Tag Archives: shrimp cocktails

Street food

Yum, yum, yum!

A FREQUENT warning to people visiting Mexico is not to eat food from street vendors, advice that I’ve ignored for 17 years, and I haven’t died yet.

This afternoon, sitting at a sidewalk table on the main plaza with a café Americano negro, I hankered for something solid. I narrowed the options down to two.

One was a shrimp cocktail from a street vendor on the small plaza a couple of blocks away. Two was whole-wheat fig bread from another vendor quite near the shrimp stand.

I chose Option Two, the fig bread. That’s it in the photo. I brought it back to my coffee shop sidewalk table and cut into it with my pocketknife, the one you see there.

The fig bread is a great example of an amazing phenomenon you often encounter down here. Persistent food heat. I purchased the fig bread out of a basket. The bread had a cloth covering both it and its compañeros, all awaiting diners.

The vendor likely had left home, or wherever the bread was baked, a couple of hours previously, but the bread was still quite warm as she tucked it into a plastic bag.

I walked the two blocks back to the coffee shop, sat, opened the bag, and the bread was warm still. I cut it in half for the photo. Then I ate a good deal. Still warm.

How do they do that?

After slipping what remained of the bread back into its bag, I was surprised by the sudden appearance of the inimitable Jennifer Rose who sat with me a spell.

I offered her some fig bread, but she declined.

Little blessings

 

Blessed

PLENTY OF LITTLE gifts come with living on this mountaintop.

1. Roasted chicken. Mexico is associated with tacos, burritos, margaritas, sunsets, severed heads, etc., but what you may not know is the abundance of tasty, roasted chickens. Seems there is a roasted chicken joint on every block. Yum!

2. Shrimp cocktails. Almost as numerous as roasted chicken joints are sidewalk shrimp cocktails. Our little plaza downtown is lined on three sides with stands that sell shrimp cocktails and related stuff. Stupidly, I lived here about five years before I became a believer. I was a nervous nellie. I thought: seafood from a street stand? I finally wised up and grew a pair. Those were five wasted years, amigo.

3. Great shirts. Only about two years ago I started to purchase the used previously enjoyed, name-brand shirts sold in dark corners of the downtown market. Nautica, Hilfiger, Lands End, Chaps, Ralph Lauren, etc. I really don’t know if they are used or new, perhaps unloaded from hijacked semis above the Rio Bravo. No matter. For about $7 each, you can gad about in style.

4. Lemon ice. Just as good as the product from Angelo Brocato’s in New Orleans where my daughter once worked, it’s sold at street stands on our big plaza. I didn’t drag my feet on the lemon ice like I did shrimp cocktails. I’ve been slurping that lemon ice for years.

5. Shoe shines. For just a buck-fifty on the small plaza, you can see your face in those boots, brother.

6. Car washes. Fellows on the big plaza will sparkle your car for $2.75.

7. Cool June air. Okay, it’s not quite June, but almost, and the air will be cool. It will stay that way all summer.

8. Here at home. Orchids blooming in the peach tree and the sweet smell of golden datura sneaking through the bedroom window at night.

Little blessings here on the mountaintop.