The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows food!... Day 8 - Origen

Eight days, eight restaurants and eight wonderful meals.... and so ends this incarnation of Oaxaca Sabe.  Really, instead of a week long, it should be a month long.  Then we could have hit every one of the participanting chefs and restaurants. Oh well, with luck, we will have another chance in six months or so if things go according to form this being the third incarnation of Oaxaca Sabe. 

So how to choose the last restaurant?  One with style, panache and a renown chef and menu.  Oh, they all had that.... why not throw a dart....
A lucky shot and we found our selves at Origen, one block east of the zocalo on Hidalgo.
Talk about ambiance!
Chef Rodolfo Castellanos made it tough, we had a choice of three meals.  You can see what I had.  and you can see what sister blogger had over at Casa Colibri.  Here's the whole menu with photos of my wonderful meal.

Ensalada de hongos serranos, toronja , pepitas y manzanita criolla
Wild musroom salad, grapefruit, local apple puree and pumpkin seeds

Ceviche vegetariano, leche de tigre y verduras de temporada
Vegetarian Ceviche, seasonal vegetables and leche de tigre

Sopa de frijol blanco, tortilla, aguacate y pasilla
White bean soup, tortilla, avocado and pasilla
Pozole verde de pescado
Fish of the day in pozole verde.

Albondigas de rabo en pasta casera, chipotle y albahaca criolla
Homemade pasta, oaxtail meat balls, chipotle and basil
Arroz con huitlacoche, quesillo y huevo estrellado
Black rice, huitlacoche, oaxacan string chees and fried egg

Biscocho de Aceite de Oliva
Olive oil cake

Flan de elote
Corn flan
Sopa fría de durazno, espumoso, merengue y yogurt
Chill soup, sparkling wine, yogurt and local peaches

So that's that!  A week plus one of fantastic meals.... and a final bash tonight with all the chefs.  We get in free because we ate at at least four restaurants.  What a deal!  Remember all these meals were $250 MP ($14.62 US).  Unbelievable!  ¡Viva Oaxaca!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows food!... Day 7 - Sabine Sabe

We are going for the record.... if a record even exists.  However, seven days, seven restaurants, seven wonderful meals.  Oaxaca Sabe continues.  Yesterday, Sunday, it was off to Sabine Sabe, which is on 5 de Mayo just across the street from the well-known Women's Collective shop. 
Chef Miguel Jiménez presented both a vegetarian and a meat based menu.  I opted for the latter and was one happy camper.
Crema de tomate rostizado con chorizo y juliana de tlayuda
 Costilla de cerdo con segueza y vegetales salteados al perejil
 Gaznates rellenos de mouse de almendra con salsa de chocolate amargo
I know I sound like a broken record, but, once again, everything tasted so good and the whole experience was so positive, I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.  One more day to go!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows food!... Day 6 - Casa Crespo

Another day, another wonderful meal.  This week of Oaxaca Sabe continues to be a remarkable series of taste treats.  
Today, it was Casa Crespo with its well-renown chef, Oscar Carrizosa who presented a choice of menus.  Once again, sister blogger, Shannon, had one of the choices and I, the other.  
As we ate at a roof top table overlooking Santo Domingo, we watched all the Saturday afternoon action.
Shannon's meal was more photogenic, but mine was equally delicious.  Plato de insectos  (Costilla en mole de chicatanas, Queso Fresco con salsa de chapulines, tortilla de tuétano rellena de guacamole y gusanos de maguey)  That's big black flying ants, grasshoppers and some worms..... party on, Garth.
I have eaten lots of insects this week and they were all the bee's knees.... I mean, very tasty.
Pipían verde con huachinango (Red snapper) 
 BU´ PU  (Recreación de una bebida prehispánico)
(Recreation of a pre-Hispanic drink, a rich tejate)
We have now eaten at six of Oaxaca's best restaurants for under $90 US and some of the meals we've had would have cost all of that just for a single meal at many upscale eateries.  And we have not even taken advantage of the beer, wine, mezcal, sticking to aguas.  What a deal and what a meal!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows..... food!... Day 5 - Tres Bistro

Whew!  This is such fun, but we actually contemplated taking a day off from all this fine food after this meal.  Then, we quickly came to our senses.  Just keep them coming....  
Yesterday, it was Tres Bistro which overlooks the west side of the zocalo.  
We had a table right in the center window.  
It does not get any better than that.  
And here is the menu.  We have this down now, so when there is a choice we each get what the other does not.  Here is sister blogger Shannon's meal.  My meal was sublime and once again, the service and presentation were impeccable.

 Crema de poro y papa con jamón serrano (leek and potato with serrano ham)
Roast beef con salsa remoulade y cebolla rellena a la provenzal
Strudel de plátano con salsa de brandy y café.
You can tell from the photos that it all tasted wonderful. Really, everything was so good.  Roast beef is a rarity here, at least for me, and this was so tender and tasty that it satisfied that empty niche in my diet that I miss..... not that I am complaining.  Eating fresh and healthy food here is so easy, but every now and then it is nice to have something different.  Not a tortilla in sight..... but a wonderful meal and glorious setting.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows..... food!... Day 4 - Luvina

Continuing to eat our way through Oaxaca.... yesterday, it was Luvina for someone's birthday meal.
What a week!  Once again, the food was sublime and the presentation and service impeccable.  Chef Carlos García is from Guadalajara and presented a wonderful menu. The first course was arroz cremoso con legumbres, calamares y mollejas asadas (creamy rice with vegetables, with grilled little crunchy squid and gizzards) and it was about as good a dish as I have ever had.  So good it makes my mouth water just to think of it.
Next we had a choice between conejo chimeco con verduras rostizadas con manteca de pato (rabbit with roasted vegetables in duck fat).  I got the wabbit. 
I am ready for my closeup....
Looks pretty good doesn't it?  It was.
The other main course choice was robálo al pastor con chichilo negro con espuma de cilantro (sea bass, chichilo mole with an amazing cilantro foam).  I had a taste.... mmmmmmm.
Dessert was a very light bread-like thing with a candle.  I liked it.
What a blast this week is turning out to be!  On to the next.....  Be sure to check out Casa Colibri's post... she has more photos ;-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows..... food!... Day 3

The fun and feasting continues as we continue to take advantage of all the many wonderful gastronomic offerings of Oaxaca Sabe.  Today, it was La Olla, home of friend for many years, Chef Pilar Cabrera.
We had a choice of two menus and sister blogger Shannon got the other one, which looked pretty damn good!  Here is her posting.  I got the other half of the menu and.... hmmm... I'm not sure whose was better.  Mine was really sublime.  Sopa de frijol con chorizo (a perfect combination of beans, cheese, chorizo and crispy tortilla strips)

Costilla de cerdo con salsa de chicatana (Pork ribs with a sublime sauce made from these.  Definitely check out the link.)  Meat perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth and so tasty with vegetables buried in the sauce.

Mousse de maracuyá con crocante de coco. (Light and tangy with a perfectly smooth texture.)
It just keeps getting better and better.  Everyday, a new taste treat.  I could get used to this.  Again, not only was the meal absolutely exceptional, but the price was embarrassingly low... under $15 US.
Wonderful setting and once again, an excellent wait staff.  Muchas gracias, Pilar.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows..... food!.... continues

If you read the previous post about Oaxaca Sabe, you probably said to yourself, "Those guys ought to try to eat at as many of those restaurants as possible."  Well, it's a tough assignment, but we are on it.
Today it was Pitiona just up the street from Santo Domingo.  A different day and a whole different meal and a whole different feel or ambiance.  Pitiona is a quite elegant with a formal, knowledgeable and efficient staff.  Chef José Manuel Baños prepared two menus, but maybe because it was early we only had a choice of one, which was fine with us.
Gordita de suadero (finely diced res or beef, fired nice and crispy, w/ avocados, radishes)
Trucha con guias (trout)
Flan de requesón y miel de agave
A delightful and elegant meal in a tranquil and beautiful setting.  Tomorrow is another day and another challenge..... hmmm.... which restaurant to pick?  Check out these menus..... which would you choose?

Oaxaca Sabe - Oaxaca knows..... food!

Chef Celia Florian of Las Quince Letras.  Oaxaca has an incredibly rich and varied cuisine and it is on display every single day.  In the last few years, the cooks and chefs here have gotten lots of justifiable international attention. And with that attention has come a burgeoning of ways to celebrate, so there are ferias almost every other week,  This week is is Oaxaca Sabe, a chance to sample meals from twenty different restaurants, all for a mere pittance.... under $15 US!!!!!. Check out the menus at the link.  Guaranteed to make your mouth water.  And if you go to four restaurants you get in free to the final grand celebration.  I think we may have that covered.
And it turned out that sister blogger Shannon and I were probably the very first people to get in the door... well, we're gringos, so we got there early.  The meal we had at Las Quince Letras was incredible!
Ensalada tibia de frijoles, queso asado y vinagreta de chilcoxtle
Sopa de tortilla de tomate de milpa
Chile en nogada
Camarones flameados en mezcal con mole negro de chicatana
Mousse de guanábana con salsa de tuna
Helado de maracuya con buñuelos con miel de piloncillo

It began with this wonderful soup.
I had the chile en nogada and it was exceptional.  Chef Celia Florian lightened the sauce by using queso fresco instead of heavy cream and I thought is was much better and certainly less rich and heavy.
And the meal ended with wonderful light dessert. 
It was just a perfect meal.  Off to try another restaurant today.  Which one?  It is yet to be decided.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

By any other name...

This is Myztezyz, also known as Mistico, Sin Cara, Astro Boy, Astro Boy I, Dr. Karonte Jr., Komachi.
Wrestling, like soap operas or telenovelas, has a whole different place in Mexican culture.  Lucha Libre is huge all through Mexico, but I know nothing about it.  Lots of folks like the whole mask thing and vendors sell them everywhere.  I just see the posters like this one and wonder.... Somehow this guy does not look that scary to me.
Something about the kitty cat mouth....
Great names on the same bill.... Lalo el Loco!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Keep on dancin'

It was a pleasant surprise to see danzantes from Teotitlan del Valle at the calenda in Tlacolula last Sunday.  What was interesting was that these dancers were from the group that danced from 2008-2010 or two groups ago. 
So that raised a few questions for us to contemplate.  Do dancers just keep on dancin'?  It would appear so.
And from whence did this incarnation of Doña Marina and Malinche come, because they probably hadn't been born yet to be the originals with this group?  
Cute as ever and very good dancers.
They stole the show.
 They had all the right moves
It is always such a pleasure to see the pride of Teotitlan.
The danza de la pluma in Teotitlan has so many threads to follow....
and in the coming months, there are plans to further explore some of them.  In the meantime, we will keep beating that drum that Teotitlan del Valle is one magical and deep village.