Sunday, February 23, 2014

Colonia Guadalupe's Eat Street: Calzada de la Luz/Calzada de la Aurora

I stayed in Colonia Guadalupe my first few days in San Miguel. The little Bed and Breakfast, owned by Marcia Dolce (Airbnb) turned out to be not only one of the most economical and fun Bed and Breakfasts in San Miguel but left me with a lasting love for the area...especially the artists who live there.

Calzada de La Luz/Calzada de la Aurora was part of my navigational routine. I had to cross it every day to get to Centro and most of the time I was asking directions because I was forever lost.

One thing I discovered: Getting Lost In A New City Is A Good Thing.

I love to explore so getting lost was part of the process of discovering new people and places including some great little restaurants.

On Guadalupe's Eat Street, you can order just about anything from a 38 peso bowl of Pozole to a platter of your best prime rib.

Here are some of my usual stops.

Buen Apetito!

Mexican Comfort Food:

La Pozoleria
Calzada de Luz 51A
12:00 Noon - 9:30 PM
Closed Monday

It was 80 degrees and sunny. Tell me again that people don't order soup when it's warm? This place was packed.

I spent 38 pesos for a bowl green Pozole with pork and have to say it was some of the best I've eaten in San Miguel. The red Pozole? They were out.

This tiny restaurant is super clean and cute with nothing but very, very happy customers.

The Pozole came with an array of condiments - both on top of the soup and on the table to add - and a small tin of crispy tortillas which I am devoted to when I eat soup.

The open kitchen is a delight with Dulce and Maria cooking up the magical potions. Yes, this brew has medicinal qualities. Mexican comfort food for sure.

The Asian connection:

Delica Mitsu
Calzada de la Luz 49
Wednesday-Monday 12-7
Closed Tuesday

What's not to love about really good food at a great price? It's amazing what really fresh ingredients create. I've been back twice and selected the Bento - 2 Selections: 45 pesos both times.

The Asian Spinach Salad with carrot, jicama and Asian Sesame Dressing and the Fresh Spring Roll with chili sauce were delicious. I haven't had anything this fresh since leaving Chicago.

The next time, I devoured the Fried Curried Rice Ball. I'm not really a fan of rice balls but this one was very lightly curried.

This place is on the top of my list when I'm eating healthy.

The Diners, Drive Ins or Dive Find:

Hidalgo and Calzada de Luz

The kitchen? A taco cart parked to the front of the room. So who ever thought that this little dive would be at the top of your list of places to go for a shrimp in SMA? Ridiculously long lines on Sunday. 

The fun food on the menu: this ball glass of beer surrounded with mini shrimp.

Consistently Great Food ... and even better specials:

Calzada de La Aurora 12

100 peso weekend specials are a great buy. Unquestionably one of the best pieces of beef I’ve had since I've been in San Miguel. Delicious Caprese salad and don't forget the finisher: the chocolate pie. 2 for 1Margaritas after 5 PM. Really strong Margaritas. 

Yep - the package is pretty perfect.

A Casual Breakfast in the Garden:

Casa de Carly’s Café Yénatu
Calzada de la Aurora 48
8:30 AM - Noon
Closed Wednesday

If you're not in a hurry and don't mind the mañana service, this restaurant, which is part of the Bed and Breakfast with the beautiful gardens, has French toast made from Bolillos served with a fruit compote salsa topping and a variety of Eggs Benedict alternatives.

Sit outside in the garden. You may have to remind the waiter to refill your coffee but it's worth the views.

Sweet Treats:          

Panaderia San Sebastian
Calzada De La Aurora 24

Some say that their Empanadas are the best in San Miguel. I like them because they are thin and not over-stuffed.

The powdered sugar and chocolate galletas go down painlessly with a large glass of ice cold milk.

I could develop a severe addiction to this place.

Between Inspirations:

Fabrica Aurora
Calzada de la Aurora SN

From a restaurant up front to the casual center courtyard, there are several places in the Fabrica complex to grab lunch.

It's my favorite place to go when I need a shot of inspiration.

Lavanda Cafe

Lavanda Cafe,Hernandez Macias 87, is #51 on Trip Advisor. It should be in the top 10.

First of all you can count on really fresh ingredients and you'll love the presentation. The food is beautifully displayed, often on a wooden board with your not so usual side fruits... watermelon, grapefruit and an eatable flower.

I've had three meals there and all of them were exceptional.

Eggs Benedict: Delicious on a Bed of spinach, eggs poached to perfection, hollandaise sauce that was beautiful but of course in need of the usual squeeze of lemon and instead of Canadian bacon or chorizo....a tower bacon! My kind of breakfast.
The sweet surprise? The lemon and lavender marmalade. It had a wonderful lemony taste and much to my disappointment, the jars were sold out when I got to the front door. They told me that because of the type of lemons they use, it's only available a few months out of the year. Don't wait to buy. I did and when I finally decided to it was gone.

Sandwich: The key to this BLT is that it was served on a great piece of bread. It was also overloaded with bacon. One can never have too much bacon!

Chatitas: Not one but two beef sliders (probably a quarter pounder) served with cheese, light on the caramelized onions, no sweet potatoes so they substituted regular fries and homemade ketchup.

The French fries were so good they are now my new favorite French fry. You really don't need the ketchup which is my usual rule for survival here.

I've concluded after eating a double order of them that the key to a good "Mexican" French fry is to slice it super thin. The cooks in the kitchen told me they use a mandolin to slice them.

The Lemonade with lavender was refreshing and was artfully served in a little jar with a sprig of lavender.

The two times I went it was crowded and I had to come back later. The best time to get there is when they open or later in the afternoon about an hour before they close.

I'm headed back there again today. Is Lavanda becoming a habit? 

I hope so!

Buen Apetito!

SMA Shorts:

Bullfighting Collages by Merry Calderoni

Merry Calderoni is an abstract artist and was the first to establish an art space in at La Aurora. Her work has strong colors with a total emphasis on texture. It's a very unique style that even I can now identify.

Her new work, some of my favorite, is a series of paintings made from old bullfighting posters.

The upscale Bed and Breakfast, Casa Calderoni, located on Callejon del Pueblito #4 is also filled with her work.

Weavings by Nelly Lorenzo

This award-winning weaver who creates tapestries and rugs was teaching a weaving lesson when I came in.

Her beautiful gallery is filled with hand crafted items.

Did Someone Say Free?

A free shuttle leaves on the half hour from Insurgentes and Loreto to Plaza La Luciérnaga, Libramiento Manuel Zavala # 165, and on the hour from the mall back to town.

Best thing is that it takes the long way back so you get a free mini-tour of San Miguel.

Can't beat those prices.

Mexico is: All things Corazon. Everything here is done with the heart!

Love: Friends with red shoes... and friendly dogs.

Making: Carnitas with spicy slaw

Eating: Alex’s Salsa Verde

Tomatillos - 3/4 pound
2 medium jalapeños

Cover with water. Cover pan and place over medium heat 10-12 minutes until they get soft.

Put tomatillos in a blender.

De-stem jalapeños and place in a blender.

Add clove garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and a cup of cooking water from boiling the tomatillos. Add a small handful of Chili de Arbol.

Blend and serve.

Bacon: Here's Chef Kevin Hickey's (Bottlefork Chicago) new Bacon Burger recipe:

l lb, 6.4 oz tallgrass grass fed beef (chuck – 80/20)
9.6 oz applewood smoked bacon

Grind together on fine die and mix in a mixer with a dough hook until fully combined. Form in 8 oz patties. Season burger, toast Brioche bun. Grill burgers to desired temperature. Add Vermillion blue cheese. Place on top of toasted bun and top with lettuce sauce mix and top that with crispy shoestring potatoes.

Special Sauce

12 oz mayonnaise
8 oz ketchup
8 oz Dijon mustard
2 oz cornichon, minced
2 oz mustard seeds, pickled
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in refrigerator.

High Altitude Baking...

Recently, Michael Coon, one of San Miguel's culinary experts, brought in Susan Purdy, author of the award winning cookbook 'Pie In The Sky' to teach a class on high altitude baking. The class was a sell out.

Michael and Susan baked the sea level and high altitude adjusted recipes so we could see and taste the difference.

One of the most valuable parts of the lesson was the segment on ingredients...what's the best flour, leavening agent, butter, cocoa and other things to buy when baking in Mexico.
I went away with enough information including a General Purpose High Altitude Adjustment Guide to start baking. 

Now if I could only get a handle on this unpredictable oven.

Email Michael about classes at His classes change monthly and fill up quickly so be sure to confirm right away when you get his email.

Calle Ancha de San Antonio # 22

An attractive little wine store with surprisingly good prices. At least 3 interesting looking Chardonnays around 125 pesos from France, Argentina and Chile.

The new girl there did not know what Oaky meant when I asked her about Chardonnays so I gave her a quick lesson.

I like the idea of butter in my glass and love the classic style of oak-aged Chardonnay. Trouble is I haven't found much of it here.
Oaked Chardonnays are very rich, full-bodied wines with hints of vanilla, butter and sometimes even caramel from the oak.

Guess I'll be drinking my fair share of Kendall Jackson in Ft. Lauderdale next month.

Cranevino also sells super high quality frozen steaks and seafood, delicious gourmet items such as Olive Oil along with other snack and party food.

In the back room, where the walls are composed of wine case covers, is all the good stuff.

$$$$ but fun to look.


My beach...even if it is a balmy 0 degrees in Chicago today.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Pancetta

Mile-high Burgers


Martini Monday's with friends

Spicy Szechuan from Chicago's Chinatown

My old cameras

$ Gifts:

30 Pesos: Chocolate Cigars: Juarez 3, Centro

40 Pesos: Virgin of Guadalupe candle. Arte Popular Mexicano on Loreto

Market Finds:

Homemade Cheeses

Dessert Quiche

A lonely gordita waiting to be eaten

Little tiny helpers

Fresh out of the frying pan


            Photo: Huffington Post
Hello: Technology has made it possible to salud my son Tommy and his wife-to-be Jessica in Maui.

Adios: Valerie Dawson, Island Girl.

San Miguel's own travel writer Valerie Dawson ( is going to Europe and eventually to Thailand. 

Follow her adventures on 'This Way To Paradise' and her new travel and food website 'Eating the Globe.' ( Miss you already.

Here's Looking At You!

Buen Apetito!