Thursday, December 06, 2012

Zihuatanejo Taught Me. Part 1


Five nights here in Zi is just about right for us. I could have done one more, but home beckoned.

I don't mind calling it "Zi",or "Zihua", but I will never use the terms "margs" for margaritas", the popular cocktail. <<SHUDDERS>>

It's o.k. to look like a tourist; after we all, we are.

It's all right that you are given the English language menu, and that your waiter speaks good English.

Live music, if well performed and not loud, can be an enjoyable addition to dining out. And it must stay in the background and away from our table.

It's fine to walk around in shorts. The locals do.

Sunblock and a broad brimmed hat are must for güeros.

Minimal clothing or less is appropriate non-wear in your room.

Lock the door out to your terraza at night, if, like ours, it has no protective railing between you and the rooftops below. Especially apropos for sonambulists.

There are a number of people here with Asian features. I speculate that they are descendants of the old Acapulco-China trade.

There are some exotically attractive women, some of whom are full bodied and alluring. Others are less tzaftig* but still attractively blessed with nature's bounty. (Sorry, fellows,no photos. I am discreet. Damn!)

* "Pleasingly plump"

Air conditioning is a wonderful thing, especially from about 11 a.m. until about 5:00 p.m. Otherwise, ceiling fans are fine. In extreme conditions, cool showers help a lot.

Iguanas are much cooler than I ever suspected.

This is for Steve Cotton: Crocodiles are stealthy and ominous. Do not dip your toes in the lagoon.

This is for Felipe Zapata: Yes, it's much better to drive your own vehicle than to use the buses, if you are able to. We were, and we are glad we did.

Trained Driver makes your trip safe and comfortable
Walking around is fine before 11:00 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. at this time of year. Otherwise, stay in AC areas or in a pool, or at least in the shade. We adapted quickly.

You do not have to go to a gift shop or a Centro de Artesanías to buy nice gifts and home decor items. These are along the street.

Seasonal piñata sales, Plaza Kioto

Flowers made from corn leaves
More. And, inexpensive.
It's a good idea to carry a flashlight for nighttime walks.

Calle Adelita, Colonia La Madera, is one of the Restaurant Rows of Zihua.

Restaurants close at unexpected times. It may pay to call ahead. We were mildly disappointed that Jungle Pizza was not open until Friday, Saturday and Sunday, until high season.

You can get away with mistakenly driving the wrong way on smaller side streets, sometimes, but it's not recommended.

I may think of more things that Zihua taught me.

Here's are some restaurants we visited.

Restaurante Lety's at Crucero de La Union.
Lety's pretty exterior
On our last visit to the Zihua area, our bus stopped at Lety's Restaurant (there are several Lety's in the Zihua-Ixtapa area, but I'm fairly certain that this one is unrelated.) restaurant, not far after we left the cuota (toll hwy) and joined Federal Crta (Hwy) 200. The drivers were in there at least 15 minutes, so we figured it must be good. We, the passengers were not invited.

The cheerful exterior is contrasted by the gloomy, faded interior. it's like being inside a large cage. (It's also the bus stop.) The mens' room, off the taller mecánico to one side (auto repair workshop) is like a set from Flintstone's Bedrock Village in aquarium blue.

There is no printed or written menu. Our waitress mentioned aporeadillo, a scrambled egg and shredded cecina (machaca) dish in salsa picante. Of seafood, the filetes de pescado had run out (At1 on a Saturday afternoon?).

But there was caldo de camarón, already prepared, and you could order shrimp various ways. It was all a little underdeveloped but sincere.

And the tortillas were handmade and hot. We were brought a molcajete of good salsa picante, a block of tangy white cheese and a knife; and some good, earthy frijolitos enriched with genuine lard.

Salsa molcajetera
Queso blanco
The caldo de camarones was rich but very picante at first.  The tortillas  helped mute the exquisite agony. Recommended, especially for chile masochists.

Caldo de Camarones: YOW!
The more sensible Sra. Cuevas had Camarones al mojo de ajo, quite good, if light on the garlic, accompanied by not very good rice and a small salad which she did not eat. (The proprietress mildly admonished us at the end of the meal that the salad greens were disinfected.)

Camarones al Mojo de Ajo
Sra. Cuevas drank a Fresca and I two Cervezas Victorias, and the bill was $185 pesos Mexicanos, about $14.25 USD.

Food: ***1/2

Service: Relaxed, informal, friendly

Price: $  Cheap

Ambience: Poorly lit, caged feeling.

Hygiene: We didn't get sick. The chiles can hurt, though.

Restroom (men's) Adequate.

Parking in front

Would we return? Maybe, but not on our must do list. Lety's illustrates the concept of "Relax, and go with the flow. It will be all right.", but it's not calling me to return.

More and better restaurants in coming installments.

Bungalows Madera, where we stayed, will be described later in a separate post on mt other blog, Surviving  La Vida Buena. Watch for it.

See the whole trip flash before your eyes in one dazzling stream, below.


Steve Cotton said...

Good pointers on The Beach. This Sunday I will be back to mine -- and my pals, the crocodiles.

Andean said...

What a nice slideshow. I never saw such interesting looking, and colorful iguanas. And of course, your food photos always make me hungry.

Tancho said...

I am pretty sure that it's the same place we stopped by on our way out of town last time, food was decent and pricing was reasonable, place was very popular with the local trades.....It was kind of the last place that looked decent on the way home

John Calypso said...

What a GREAT report - well done with fine photos including my friends the iguanas. Gracias amigo!

DonCuevas said...

Gracias a ustedes. Lean más adelante.

Don Cuevas

Lapis said...

The image of the iguana is stunning. I wonder if they would keep nicely in a garden in Merida? BTW you do a very nice job of photographing and describing the food. I'm enjoying reading your blog. Can't wait to retire and move there.