Jan 18, 2005, 12:06 PM
Post #7 of 11
Los Laureles at Hidalgo 4 is indeed the location of an expensive restaurant that I've never gone into--the prices were out of my range. Also in the Laureles courtyard is a Cuban shop with imported Cuban cigars--someone asked about the availability of Cuban cigars in SMA awhile back. It's a few doors down from Harry's.
I've never noticed a chile pepper martini at Harry's but then I never look at the drinks menu. I do notice more gringos than usual in the bar area on Wednesdays for the 2 for 1 martinis. But I sit in one of the booths out of range of all that. And Bob, the owner, can be pretty smarmy when he is making his rounds--never noticed his cigars, but then I sit in the booths in the back.
The restaurant is so popular that Bob is opening a second larger Harry's in Queretaro Centro. We love the place--very large menu ranging from the Employees' Meal, whatever the chef is cooking for the employees that day, to Lobster Thermidor and all you can eat crawdads fresh in the aquarium as you come in. The huge bronzed pork chop and the comfort food meatloaf are very popular. I get rice jambalaya as one of my sides, and the creamed spinach and the saffron mashed potatoes are also popular side choices. There are several comfort food items on the menu, including a wedge of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing, very retro.
Since you're splurging, the chocolate truffle cake is like eating a hunk of Godiva fudge, beautifully plated, and the creme brulee, Bananas Elvis (similar to Bananas Foster), and the day's specialty, often something like peach crepes, are absolutely wonderful.
Nirvana would be an excellent choice--quiet and elegant. You'll want to take the artistic plates home with you. The chef has worked in NY, Spain, Acapulco and the Puertacita Hotel in SMA. ( Puertacita is one of the most expensive hotels and restaurants in town--overpriced for my tastes), The ever-changing day's menu is on a chalkboard--besides the Thai soup and jamaica quesadillas I've seen huge coconut-crusted shrimp, salmon carpaccio, venison, ostrich fajitas in tamarind sauce, salmon in mango/coconut sauce and shrimp tempura. After dinner you'll be given a small shot of Harvey's Bristol Creme whiskey with cream, or something similar.
As for the thermal pools, the most popular is Taboada, with three pools, one Olympic sized, one a spa, one for kids. I think the water is changed on Tuesdays, so many people prefer to go Wed-Fri, before the families with kids hit on the weekends. Often in the morning there is a water aerobics exercise group going on.
I prefer La Gruta, which is a series of small indoor pools leading to the final hottest one that is a cave, with a skylight overhead the only light. But if you really want to stretch out and swim, Taboada is the most like a professional pool.
I haven't been to Santa Veronica, Parador del Cortijo, Balneario Xote, or Escondido Place. I checked Lonely Planet and it says Parador del Cortijo is "a hotel-restaurant with a thermal pool, sauna, whirlpool bath and massages." That might be the most luxurious since you're splurging.
Have a fantastic visit!