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Hound Dog

Oct 15, 2009, 5:51 PM

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Good Places to Eat

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Now, there are many of you who could not care less but Dawg is moving his restaurant and food joint reviews from Chapala.Com to Mexconnect and wants you to know that, despite extraordinary efforts to inform diners of possibly worthwhile dining experiences at Lakeside and in Chiapas and other parts of Mexico Dawg has posted formerly on Chapala.Com, the reviews are the opinions of one feeble old guy and not some collective consensus almost certainly bound to lead to opinions based on the lowest common denominator among some reclusive hilldwellers who think driving to Tlaquepaque with a stop at OXXO along the way for an RC Cola and a Moon Pie is an adventure:

Some places I consider worthy of note;
Hacienda Ajijic
Tabarka
Jamón Montreal
General Lee Hamburgers and tequila

You will not find meatloaf specials drowned in flour-based gravy and served with lumpy mashed potatoes and tasteless, overcooked green beans in these places or geezers sitting around drinking watery American sock java while yapping incessantly about inanities but what you will find is great and innovative cuisine.

More later.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 15, 2009, 5:56 PM)



Gringal

Oct 15, 2009, 6:06 PM

Post #2 of 54 (7783 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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I like the idea, dawg, but when someone tells me a place is good........I want to know WHY. Let's say the recommender likes heavy or deep fried food. Not matter how well prepared it is, my digestion won't go there. So let's have the details: what style; what sort of menu, and a general price range for meals would be good.


Hound Dog

Oct 15, 2009, 6:31 PM

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Re: [Gringal] Good Places to Eat

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Extremely good point, Gringal. I promise to keep your concerns in mind tomorrow when I give my critiques of those local restaurants I mentioned and, by the way, I welcome contrary opinions. This idea is meant to stimulate conversation not dictate notions of what I think is good or bad.


chinagringo


Oct 15, 2009, 6:42 PM

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Re: [Gringal] Good Places to Eat

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Come on Dawg, you should have retained enough lessons from johnnyboy on how to write a restaurant recommendation by now!

You neglected to say that for those headed into GDL, they now have a choice of Chilis or Applebees.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tashby


Oct 15, 2009, 8:41 PM

Post #5 of 54 (7754 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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Just curious.

Does that Tabarka place cook their Tuna that new-fangled way, all rare?


mazatlanlee

Oct 16, 2009, 12:09 AM

Post #6 of 54 (7732 views)

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Re: Good Places to Eat

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Hey, Dawg, can you give us a critique on Restaurante Garibaldi's in Guadalajara? Anyone else??

Lee
Lee's Photos: Beyond the Guardrails


mexliving

Oct 16, 2009, 1:44 AM

Post #7 of 54 (7727 views)

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Re: [mazatlanlee] Good Places to Eat

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You neglected to say that for those headed into GDL, they now have a choice of Chilis or Applebees??????????????? my favorite place is an argentinian steak house called LA MATERA on ave mexico in zapopan.... the quinta real hotel is on the same block and meson ejecutivo hotel.....

you must order the filete de cana or vacio argentino.................simply amazing................. followed by a movie at the VIP movie theater at the mall.... 90 pesos gets you a leather reclining chair/ a waiter to take your alcohol/drinks and or food...


Hound Dog

Oct 16, 2009, 3:10 PM

Post #8 of 54 (7638 views)

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Re: [tashby] Good Places to Eat

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Tashby asks if TABARKA serves its tuna steaks the new fangled way all rare inside and the answer is, yes indeed. Rare and cool inside and charred on the outside with excellent seasoning. Delicious, moist and succulent. They also, the last time we were there, presented us with a free appetizer that was a small spicy tuna burger as good - actually better - than just about any burger you ever enjoyed anywhere. More about this fabulous restaurant featuring the cuisine of the Spanish Mediterranean just south of Barcelona later.

By the way, the chef here has amazing talents when it comes to salads which change with what is available from figs and bitter greens with candied almonds to pomegranate seeds with bitter greens and an oil and vinegar dressing you will not soon forget.

Picture a restaurant in Ajijic featuring fresh bread and gatlicky homemade aioli and sauces to accompany your fish order typical of the Spanish Mediterranean.

Now that I have started I can´t stop.

Let me remind the reader that this restaurant, which is a branch of a successful Guadalajara enterprise, is only open from Wednesday through Sunday and fresh seafood is brought in from the Sea of Cortez on Wednesdays and Fridays via the Zapopan Mercado del Mar and the times we have been there they have featured fresh tuna, grouper, sailfish, monkfish, scallops, shrimp and on and on and the seafood is fresh and reminiscent of what you would be served in a seafront restaurant on the Mediterranean in Spain or France and I love this place.

As I´ve stated before, this is not only a restaurant but a fish market so if you wish to cook at home, buy your fresh seafood here and do it yourself in your own kitchen.

Sorry, Tashby, I get carried away since when my wife and I first got here ln 2001 and for years after that a seafood restaurant in the Mediterrranean style such as this was only a dream, Now we not only have the climate for great al fresco dining at places like Tabarka but food that compares favorably with that one could expect in Barcelona or Marseilles.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 16, 2009, 3:15 PM)


Axixic


Oct 16, 2009, 3:28 PM

Post #9 of 54 (7626 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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You will not find meatloaf specials drowned in flour-based gravy and served with lumpy mashed potatoes and tasteless, overcooked green beans in these places or geezers sitting around drinking watery American sock java while yapping incessantly about inanities

Quote

Are you trying to say that there is something wrong with these places like this?


Hound Dog

Oct 16, 2009, 3:43 PM

Post #10 of 54 (7624 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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Since we are on the subject of great food, my wife and I returned to HACIENDA AJIJIC a couple of nights ago and this place just keeps getting better. In previous visits we have enjoyed wood fired broiled lamb arrachera, grilled rabbit, lamb ribs and shrimp fajitas and on our last visit I had a fabulous thick and tender vacio beefsteak served perfectly rare and broiled on the wood fire redolent of the wood upon which it was briefly broiled while my wife had the night´s special fish entree of grilled sea bass with a garlic sauce that was as good and fresh as seafood gets,

We spoke with the general manager and told him of our love of his accompaniments consisting of tostadas and a couple of tasty (if underspiced) salsas but informed him that some of his NOB clients missed the steak accompaniments of warm bread and butter and I am happy to say that that warm bread and butter as a standard accompaniment to your steak dinner if you are a red meat fan will be served starting soon.

Some other good news is that the owners of Hacienda Ajijic will soon open a new seafood restaurant featuring shellfish and other seafood adjacent to the Chapala malecon in an old yellow house they are currently renovating. Considering the standards these folks have set for themselves in West Ajijic judging by the fabulous sea bass and fork tender and memorable vacio beefsteak, Chapala can look forward to a unique seafood treat when they finally open.

What is going on here? This town historically specializing in trailer parkall-you-can-eat buffet fricasees for its foreign clientele is coming of age. Let´s hope it lasts.


Hound Dog

Oct 16, 2009, 4:01 PM

Post #11 of 54 (7620 views)

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Re: [PamelaDelafield] Good Places to Eat

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You will not find meatloaf specials drowned in flour-based gravy and served with lumpy mashed potatoes and tasteless, overcooked green beans in these places or geezers sitting around drinking watery American sock java while yapping incessantly about inanities

Quote

Are you trying to say that there is something wrong with these places like this?

Not at all, Pamela mi amiga.

My restaurant reviews are centered on different experiences. Not better nor worse but different. If one is looking for gut filler down at the Rainbow Cafe then that is fine but I do not think folks who seek that adventure are Dawg´s constituency. Dawg is trying to present alternatives to the unpleasant fact that at one time around here one had no place to go to escape mediocre, gut-clogging grits and gravy. If that´s what you like, have at it. You re not required to read my reviews of alternative dining opportunities.









Gringal

Oct 16, 2009, 4:11 PM

Post #12 of 54 (7618 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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Now, about those new fangled tuna steaks that you are describing as raw inside and lightly charred inside. Please explain the fine points of difference between that and SUSHI, which I believe the Dawg has formerly refused to eat in Mexico.

I don't eat sushi in Mexico, and in the interest of consistency, also do not eat any form of raw fish, even when prepared by an excellent chef. Were I starving and without the means to start a fire, I would of course throw a line in the lake and chomp down the result of my fishing. Meanwhile, I want the suckers cooked.


esperanza

Oct 16, 2009, 6:06 PM

Post #13 of 54 (7603 views)

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Re: [mazatlanlee] Good Places to Eat

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Hey, Dawg, can you give us a critique on Restaurante Garibaldi's in Guadalajara? Anyone else??
Lee

Lee, are you talking about Restaurante Karne Garibaldi? If you are, it's one of my favorite places in Guadalajara. There are three locations, but I prefer the original restaurant at the corner of Calle José Clemente Orozco and Calle Garibaldi. The ambiance there is just terrific. It's where Karne Garibaldi won the Guinness Book of World Records record for world's fastest service--your behind isn't on the seat before food is set before you.

The tortillas, beans, caramelized onions, and other garnishes are wonderful. The carne en su jugo--the only main dish the restaurant prepares--comes in small, medium, large, and extra-large (with and without chile). A medium with chile is my choice, plus a soft drink or agua de jamaica. Beer is also served. The waiters will keep bringing garnishes till you can't eat any more, and a medium dish of carne en su jugo is plenty for most anybody. Desserts are fair to good; I like the mil hojas, others prefer the flan.

Don't miss it!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









mazatlanlee

Oct 16, 2009, 7:27 PM

Post #14 of 54 (7582 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Good Places to Eat

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Gracias, Esperanza, that's the place! I've made two trips to Arandas with the young couple who live across the street from me here in Mazatlan, and we've stopped at Carnes Garibaldi both times. What fun! The first time, I had no idea what to expect... and was so taken with the experience that I look forward to repeating it every time I'm given the chance. I've never found another person, expat or national, who knows of Carnes Garibaldi, so thought I'd present it to the Dawg (and you, thanks for answering!) to find out if the place is perhaps a well-kept secret. You're right... I swear my butt hadn't hit the seat before there was food in front of me, and my drink order was on the way! Even so, there was no sense of urgency... and certainly, no rushing guests along. Just plain good food and lots of fun!

Thanks, Esperanza! Lee
Lee's Photos: Beyond the Guardrails


Axixic


Oct 17, 2009, 1:52 AM

Post #15 of 54 (7540 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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My 90 year old East Texas (your favorite vacation spot) mother is moving here and she would consider meat loaf, lumpy gravy and soggy green beans eatin high on the hog and she likes hanging out with fellow geezers. Where are the best geezer places?


Hound Dog

Oct 17, 2009, 6:19 AM

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Re: [mazatlanlee] Good Places to Eat

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Eaoeranza is the person who introduced us to KARNES GARIBALDI a few years ago when she was living in Guadalajara and we have been back several times, always enjoying ourseves throroughly. Last week when we discovered that great Korean grocer (ASIAN MARKET) on Av. Americas and had some $3,000 Pesos worth of ingredients for Korean and other Asian home cooking, we stopped at Karnes Garibaldi for lunch because the Korean restaurant recommened to us by store management was not open until 2:00PM. One nice thing about Karnes Garibaldi in Guadalajara Centro is that they have valet parking in a congested area and will wash - and watch - your car while you dine and the car wash is $35 Pesos which also secured that back seat full of Asian groceries we had that day.

Great "meat in its own juice" with the standard accompaniments and icy cold XX Lager. We got there about 1;45PM and by 2:30PM the place was jammed with locals in a partying mood as always.

THis famous place cannot be beat for traditional Jalisco food and, we also agree with Esperanza that CHOLOLO 4 is a great place for goat or lamb birria on any day but especially on Sunday afternoons when half the families in Metro Guadalajara seem to be there loving the food and enjoying the strolling mariachi bands. Chololo 4 is easy to find on the Chapala-Guadalajara carretera south of the airport.

We have never eaten biirria at Lakeside so cannot comment on the birria in Jocotepec but to us the huge festive crowds, great food and service and mariachi bands at Chololo 4 make this place a must-return whenever we wish to enjoy this local treat which is often.


Hound Dog

Oct 17, 2009, 6:46 AM

Post #17 of 54 (7516 views)

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Re: [PamelaDelafield] Good Places to Eat

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My 90 year old East Texas (your favorite vacation spot) mother is moving here and she would consider meat loaf, lumpy gravy and soggy green beans eatin high on the hog and she likes hanging out with fellow geezers. Where are the best geezer places?

I hear you Pamela and I get it. I did not mean to sound as if I didain this type of food. After all, I was raised on it and well remember those soggy, overcooked green beans we used to call string beans in those days. I thought String beans and brussels sprouts were supposed to be overcooked to the point gramma could consume them without her teeth.

This may help explain why Dawg married a Frog:

French Style Green Beans (Haricots Verts) a la Brigitte
Look for the smallest, youngest, tenderest green beans you can find*
Parboil the beans until they are prepared al dente
Drain the beans
Melt butter in a pan and add lots of garlic and pine nuts or slivered almonds to brown slightly
Add par-boiled beans to the pot and brown them as well sirring very often
When ready, remove from pot and add Italian Parsley if desired

A similar thing can be done to make brussels sprouts better than my gramma in South Alabama could have ever imagined. Parboil the sprouts until tender, drain them and then caramalize the sprouts in butter but without those other ingredients in the beans.

* Haricots verts in France are picked very young and tender and they were all over the street markets when we were there last May which is a very special time for all sorts of fresh produce and such wonders as strawberries in many varieties better than any berries I have ever tasted in North America. Often, however, in Mexico, green beans are grown to be large and tough before being harvested and sold. These can be used as well but small and more tender green beans can be found on occasion especially in the indigenous markets we patronize in Chiapas where the beans are grown on small mountain fincas by the indigenous vendors themselves. Look in the tianguis around Lakeside and you will sometimes find the smaller and more flavorful beans which are preferred over the larger, tougher product.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Oct 17, 2009, 6:49 AM)


esperanza

Oct 17, 2009, 6:57 AM

Post #18 of 54 (7512 views)

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Re: [mazatlanlee] Good Places to Eat

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...and we've stopped at Carnes Garibaldi both times. What fun!
Thanks, Esperanza! Lee

You're welcome, Lee. And note that the restaurant spells its name Karnes Garibaldi--with a 'K'!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









tashby


Oct 17, 2009, 8:50 PM

Post #19 of 54 (7420 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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You're forgiven your affection for TABARKA, Hound Dog. I'm afraid to get too attached to the place myself. POOF! It might disappear at any time in this town.

Hacienda Ajijic. I'm still on the fence. Only been twice. First time I was very happy with the steak they brought me (and everything else). Pretty room, nice mural, good side salsas....bla bla bla.

Second time I was there: my lamb arrachera tasted really salty. Asked my partner how his (perfectly cooked) vacio tasted: "Salty".

I tasted it. It was. Hmmmmm....tenderizering???

Definitely not quitting on the place. But.


Schap

Oct 19, 2009, 3:03 PM

Post #20 of 54 (7298 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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The most tender, small green beans I've found at Lakeside are from ACA, either in Jaltepec, at SuperLake (if Pancho still cariies ACA) and at Lake Chapala Society on Tuesdays. I won't eat the oversized beans now.


Hound Dog

Oct 19, 2009, 3:26 PM

Post #21 of 54 (7290 views)

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Re: [Schap] Good Places to Eat

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The most tender, small green beans I've found at Lakeside are from ACA, either in Jaltepec, at SuperLake (if Pancho still cariies ACA) and at Lake Chapala Society on Tuesdays. I won't eat the oversized beans now.

Well said Schap

I had forgotten to mention the fine, sweet small green beans grown by ACA and available recently at retail outlets about town. They're not the French haricots verts but they are mighty close. Thanks for the reminder.


Axixic


Oct 21, 2009, 4:20 AM

Post #22 of 54 (7170 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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The thought of lumpy gravy got me to craving chicken fried steak so I spent 30 minutes pantomiming in the Jocotepec little Wal-Mart with the butcher and finally got two wonderful cuts of round for chicken fried steak. I made my tasty and unattractive cream gravy to go with the mashed potatoes and overcooked green beans. Thinking of you HD, I almost went with Thousand Island salad dressing because I knew you'd love that. I only wish I had made biscuits. I do miss those refrigerator biscuits from up North, especially the ones with the fake butter in them. You might have married a Frog and became a turn coat to your artery clogging Alabama heritage but I like my no nutrition high cholesterol Texas ancestry.


Hound Dog

Oct 21, 2009, 7:24 AM

Post #23 of 54 (7145 views)

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Re: [PamelaDelafield] Good Places to Eat

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You might have married a Frog and became a turn coat to your artery clogging Alabama heritage but I like my no nutrition high cholesterol Texas ancestry.

I don´t know, Pamela:

We spent the month of May in France and ate wonderful French soft-ripened cheeses at two meals a day every day with great French bread and butter. No Bama style Velveeta in sight but also no low fat cheese which the French would never tolerate. I´m surprised we didn´t both need artery transplants when we returned to Mexico. Maybe it was all that red wine consumed with every meal that saved us. Sort of like nature´s roto-rooter.


Gringal

Oct 21, 2009, 8:05 AM

Post #24 of 54 (7134 views)

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Re: [Hound Dog] Good Places to Eat

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I remember the artery clogging chicken fried steak from my childhood...in California. Dad got a bottom round, pounded it to death and fried it hot as hades in a heavy iron pan in its own grease. Smoked up kitchen.
Had baked potatoes with it........a little pan gravy and you're in for SUNDAY DINNER. Pass the Melox.


Axixic


Oct 21, 2009, 8:11 AM

Post #25 of 54 (7130 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Good Places to Eat

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Thank you Gringal, you reminded me to pick up an iron skillet and other iron utensils when I am up North. Just search your head and write about anything else I've forgotten.
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