What would be more surprising is if you could find any place in Mexico where Trump is popular. I’d wager that no such place exists.

    But the hunt for one might make for a funny story.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we’re wondering if you stocked up on root beer or not.


    1. Kim: Hunt no more. There is such a place: our Hacienda where the great President Trump always holds a place of honor.

      No, I did not stock up on root beer. Should have. We drove directly by the darn supermarket in question as we left town, hopefully for the last time ever. Shoulda, shoulda.


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