13 Search Results for "tortillas"
- From: mimic
- 1 year ago
- Views: 615
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- From: mimic
- 1 year ago
- Views: 426
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- From: fmcmains
The wife of a potter outside of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I shared a quiet lunch of cactus and tortillas with this lovely family one recent afternoon at their house near the reservoir outside of a colonial Mexican mountain town.
- 3 years ago
- Views: 340
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- From: lascasas
- 3 years ago
- Views: 292
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- From: bevandlee
The Prado Museum would be closing in two hours. My husband and I were only a few blocks away so we frantically finished up our tapas and sangria. It had been very easy to linger too long in this colorful little bar munching on tortillas and olives while eavesdropping on a conversation delivered in a language we only understood by the wild gesticulating of the speaker.
Rushing past hefty haunches of air-cured serrano ham that were hanging from every available rafter in the building, we exited into the darkening night. The tree-lined avenue leading to the museum was thick with promenading well-dressed locals whose primary purposes appeared to be to “see or be seen”.
We briskly climbed the stairs, paid our 500 pesetas and entered one of the world’s most famous art galleries. I had seen other grand art collections before at the Louvre and the Hermitage and although I was impressed by the skills of the artists, I never felt moved by the paintings themselves.
Meandering through rooms filled with violently graphic works by Goya; the pale, fleshy goddesses of Rubens and the religious masterpieces of El Greco, I thought two hours was more than enough time for me to spend here. I casually walked past some of the greatest treasures of the art world, quickly scanning the canvas and glancing at the artist’s name, thinking nothing more than how well preserved it looked for being over 400 years old.
As I rounded yet another partition, a gilt-frame portrait across the room firmly possessed my gaze and slowly drew me near. I had never seen anything like it before and it mesmerized me. The brilliant red cape and hat were simply an adornment on the most magnificent face I had ever seen. This painting was alive and speaking directly to me, penetrating an untouched place in my soul. I forgot to breathe.
“Portrait of a Cardinal” by Raffaello De Urbino, the small plaque said. “Miracle.”, I thought as the museum closing announcement echoed in the background.
- Blog post
- 3 years ago
- Views: 977
- From: verdoonie
- 3 years ago
- Views: 252
- From: AmyCW
Before “diving in” (pun intended) to describing my new favorite beach town, I’d like to share the update that several items listed in the “20 Ideas for Saving Money” post qualified as winning ideas for the local contest sponsored by frugal-columnist Ms. Cheap at the Tennessean, Nashville's daily newspaper. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Cheap last Monday at a brown bag lunch session where she announced the contest winners, who each happily received a signed copy of her new book, 99 Things to Save Money in Your Household Budget.
Ms. Cheap would certainly have approved of the frugal, excellent long weekend Adam and I took in Florida the weekend before – in which we drove from Nashville, stayed with friends, and avoided the expensive theme parks for two days of sun, swimming, grilling, and exploring (and of course, in my case, preparing homemade nectarine salsa and Carolina cole slaw to add some flair to the cookout). One of the highlights of the weekend was the day we spent in St. Augustine, meeting friends at Anastasia State Park.
This was my second time to St. Augustine, but my first time to this particular beach – a private beach with $8.00 per car fee, but well worth the cost for the natural, clean, and minimal-tourist experience. The water was warm, the white sand was soft, and the waves were perfect for bodysurfing, football, frisbee-throwing, and catching rays. The facilities were particularly convenient, with outdoor sand showers, picnic tables, and a convenience store where I was able to find a pair of sunglasses, and Adam a pair of swim shorts, both quite nice, at the last minute and at a decent price.
After a day at the beach, we were starving, and headed to the historic downtown St. Augustine to A1A Aleworks Brewery & Restaurant for some local brew and a meal on the second-level patio overlooking Matanzas Bay. The restaurant, describes itself as a working brewery serving "New World Cuisine featuring Caribbean, Cuban and Floridian influences,” was everything I had anticipated. We ordered a sampler flight of 2-oz. beers that we happily sipped, watching the sun set, with a basket of warm bread on the house. Although we were not in lobster country, I was too intrigued by the lobster tacos (off the appetizer menu) which turned out to be amazing.
Although I’m usually one to plan my vacations meticulously to put together a combination of the absolute best street ambience, restaurants, scenic areas, and quaint architecture, I came upon St. Augustine completely by accident this past April while traveling in Florida for work. After following up the winter with a particularly draining work schedule, I was yearning for relaxation and the beach, and St. Augustine was the closest to my location. One evening after work I drove an hour to the coast, and once I entered the historic downtown, I was hooked. I entered a world of Spanish architectural style, from the Cathedral of St. Augustine, to Flagler College, to the narrow, cobblestoned streets dotted with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants specializing in international dishes ranging from French pastry, to Polish pierogi, to fish and chips, to Mayan cuisine. Deep into the town were historic structures, beautiful private residences and B&B’s.
While the gulf-coast beach towns where I spent much of my youth had a laid-back, fishing-village, shanty-town feel (which is a great escape in its own right), St. Augustine offered more of a high-end atmosphere perfect for a more luxurious experience after a sun-drenched day, while having many diversions that were surprisingly affordable. On my brief evening after work, I was entertained simply enjoying the street life while munching a pastry, peeking inside the Cathedral, and browsing the shops. I made my only purchase at a store specializing in all things hot sauce, Hot Stuff Mon, I bought some specialty sauce made from locally-grown Datil peppers and an orange-and-Datil Minorcan spice mixture, which we are still enjoying here at home.
I topped off my evening with dinner at Casa Maya for authentic Mayan cuisine (from bottom left, clockwise): Pork marinated in sour orange juice and axiote basted in mayan spices, black bean soup, candied plantains, tortillas, and Mayan rice.
Returning for a second time in September confirmed my newfound love for this jewel of a town in northeastern Florida, where I hope to return again soon to continue exploring the culinary delights, museums, and historic structures between lazy days at the beach.
Where to eat:
A1A Aleworks Brewery & Restuarant, 1 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084, (904) 829-2977
Casa Maya Organic Mayan Cuisine, 17 Hypolita Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084, (904) 829-3039
Denoel French Pastry Shop, 212 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084, (904) 829-3974
What to see and do:
Anastasia State Park, 200 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080, (904) 461-2033
Hot Stuff Mon, 34 Treasury Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084, (904) 824-4944
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (America’s Oldest Stone Fort), 1 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084
- Blog post
- 4 years ago
- Views: 2115
- From: mingojct
On a tour in central Mexico, we were treated to home made tortillas -- cooked the old-fashioned way. This little girl was so adorable...
- 4 years ago
- Views: 291
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- From: patrickmurphy
Mexico is the first stop of my round-the-world ticket (my recent excursion to South
America served as a travel "tune-up"). OneWorld (an alliance of 10 different
airlines) offers a couple of options for round-the-world travel. I chose the 4-continent
option which allows 20 flights to be used within a year, with no time limit as to how
long I can stay at each destination. I just contact the airline and tell them I´m ready
to go and they will book me a flight to my next destination. Once I leave a particular
continent I'm done with it (I am allowed to move back and forth within a continent).
After selecting my 20 flight destinations, my travel agent (Tonya with AAA in Chico) took
care of all of the details with the airlines. It was quite a painless process for me.
Right now, I'm a few hours north of Acapulco in Zihuatanejo, Mexico on the Pacific
Coast(the place that "Red" Boyd met up with Andy Dufresne during the last scene
in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption"). A classic Mexican beach town,
although it's pretty friggin' humid at the moment....my first dose of humid weather on
the trip, with alot more to come I'm sure.
I know for many folks, their only experience or vision of Mexico is that of the border
town (e.g., Tijuana) with a somewhat chaotic atmosphere, sometimes uncomfortable
experience walking or driving down the streets, and the poverty). That is a shame,
because the Mexico I have experienced on other trips, coupled with what I have
experienced with this latest trip thus far, tells a completely different story. Given
the combination of history, classic architecture, fine food, friendly people,
culture/arts, weather, cleanliness, and affordability, I really can't think of a better
place to visit than central Mexico. If there is, I'd sure love to hear where that might
be. I would not hesitate to include any
"words of caution" or hit upon some of the downsides of this area if warranted,
but I simply don't have anything to report on in this regard. This part of Mexico is
CENTRAL MEXICO'S COLONIAL CITIES/TOWNS
I flew into Mexico City (pop. 18 million) and spent three full days roaming the streets
and only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. From what I did see and
experience (on the subway from the airport, in the historic downtown center, and walking
at least 10 miles a day from the center to different random areas) it is a fantastic
city. It contains way too many interesting sites to name at the moment. I will hold off
on my final insights on the city until I spend an additional 3 or 4 days there when I fly
a couple of weeks.
From Mexico City I headed north via bus (Mexico has a great bus network with modern and
safe buses that can get you anywhere you need to go) to the colonial cities/towns of
Queretaro (pop. 600,000), San Miguel de Allende (pop. 65,000), Guanajuato (pop. 75,000),
Zacatecas (pop. 120,000), and then southwest to Guadalajara (4 million). Regardless of
its size, each city/town had very common elements: classic historic centers with safe
and clean streets, impressive spanish colonial churches and buildings, museums, and plaza
after plaza after plaza containing fountains and statues, music bandstands, gardens, etc.
many times all connected with each other via cobble stone alleyways lined with great
little restaurants, bars, and-or shops. Queretaro, Guanajuato and San Miguel added an
additional element to the already impressive architecture by incorporating a tremendous
array of vivid colors to the buildings (yellow, gold, burnt orange, deep reds and blues,
maroon, and different shades of whites and browns) all of which really create a vibrant
Queretaro, Guanajuato and Zacatecas also had incredible stone aqueducts with many, many
arches similar to what you will find across Europe. Guantajuato also has a very unique
element which is a series of underground stone tunnels (at least 10) for vehicles and
pedestrians underneath a large portion of the city.
During the day and especially in the evenings, each of these cities actually has a
Disneyland-like atmosphere (I'm not kidding) with families and individuals walking the
streets with ice cream, cotton candy, aguas frescas, or coffees in hand and being
entertained by musicians, street performers, or large colorful fountains in the plazas.
I felt as safe walking the streets during the day and night as I do when I'm home walking
the streets of Chico.
The arts are also alive and well in Mexico. Public plazas and parks are filled with
artists, sculptors, mariachi bands, rock and roll bands, solo singers on acoustic guitar,
full orchestras, native dancers, and street performers such as magicians and clowns (the
clowns I could do without. Some of the performances were part of a week-long festival
(going on many of the cities), while others were just random happenings.
Since baseball is also a cultural event, I attended a baseball game at the local stadium
in Guanajuato. The game was entertaining and the play was decent, but the main treat was
the stadium design. In left field, the ballpark has it's own version of Fenway Park's
"Green Monster" in that the entire left field wall consisted of a 30 foot-high
rock outcrop which was the side of a hill. Atop the rock outcrop was another 15-foot
high stone foundation of an old building, above which are homes that have views right
into the park). The wall presented a menancing appearance for batters....although it was
only 266 feet to home plate. Two batters did club homers over the wall. It was a nice
afternoon. Maybe I can become a scout for a Mexican baseball league.
For eating, I have found that it is best just to roam and try random restaurants in the
central areas or to small cafes and sidewalk markets in the neighborhoods. There are
always the great enchiladas with mole sauce (in Mexico it´s all about the spices and the
sauces, with each region having there own variations), tacos, tortas, etc. but most of
items on the menu are not found in the Mexican restaurants in the U.S. (e.g., albondigas
al chipotle, a mexican-style meatball with some hard-boiled eggin the middle, covered
with a zesty chipotle sauce). While roaming down a nice tree-lined street south of the
historic district of Mexico City, I passed by Chito's Fonda Mexicana restaurant, where I
spotted three old grandmothers through the window making fresh tortillas and working the
grill. I've been around the travel block enough times now to know that this can only be
a good thing. I entered and sat at a small table....next to a nun. Ordinarily, I
think this would be considered to be a good thing; however, after tasting yemas
("treats" made by nuns in Avila, Spain...the only food I did not like in all of
Spain) a few years ago I was now a bit skeptical of the culinary tastes of the nun
sitting next to me. I am happy to report that this nun knew what she was doing...the
albondigas al chipotle and tortilla soup were terrific. One of my favorite meals so
From Guadalajara, I took a day trip via a 2 hour bus ride to the town of Tequila. A
quaint little town of about 25,000 people, it is home to many tequila distillaries such
as Sauza and Jose Cuervo. All of the fields surrounding the town and most of the fields
found throughout the region consist of blue agave plants....the source of tequila. I
explored the town and its nice little plaza and restaurants and then took a 2-hour tour
of the Jose Cuervo plant which is right in town. It was quite interesting learning about
the history of tequila, the importance of it to the Mexican culture, the process of
making it, and about the many types of tequila. Oh yeah, it also included tequila
tasting...and a good amount of it!!! The group was feeling pretty good by the time it
I am now beginning my tour of the central and southern coast (Pacific and Gulf sides,
which hopefully will include a visit to Mayan ruins), so I´ll see if they can match up
with Central Mexico...a tough act to follow.
- Blog post
- 5 years ago
- Views: 3809
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- From: Blessed
The Idaho Panhandle slumbers in the lap of the gorgeous Bitterroot Mountains. It’s not uncommon to see celebrities and millionaires shopping on the streets alongside homespun locals and tourists, nor is it uncommon to see limousines share the streets with pickup trucks sheltering dogs on the beds. Northern Idaho has an incomparable beauty and the cities have small-town charm. As an attraction, the region is rich with family-friendly entertainment as well as excitement for the younger crowd and retirees. The main city of the region is Coeur d’Alene, but that is not to downsize the magic of Hayden, Rathdrum, Athol, and andpoint.
One of the best places to find breakfast is right in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene. Java on Sherman, a small coffee shop and deli, opens its doors onto the corner of Sherman Avenue, the main downtown drag. Java offers the typical coffeehouse fare along with some trademark novelties. The Bowl of Soul, for example, is a cappuccino-filled mug that swallows your face with its size. The baked goods are especially memorable. Java’s muffins are notoriously top-heavy, and the diameter of the muffin’s top is easily twice the diameter of the muffin’s bottom, spilling out over the paper wrapper with abandon. Java also serves sandwiches detailed to rival any deli.
Hayden, a city barely five minutes outside Coeur d’Alene, houses the Blue Plate Café. The Blue Plate is very much the stereotypical small-town diner, laden with down-home décor and local regulars in jeans and trucker hats. Some Idahoans obviously have attended the café very a decent portion of their lives, as they know the waitresses by name and don’t even crack a look at the all-embracing menu. The breakfast portions are by far the most popular, both delicious and huge. For a small price, it’s an excellent deal.
Another excellent coffee joint is 2b Café in Hayden, Idaho, mere minutes from Coeur d’Alene. 2b has an open and sophisticated feel that offers beer and meals as well as espresso. Attached is a small gallery, the perfect place to idle while you sip the excellent and vibrant Mexican mochas.
Coeur d’Alene holds a cultural gem you will not want to miss. Hudson’s Hamburgers began when the Hudson family began hand-packing beef patties at the turn of the century. Not much has changed since then. “Huddie’s” has a single counter with a full view of the kitchen, there are less than a dozen stools for seating, and your homemade hamburger comes with a simple choice of lettuce, pickles, or onions. It’s beneficial to arrive either an hour prior or an hour later than conventional lunch hours, as to minimize the wait for your food. Or simply order it to go, and enjoy your meal lakeside.
Idaho’s main chain restaurant is Toro Viejo, an authentic Mexican restaurant. The amount of food is worthy of leftovers, and the prices are affordable. If you desire a sit-down meal, but would like more of a casual atmosphere, Chulo’s can’t be beat. The Mexican restaurant allows you to personalize your meal through a buffet-style procession. The tortillas are made before your eyes, and there is no doubt that the food is the real deal.
The main public hub in Coeur d’Alene is the Riverstone Plaza. The Plaza, which features a movie theater and many other restaurants, hosts Joey’s, a “spruced-up” barbecue joint. At first glance, Joey’s décor and location - a small restaurant with bronze sculptures on the walls and placed at the edge of a strip mall - make it seem less than the amazing food that can be smelled from the parking lot. Joey’s unexpected surprise - barbecue plum sauce - floods the brisket and pulled pork, and the baked beans are tantalizingly spicy. The prices are a little on the high side, but the portions can easily be split into two meals. Order a few different things and a few spare plates, and pass the food around. The movie theater next door is perfect for late night entertainment.
When you’re making the drive for good food, drive two hours south to Lewiston, Idaho. Lewiston displays Effie’s, a conservative tavern that boasts hamburgers with patties weighing one pound and buns with diameters of eight inches or more. Because of the large sizes, the small joint ensures homemade burgers and buns, as well as homemade steak fries. Split the burger; even athletic high school boys and Eagle Scouts can’t finish a whole “Effieburger”.
If you’re looking for art galleries, Coeur d’Alene has no shortage. Sherman Avenue is lined with displays of local paintings, photography, and sculptures. The Painter’s Chair is a study in contrasts. The ceiling and walls, painted black, oppose the bright and often nonsensical artwork displayed. If you deviate from Sherman and travel up Fourth Street, you’ll encounter Cisco’s, a treasure trove of pricey antiques and rare artifacts from the local Coeur d’Alene Indians and Western artists. The Songbird, a small performing arts center, is further on up the street, and boasts a small, though talented, collection of local artwork and photography.
Downtown Coeur d’Alene is a space of creativity and easy-going liveliness. All Things Irish, for example, is a store which sells authentic kilts, plaques inscribed with Gaelic proverbs, and leprechaun hats covered in shamrock-green sequins. Down the street from All Things Irish is Del Sol, a shop that manufactures shirts, sandals, even fingernail polish, that changes color when exposed to the sun‘s rays. On the same side of the street as Java is Figpickle’s. This capriciously-named shop sells the eccentric toys that might be expected from “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”, though with a larger price tag.
If you have children and would prefer to spend your day at a more family-friendly location, head North to Triple Play, a family fun center on the outskirts of Coeur d’Alene. Triple Play offers seasonal miniature golf and go carts, laser tag, an extensive arcade, and an indoor water park that features a children‘s pool and three fun water slides. The parents can enjoy an indoor-outdoor hot tub abutting the wave pool, which allows them to watch their children and relax at the same time. An insider’s note: although Triple Play’s prices are not too extravagant, it’s often easier to book as a birthday party, especially if you have a group of ten or more and you desire copious amounts of arcade tokens.
Northern Idaho is filled with lakes and natural parks to enjoy. Lake Coeur d’Alene is rife with fun things to do. Public volleyball courts dot the East beaches, mere yards from downtown. Aside from the pristine beaches and clear waters, the businesses along the lake offer parasailing, airplane tours of the Lake Coeur d’Alene region, and boating excursions. If swimming is too tame, wander over to Tubbs Hill where you can make the hour-long hike around the breathtaking mountain and jump off rocks achieving twenty feet in height.
Farragut National Park is about a forty-minute drive from Coeur d’Alene. It’s four dollars a day per vehicle, but it’s more than worth it. Farragut offers sweeping, dramatic views of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced “pond or-ray“), one of the deepest lakes in Idaho. It’s so deep, in fact, that the Navy once used the body of water to house a submarine base in the depths. The sweeping Bitterroot Mountains peer over Pend Oreille and the park as a whole. While the park offers daily activities such as swimming, hiking, horseback riding, and outdoor sports in general, Farragut also contains small cabins facing the gorgeous water for overnight stay. The cabins are small, but they are surrounded by porches that can easily sleep three or four people.
In the opposite direction toward Canada, about an hour from Coeur d’Alene, is the small city of Sandpoint. Sandpoint hosts several lovely and extensive art galleries. It also contains a covered bridge that has been restored into a sophisticated shopping center, the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market. Inside the covered bridge is the sole distributor of gelato ice cream in Sandpoint. Pend Oreille extends up to Sandpoint, so there are a variety of water activities to enjoy.
The mountains surrounding the Idaho Panhandle and the lovely vegetation makes the region the perfect destination for the artistic spirits, while the tempting charm draws in people from every walk of life. As a whole, Northern Idaho truly is an enjoyable attraction as well as a gorgeous experience.
- Blog post
- 5 years ago
- Views: 1774
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