Category Archives: Laughs

Ordering Eggs in Mexico


foto por Bajadock @ Casa Marcelo, Ensenada

mexkitchen.blogspot

One of the lesser, but frequent challenges for the expat in Mexico is ordering eggs in a restaurant. If you are fussy about how you want them cooked, as many are, you should read the following primer about getting your eggs the way you want.

But before anything else, I want to confront head on the nearly apocryphal mysteries of the double meaning of the word, “huevos”. While it’s true that it also has a second meaning of “testicles”, or more accurately, “balls”, the visiting gringo or savvy expat should not worry about evoking snickers or even guffaws from the waitstaff. The staff deals with eggs all morning, and if they were constantly snickering, they’d have no time or energy left to serve customers. That sort of humor, and also about chiles (a potent phallic symbol) is best relegated to the humorous repertoire of small boys and barely pubescent adolescents.

Nota bien: if you accompany your ordering with sign language, you may provoke humor. If you personalize your order, you run further risks. For example, don’t say, “I’ll have youreggs, fried, and over easy.”
That’s personalizing it. You just want “huevos estrellados.”

Common Pitfalls In Ordering Eggs
1. “Huevos al Gusto”, literally, “eggs to your pleasure”, but really “eggs to order”.
Don’t make the mistake of a one of our visiting friends and say, “I’ll have the huevos al gusto.” The waiter will have to ask you again how you want them prepared.

2. “Huevos Estrellados”, or eggs, sunnyside up. These are among the most popular. You need not accompany your request with elaborate sign language, making what seem to the waiter to be confusing and possibly humorous gestures. You have a better chance of getting them as you like if you use those two simple words. And, “por favor”, of course.

3. “Huevos a la Mexicana”: eggs scrambled with chopped chiles, tomatoes and onions. Simply, “eggs in the style of a Mexican woman”. Try not to say, “huevos al MexicanO”, which gives a simple order a new, special meaning.

4. “Eggs, over easy” aren’t easy to order. Many restaurants don’t get the concept. You have to ask for “huevos fritos volteados”. I once mistakenly said, trying to be helpful to another breakfaster, “huevos revolcados”, or something like, “knocked down eggs”. Where did I get that?

If you are lucky, one of your breakfast companions will order eggs sunnyside up, using gestures, and his eggs will arrive revolcados, umm, volteados, and you can swap.

Let’s move along quickly now. The following egg dishes are less fraught with peril:
5. “Huevos Rancheros”: eggs sunnyside up, on top of a lightly fried tortilla or two, covered with a salsa picante. Why this is totally snigger free is a mystery.

6. “Huevos Divorciados.” Sounds spicy, and they are: two eggs, estrellados, one in salsa verde and the other in salsa roja, on top of tortillas. This is a gringo favorite, especially those who have been in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

7. “Huevos revueltos”: I almost forgot them! Scrambled eggs. They are seldom cooked as I like, so I do not order them while breakfasting out.

8. “Omeleta” Sounds like “omelet”, and it is. Usually made with two eggs, and filled “al gusto”. What does “al gusto” mean? Class???
“As you like.”, that’s right. Muy bien.

So, you will need to specify what you want in it. “Tocino” (bacon), “queso”, (cheese); “cebolla” (onion), et cetera. Omelets are usually attractively garnished with onion, tomato and avocado, so you get a bonus for your breakfast pesos.

Special hint: The Omeleta de espárragos, cebolla, nopal y queso at the Gran Hotel Café in Pátzcuaro is a delight.

9. “Huevos Albañil”, or “Stonemason’s eggs”; scrambled eggs drowned in a very spicy sauce. Order this, as I do, when you want to be a cool, Old Mexico Hand.

10. Poached eggs: in general, don’t even try, unless you are in the restaurant of an international hotel. My Spanish-English digital dictionary yields the word, “escalfar” for “poached”, but we have had some limited success with “huevos pocheados”. Don’t get your hopes up. Please, whatever you do don’t call them “huevos pochos“.

There are other ways of preparing eggs, but the above listed are among the most commonly encountered. For further information, sign up for our advanced Huevos Clase.

Always be polite, and say “Por favor” and “gracias” at appropriate times. Try to keep gestures and especially sign language to the minimum. They look rude.

Finally, try to remember that Patience Is A Virtue, and that glitches in service do not occur only in Mexico. I’ll end with a video drama, made in an American diner, to keep things in perspective.

This is probably my last post of 2008. We’ll be travelling to México D.F., Puebla, and then spending a couple of weeks on Oaxaca. I hope to be observing, tasting and even cooking while we are there. With luck and energy, I’ll report back on our experiences.
May you have una Feliz Navidad y Provechoso Año Nuevo 2009!

 

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R.I.P. Ask A Mexican Column


Gustavo Arellano said the final version of his humorous ‘Ask a Mexican’ column will appear online for Albuquerque’s Weekly Alibi after he resigned as editor of OC Weekly, who owned the rights of the column. John Gilhooley via AP

santafenewmexican.com

ALBUQUERQUE — The “Ask A Mexican” column, a satirical weekly installment about U.S. Latinos that once ran in more than three dozen alternative weekly newspapers across the country, is coming to an end.

The column’s founder, Gustavo Arellano, told The Associated Press on Monday that the final version of the humorous installment will appear online for Albuquerque’s Weekly Alibi. The column will not appear in the OC Weekly of Fountain Valley, Calif., the publication where the column began, he said. It will also run in Wednesday’s edition of The New Mexican.

The move comes after Arellano resigned from the OC Weekly this month after he refused a request by newspaper’s owner, Duncan McIntosh, to layoff half of the publication’s staff.

 Arellano says the OC Weekly owns the column and he has rejected an offer to continue it as a contractor.

“When I had my meeting with Duncan McIntosh … he said he was open to me continuing the column on a ‘contract’ basis,” Arellano said. “That’s when I realized he was planning to keep the trademark on the column instead of giving it to me.”

McIntosh did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press.

Arellano said he opted not to continue the column under a different name and logo because it seemed like he would be “clinging onto the past.”

The column, which began in 2004 in OC Weekly and appeared in other newspapers two years later, drew national attention for asking readers to submit questions to Arellano about Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans.

Questions ranged from readers asking why Mexican immigrants park their cars on their lawns to why Mexican-Americans in Texas use yellow cheese with Tex-Mex dishes.

Arellano responded with history and humor while also challenging stereotypes about Latinos.

 “Ask a Mexican was my way of confronting the racism that Americans have thrown at my culture for over 150 years,” Arellano said. “It wasn’t just enough for me to yell and protest — I needed to do it with stats and satire.”

He became one of the few Latino columnists in the nation where Hispanics remain underrepresented in newsrooms. A survey released this month by the American Society of News Editors, for example, found that less than 6 percent of newsroom staff is Latino.

As alternative newsweeklies shrank and reduced pages and staff, the number of newspapers that ran the column fell to just five as of this month. Still, it remained popular online. Arellano sometimes answered questions through video, even challenging Latinos’ stereotypes about other ethnic groups and gays and lesbians.

Alexandro Jose Gradilla, a Chicana and Chicano Studies professor at California State University, Fullerton, said Arellano brought a new perspective to media on Latinos that attempted to embrace the contradictions of being Latino in the United States.

“He didn’t rely on heroic representations or nice and neat ones,” he said. “[Arellano] instead spoke about the people and identity they have with all the messiness that is part of the experience.”

Baja Peasant Food


My diet is fairly healthy with little pre-prepared food.  But, once in a while, I indulge in something that is full of fun like this week’s chili fries.

I’m all about peasant food or “comida campesina”.  Fresh, local ingredients prepared and cooked family style are my pleasures.

As mentioned before, lots of swirlies, splashies, sprinkles and flowers on plates are warning signs.  If “elevated cuisine” is simply plate decorations, enjoy the above example for your next hot date.

Hey, Doc, isn’t that a splashie decorated on your  chili fries plate?  Um, that is a spill from my ladle.

Salads, tacos, soups, stews and ceviches comprise 90% of my food intake.  But, the chili fries thing was because I had a carbohydrate itch that needed scratching.

Yep, I like my fries cooked medium-well, so they get a few extra minutes in the oven for the crunch factor.

Chili recipe was a slight new twist adding mole sauce to the mix of pork, black beans, poblano chiles, celery,  zucchini, tomatoes, onion, cumin, oregano and chili powder.  With cooler weather here, this cauldron of bubbly goodness poured over crispy fries is a good evening.

Poblano or pasilla?

Only thing I omitted that could have pumped up the decadence factor on my chili fries is some gooey cheese.

What wine to pair with this seductive dish?  That would be “vino ambar”, aka cerveza!

Next up?  I think I’ll be exploring a seafood poutine, thanks for my friends in the other BC, British Columbia.

Ensenada Bans Alcohol On Beaches


The mayor toured yesterday the esplanade of Playa Hermosa.

Bajadock: Geezo, Can’t enjoy a beer watching the sun set from the beach?  Will be interested to observe how strictly this will be enforced.  Soon, Baja California is going to have as many laws and regulations as Alta California. Remove alcohol, insert poop.

ElVigia.net

The mayor, Marco Antonio Novelo Osuna said that he has already issued instructions “to prevent alcoholic beverages from being disturbed and to avoid disturbing public order” in the area of ​​Playa Hermosa.

At the same time, it was reported that because the latest measurements of enterococci conducted in the area of ​​Playa Conalep, they showed favorable results and within the established in the norm, the precautionary closure decreed last Saturday was lifted.

César Cueñas Ceseña, head of the Department of Urban Management, Ecology and Environment and spokesperson of the Clean Beaches Committee, reported that the last sampling carried out by sanitary authorities gave 10 enterococos per 100 milliliters of water.

“The samples that were made on this beach are within the ranges established by the norm in the matter, which means that they are suitable for recreational use of bathers,” he said.

Cesar Cuevas, specified that, at this time, all the beaches that are located in the city of Ensenada, are open and can be enjoyed by the local population as well as domestic and foreign visitors.

The head of Civil Protection, Jaime Nieto de María y Campos, indicated that once the results were known, the red flags were lifted on Conalep Beach and two kilometers south that had been closed as a precautionary measure.

Monitoring results in Ensenada Beaches:

Monalisa Beach 31nmp / 100 ml

Pacifica Beach 30nmp / 100 ml

Playa Conalep I 10 nmp / 100 ml

Playa Conalep II 10 nmp / 100 ml

Playa Hermosa 20 nmp / 100 ml

Walks the mayor, esplanade
The municipal president, according to press release, visited the esplanade of Playa Hermosa, accompanied by staff of the Public Services and Infrastructure Department, as well as the Municipal Public Security Bureau

He said that during the visit, people who exercise every morning in this area, where I expressed their concerns to have a better space.

Marco Novelo said that “this area must be a space worthy for the ensenadenses and national and foreign visitors, where the families can have moments of healthy recreation”.

Angie’s Pole Fitness


Returning from Ensenada weekly shopping trip and happened to notice a sign for a different kind of business. There is Angie’s List and there is the Rolling Stone’s “Angie” song. Upper left with the pink curtains is Angie’s Pole Fitness.

This is great news, as I have been needing to diversify my workout routine.

“Tonifica musculo, mejora postura , elasticidad, recupera el autoestima, quema calorias y mucho mas
VEN ANIMATE A TINIFICAR TU CUERPO DE UNA MANERA SEXY.”
On Reforma/Hwy1, Chapuletpec, east/inland side of road.  Find your pole!

Free The Playboy Bunnies


Three Playboy models were detained in Mexico for allegedly working while holding tourist-only visas. The women were arrested on Thursday after immigration raided a Playboy party in Merida.

The three were in the country for a Playboy Music Fest event.

Marie Brethenoux from France, Elif Celik from Turkey, and Lauryn Elaine from the US say they weren’t working at the event and were not paid to attend.

“We came to Mexico to celebrate each other’s company and to gain publicity with our fans by coming to these parties in Meridá and Cancun,” Elaine explained.

The three girls were sitting at a VIP table drinking champagne at the Playboy Music Fest when immigration and federal police arrived at the party. Three others were arrested at the event, Mexico News Daily reports – two women and a man, variously from Argentina and Colombia, according to the Yucatan Times.

“Around midnight, immigration came and busted into our party when all of us girls were sitting at our VIP tables enjoying champagne and music,” Elaine said. “They then rounded us up into a large room and weeded us all out by checking everyone’s IDs.”

The women were taken to a holding cell and held for close to 24 hours. They said they had to “beg for food and water.”

Playboy Mexico called the detention an “abuse of authority” and “corruption,” and worked to get the models out of detention. It shared a photograph of the three detainees on the Playboy Mexico Instagram account.

“They are not bunnies they are WARRIORS and we love them. Thanks to all for your support,” it said.

The trio was released, but they have to remain in the country until their passports are returned. The Yancun Times reported the women were given 20 days to leave the country.

The incident doesn’t appear to have stopped the Playboy models from celebrating their freedom. The three appeared to be heading out on Sunday night and posed with their hands out as if wearing handcuffs.

“Even after detention in Merida nothing can stop us!” Brethenoux wrote on Instagram.

Elaine and Brethenoux also shared images taken at the beach in Yucatan on Sunday.

New Tijuana Border Car Wash


Sunday noonish vehicle accident on westbound Av Internacional in Tijuana caused a geyser of water to slow vehicles on the big hill leading toward Playas de Tijuana.  Nice to see that water pressure in this area is excellent.

Video above is from an eastbound vehicle.  uniradioinforma.com

Border Wall Prototype at Bar


Hennessey’s Facebook Page

Bajadock: What company manufactured the inflatable wall?  How many green cards did Hennessey give away?  Is the real Isabel Orlando filing a lawsuit?

Eagles Sue Tacos Desperados


 

Bajadock: What is next for the Eagles?   Lawsuits against the hundreds of bars with the name “Tequila Sunrise” should be announced soon.  Eagles, why don’t you come to your senses?  GetOverIt!

bajadeldia.com

Following their lawsuit against Hotel California in Todos Santos in Baja Sur, Mexico earlier this week, the Eagles rock band is now pursuing legal action against Ensenada’s famous Tacos Desperados.

According to Eagles’ business manager and spokesperson Yorbes Wager, the Tacos Desperados taco stand has been using the Eagles’ song “Desperado”, the album of the same name and lyrics to promote their tacos and tortas as being associated with the Eagles.  Trademark infringement is the argument in both the Hotel California and Tacos Desperados legal actions.

Locals and tourists flock to Tacos Desperados for the fresh meat and vegetables in tacos like “Montando Cercas”(Riding Fences), “No Puedes Conseguir”(You Can’t Get) , “El Duro”(Hard One) and “Su Mejor Apuesta”(Your Best Bet).

Su Mejor Apuesta taco is a mix of marinated grilled pork shoulder, crisp bacon, onion and poblano peppers.  When slathered with Tacos Desperados‘ special guacamole, Su Mejor Apuesta will escalate you to heaven.

Tacos Desperados manager, Reyna Corazon, said “My family has been selling tacos well before the Eagles band was formed.”  Tacos Desperados opened in 1969.  “We are just a family running a small taqueria.  Instead of engaging their lawyers, the Eagles should visit Ensenada, try our tacos and write some new songs.”, added Corazon.

Tacos Desperados‘ original location is still open at the corner of Quatro de Mayo and Calle 20, several blocks away from Ensenada’s busy tourist action. They are planning a new stand at 28 de Diciembre and Boulevar Bromas to open later this year.

Open That Bottle Night Feb 25


Bajadock: Discovered this little holiday, “Open That Bottle Night“, last year.  I forget what bottle I opened that night in 2016.  Grab your best friend(s), family or neighbor(s) and enjoy an informal feast.  I may move beyond my $10-$12 bottle comfort zone and try something new that I have been saving.  “Release your wine prisoner”. Saludos!

Whether it’s the only bottle in the house or one bottle among thousands, just about all wine lovers have that very special wine that they always mean to open, but never do. This is why “Tastings” columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle Night, the world-wide celebration of friends, family and memories during which all of us finally drink that wine that is otherwise simply too special to open.

On OTBN, which is celebrated on the last Saturday of February every year, thousands of bottles all over the world are released from prison and enjoyed. With them come memories of great vacations, long-lost loved ones and bittersweet moments. The whole point of the weekly “Tastings” column is that wine is more than the liquid in the bottle. It’s about history, geography, relationships and all of the things that are really important in life.

If you plan to participate in Open That Bottle Night, here are some tips to help you make the most of it.

1. Choose the wine. This is the all-important first step. You don’t necessarily want to open your “best” wine or your most impressive wine, but the wine that means the most to you, the one that you would simply never open otherwise. Maybe it’s Grandpa’s garlic wine. You’re looking for a bottle full of memories. On the other hand, if you have, say, a 1929 Lafite that’s just sitting there, it’s tough to argue with that.

2. Stand older wine up (away from light and heat, of course) for a few days before you plan to open it — say, on Wednesday. This will allow the sediment, if there is some, to sink to the bottom.

3. Both reds and whites are often better closer to cellar temperature (around 55 degrees) than today’s room temperature. Don’t overchill the white, and think about putting the red in the refrigerator for an hour or two before opening it if you’ve been keeping it in a 70-degree house.

4. With an older bottle, the cork may break easily. The best opener for a cork like that is one with two prongs, but it requires some skill. You have some time to practice using one. Be prepared for the possibility that a fragile cork may fall apart with a regular corkscrew. If that happens, have a carafe and a coffee filter handy. Just pour enough through the coffee filter to catch the cork.

5. Otherwise, do not decant. It’s safe to assume that these are old and fragile wines. Air could quickly dispel what’s left of them. If the wine does need to breathe, you should have plenty of time for that throughout the evening.

6. Have a backup wine ready for your special meal, in case your old wine really has gone bad.

7. If you are having an OTBN party, ask everyone to say a few words about the significance of the wine they brought. This really is what OTBN is all about, sharing.

8. Serve dinner. Open the wine and immediately take a sip. If it’s truly, irretrievably bad — meaning vinegar — you will know it right away. But even if the wine doesn’t taste good at first, don’t rush to the sink to pour it out. Previous OTBN participants have said they were amazed how a wine pulled itself together and became delicious as the night wore on.

9. Enjoy the wine for what it is, not what it might someday be or might once have been.

10. Drop Dottie and John a note at wine@wsj.com about your evening. Be sure to include your name, city and phone number, in case they need to contact you so that they can share your account with other readers.

This article was adapted from a Tastings column by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher published in January 2007.

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