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olalla


Oct 10, 2004, 10:29 AM

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What to drink in restaurants

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My memory of mexican restaurants was that my only choices to drink were beer and bottled or purified water. Can one get iced tea or is that too way out? What are my choices?



ET

Oct 10, 2004, 11:20 AM

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Re: [olalla] What to drink in restaurants

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That's the same as asking "what are my choices to drink in a/an (a) "American", (b) Canadian, (c) Finnish, or (d) none of the above restaurant?", the answer being it'll depend on what type of restaurant you're in. You may have the choice of refrescos, aguas, fresh squeezed or processed juice, té including té helado, a selection of domestic or imported wines or liquor, froofy blender drinks, or 17 types of mineral water, all depending on the specific restaurant. About the only thing I can happily report is that I've never encountered that southern (USA) abomination, iced tea already loaded with sugar or sweetener.


(This post was edited by ET on Oct 10, 2004, 3:10 PM)


olalla


Oct 10, 2004, 11:52 AM

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Re: [ET] What to drink in restaurants

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I realize that sounded like a dumb question. I too can't stand sweetened iced tea, and I really don't like sweet drinks of any kind with food, except certain wines. I guess it's going to be un agua purificado con limon most of the time. Thank you.


Marlene


Oct 10, 2004, 4:11 PM

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Re: [olalla] What to drink in restaurants

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How about trying the drinks called Jamaica, Horchata, and the huge variety of other natural drinks served mostly everywhere and made with water? My favorite is Horchata.

In the Mexconnect article data base you will find some recipes and can make them at home. I just brewed up a litre of Jamaica, which my husband will add more sugar to as he always does. Making these drinks at home prevents Coca or Tonicol from invading my table as happens in many local households. Yuck!


Carol Schmidt


Oct 10, 2004, 9:36 PM

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Re: [olalla] What to drink in restaurants

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Was your concern that drinks like iced tea would be made with unpurified water? Ask if you're concerned--that goes for whether fruits and veggies have been purified as well. If the restaurant seems to cater to gringos (menus with English translations, for example), you can be pretty sure it uses purified water and purifies the produce.

In most of San Miguel de Allende restaurants you can get a whole range of drinks, including iced tea--specify "con hielo" so you'll be sure to get the ice! The biggest seller, I think, is "coca light," diet Coca Cola, or regular. A few places even have Diet Pepsi, my first choice.

Carol Schmidt


olalla


Oct 10, 2004, 9:57 PM

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What to drink in restaurants

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Thanks Carol. I wasn't concerned about the safety of the drinks, but rather I prefer something unsweetened. I guess I figured that since tea isn't grown in Mexico, it would not be readily available in restaurants, even ones frequented by gringos. I'll make sure I ask. And when I move down, I'll bring a sizable stash. I love iced tea made with Lapsong Suchung. Smoky flavor, no bitter tannin aftertaste.


jennifer rose

Oct 11, 2004, 6:35 AM

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Re: [olalla] What to drink in restaurants

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Tea isn’t grown in the US. And hardly any tea is grown in England. But it seems to miraculously be available in both countries. Yes, tea is available in Mexico. Loose, bagged, instant and even bottled. Everywhere? No. Now, if you ask for iced tea in most restaurants, you’re likely to be given a choice of tè negro or chamomile. But how many places in the US are going to deliver an iced tea made with some special variety tea?

Like I told a friend who asked if the coffee served at Sanborn’s was a Brazilian Bourbon Santos or a Peaberry, it’s coffee. No fancy name, just café.

The odds of getting your favorite flavor of tea are about as good as getting that complimentary basket of chips in every Mexican restaurant.

An English-language menu is no guarantee that the customer will receive purified food and beverage. Implying otherwise is an insult to the 99.99% of the rest of the restaurants. What do you think, that they’re serving up swamp water and pond scum to those whose native tongue isn’t English? Or that restaurants catering to foreigners must meet some kind of higher standard?
To assuage your concerns, it might be best to take a health inspector along with you to every dining establishment and insist upon comprehensive testing of everything before it’s served to you. I’m sure that’s standard operating procedure in the US, Canada and England, even though there remains the issue of allowable quantities of rodent hair and feces. If you want to be absolutely, positively sure that you’re going to get food which meets your standards, the best route is to bring your own, already cooked to your specifications, along with your own eating utensils, whenever you dine out.


olalla


Oct 11, 2004, 6:57 AM

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Re: [jennifer rose] What to drink in restaurants

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Jennifer, I said I wasn't concerned about the health issues. It was Carol who asked if that was my concern. And I wasn't trying to find a particular type of tea. When I'm in a restaurant NoB, I simply ask for iced tea. I would do the same in MX. I simply made a comment about what variety works really well for iced tea However, I have trouble finding Lapsong here, so I would expect to also have trouble in MX. Go back and read my message. It's pretty clear and brief.


Marlene


Oct 11, 2004, 8:26 AM

Post #9 of 12 (2155 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What to drink in restaurants

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Quote
If the restaurant seems to cater to gringos (menus with English translations, for example), you can be pretty sure it uses purified water and purifies the produce.


Carol, This is not strictly a foreigner thing. My Mexican husband, family and friends are far more concerned about this whole business of purified water and veggie washing than I am. When in Canada, he absolutely refused to consume water from the kitchen faucet like I was used to doing. Mexicans have stomach concerns the same as foreigners. Being stricken by an amoeba is not a pleasant experience for anyone.


Carol Schmidt


Oct 11, 2004, 9:44 PM

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Re: [jennifer rose] What to drink in restaurants

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It was me who suggested that Mexican restaurants with an English translation of the menu will almost always be purifying their produce and using bottled water, if that was the first questioner's concern behind her question. Turned out it wasn't.

I have an extremely difficult stomach and so I do ask specifically if a restaurant uses bottled water and purifies produce, though I usually don't ask if the restaurant is geared to gringos. I'm sorry if that is seen as an insult to all Mexican restaurants. If it was a top quality restaurant anyplace, any cuisine, I wouldn't worry, though that is naive, I know.

The Arizona Republic published a weekly report on the state's investigations of food safety that hit every restaurant in town several times a year. The big chains were almost as likely to have major health code violations as the dinky neighborhood cafes.

Some people have told me that they've gotten sick here even when everything seemed very clean and purified, because the cilantro that went into the salsa wasn't purified. Who thinks about the hot sauce?

Of course stomach upsets aren't solely a U.S. concern--though the number of people who die from food poisoning in the US is incredibly high, wish I remember the statistic. I'm extra cautious on this issue--I've gotten amoebas here already, and I almost died last year from stomach problems.

When I was in my 30's I never had a qualm about eating shrimp tacos off the street stalls in Ensenada vacations. Now you couldn't get me near one. It only took one terrible experience to make me wary. Someone who's never been sick wouldn't be as cautious.

And Norma got deathly ill from food poisoning in Paris at a Moroccan restaurant, so it's not just Mexican restaurants I'm concerned about.

Now back to the question of finding hot tea in Mexican restaurants, it's rarely on the menus that I've noticed. Iced tea often is. Basic iced tea. Unsweetened, thank heavens. And you can often get a refill for free on it, unlike Coca Light, so when I'm really thirsty I'll definitely order the iced tea.

Carol Schmidt


Ed and Fran

Oct 12, 2004, 6:24 AM

Post #11 of 12 (2118 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What to drink in restaurants

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"..because the cilantro that went into the salsa wasn't purified. Who thinks about the hot sauce?"


I had to smile when you said that, because the first two things I was warned about when I first came down here were the chopped cilantro on street tacos and the bowls of salsa in restaurants. Of course, I ignored the warnings, but still think about them every now and then.


Ed


abq

Nov 7, 2004, 12:01 PM

Post #12 of 12 (2050 views)

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Re: [Carol Schmidt] What to drink in restaurants

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You must not be a hot tea drinker. Several bus companys pass out packets of tea fixings with their lunch bag. As Jennifer mentioned you usually get a choice of black tea or chamomile.
 
 
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