Fresh Bread From the Bread Guy

Fresh Bread From the Bread Guy
Find us at our new location on Madero at Constitucion, one block north of the Parque VelascoOpen daily 8-230 except Sunday

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dining alfresco amongst the cars

It is beginning to heat up in La Paz so on a Saturday night, Diane and I were out buying another fan and ordering an air conditioner. Then we would grab a bite to eat somewhere.

I had spotted an intriguing sign painted on the side of a building leading to a parking lot in the downtown area and knew I had to check it out. Tamarindo restaurant it said, and pointed us to a parking lot bound by numerous small stores.

It did not look very promising as we walked amongst the cars but a guy lounging against a building looked like he would accept a question from us. ¿Hay restaurante?
Si, por allá. Is there a restaurant? Yea, over there.

A very welcoming sign leading to a promising courtyard convinced us to give the place a try. As we approached, our anticipation increased, and when we got to the entrance, we were captivated by the ambiance created by the mature tamarind and date palm trees and ramadas that created a light canopy overhead. Woven shaded lanterns hung in the trees, and some as yet unfinished cave paintings lined a walkway to the second entrance to the place.

After choosing a table, we asked the waiter for some details. The chef/owner is from Sonora, they have been open only about two months, the locals have accepted them but usually come to eat around opening time, 3:00.
It was just getting dark as we were presented the menu. I don´t want to go into details about the menu except to say that we felt confident that anything we ordered would be well-prepared and nicely presented. After all, a beef rib tamale with vegetables, raisins and mango would not dare be presented on melamine plates.

The restaurant´s publicity offers Fresh Lobster, Seafoood, Steaks, Poultry and authentic Mexican dishes in English and in Spanish paints a truer picture of the menu, Especialidades de Mariscos, Carnes, Aves y Platillos Mexicanos. Look for Huachinango, Cabrito and Cordonez (Snapper, Kid and Quail) Reads better than Poultry and Steaks, no?

Since it was a Saturday night, Tamarindos offered entertainment in the form of a pair of folk dancers, many costume changes and to the delight of one large table, an improptu dance lesson. I must say, not bad dancing for a gringo. And if you are celebrating a special occasion or have a large party and want to break the piñata, they will clear the dance platform and let you have a swing at it.

Look for some unexpected small surprises as your dinner progresses, you can find fault in some things they do, but we chose to just enjoy ourselves. Closed Tuesday, open beginning 3 p.m. Full bar. Free parking, entrance located next to the ISSSTE supermarket, on Revolucion between Bravo and Ocampo.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

On Bread part two

Bolillos, Birotes, and Teleras are three types of rolls to be found in Mexico. Of the three, only the Bolillos and Teleras are common in La Paz.

The bolillo is the oval shaped sandwich roll with a light crust and soft interior, similar to french or italian bread. Birotes, similarly shaped, usually are found on the mainland. I am told that the birotes one finds here are brought over on the morning ferry. The Telera roll is rounder and flatter with two creases running lengthwise across the bread.

The birote is made with a sourdough starter, giving a thicker crust than bolillos and a light sourdough tang. Sourdough style breads are known as pan salado.

Telera rolls have the softest crust and one might see them streaked with a bit of flour, due to their higher water content requiring the baker to flour the table before forming rolls to keep them from sticking.

Click on the title¨On Bread part two¨to be taken to a new site with more on bolillos, then use your browser´s back button for more from the bread guy´s Eating through La Paz

Tortas Los Aguayos

One of the longest lasting sources for delicious food is Los Aguayos. Still within the downtown area but not as bustling, the shop has counter seating for maybe 8 people plus a few along the wall.

Choose either pierna (shredded pork) or jamon con queso (sliced turkey ham lunch meat with american cheese) or mixto (mixed o)Grab a bottle or can of soda from the fruteria next door, dont worry they own that too, and be sure to tell them to put everything on your hot sandwich.

First comes the meat, pre cooked that they place on the griddle to warm up.Then they split open a telera roll and scoop out the insides, leaving mostly crust. Trust me, this is the good part. They then brush on the secret sauce and grill the bread. It is an orangy colored liquid that adds a wonderful dimension to the torta. Once the griddle operator is satisfied that everthing is ready she begins assembly. The meat goes on, then tomato, shredded lettuce and avocado slices. If you want the sandwich cut in half, now is the time to let her know. Don´t worry, the flavor will not escape if the bread is cut. On the counter are chilis en escabeche and rajas. You must absolutely must choose one or the other and put some in the sandwich. Provecho!

Tortas Aguayos is open Monday to Saturday 9ish to 6 and open Sundays from 9ish to 4. ´ On guillemo prieto between ocampo and degollado

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On Bread: The Story of Lox and Bagels

The story of Loxs and Bagels

Most people associate lox and bagels with Jewish folk, and they are absolutely right. The part they get wrong is what the Jewish delicacy is called. It’s really called lots and bagels, after the story of Lot and his flight from Sodom and Gomorrah.
You see, Lot, a good and pious Jew, was forewarned by the angels to leave with his wife and family because fire and brimstone was about to be rained down upon the twin towns dedicated to wicked ways of life.
They were warned, “when you leave, be sure that you never look back, or you will be turned into a pillar of salt” We all know what happened to Lot’s wife=she looked back and instantly turned into a high sodium testament to opulence.
Once Lot and the remaining family arrived safely at their new home on the Sea of Galilee, they told the story of their narrow escape. A local chef, hearing of their plight, created on the spot a dish consisting of rich salted salmon, onions for their high sulphur content (sulphur was known as brimstone in biblical times) and the round bagel signifying the backwards glance Lot’s wife took at her old home. He named the delicacy Lot’s and bagels.
Just kidding

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Olachea Municipal Market

In my first post, La Michoacan, I spoke of the Bravo Market. There are actually three mercados in La Paz, the Bravo, the Madero and the Olachea.
Off the tourist path, way way off, you will find a delightful clean central market in a neighborhood that evokes images of a more peaceful La Paz.

Taking any major street to Boulevard Padre Kino, find your way to Allende Street and continue in the same direction, towards the mountains until you come to a block long building on Allende between Carranza and Cota. Park in the parking lot for free and wander through the store. In the very center of the building, pull up to the juice bar and enjoy freshly cut ripe fruits either blended or mixed together with yogurt or fruit juices. There is a fresh tortilla stall, several fish vendors, red meat in glass cases, chicken, sausages, nuts seeds, legumes and greengrocers.

This is food direct from the pangas and ranchos. Those chicken were alive just a few hours ago.
If you prefer someone else to do the cooking, there are eleven food stalls serving breakfast and lunch. The food stalls begin serving about 9 am. If you wish, take your food to go and enjoy it in the municipal park, across the street.

Know your meat

courtesy of the Iowa beef council, this poster shows the names in spanish of meat cuts you may find or want to ask for at your local butcher or grocery store.
Click on the title "Know your meat" to view a printable copy of the poster, then use the back button on your browser to return for more Eating through La Paz

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tacos? El Muu!

Right around the downtown shopping area, I like to walk up to tacos El Muu. That, by the way, is the sound a cow makes in español. To order you need to tell the person manning the post-it notes how many five peso tacos you would like, they scribble down the number you selected and you then give the note to the taquero. Decide on either corn or flour tortillas, filled with either chopped muu or battered and fried fish. Before you can blink, hot tacos are handed to you. Dress them up with cream, chopped onions and tomatoes with cilantro, various salsas, guacamole spread, salt, shredded cabbage and or lime juice. They have drinks too, or drop 7 pesos in the coke machine on the corner. They have plastic chairs lining the sidewalk or eat standing up.

Revolucion at Ocampo, daylight hours.

Post Data: They are looking for a cooks helper to chop veggies for them. You need to be a man, woman or gay, according to their sign. Some people will take anybody.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

La Michoacan

Diane sent me to find fish heads so she can make gefilte fish for this weekend. I did the matzoh already and a chocolate fallen souffle cake that will be topped with fresh strawberries sprinkled with some orange liqeur. The Bravo open air market at Guillermo Prieto and Nicholas Bravo has three fish stalls plus excellent butchers and greengrocers. While there, I stopped by for a quart of fruit salad topped with yogurt, honey and granola and for myself, a hot Torta at la Micoacan. Too bad it's Thursday, because on Wednesdays its 2 x 1. You can have roasted pork by the kilo, or in a taco, burrito or torta.

About Me

My photo
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Before gaining control of my life, I created pastries for some cool places in California: San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Brix Restaurant in Napa and The Lodge in Sonoma. Now I am the chef/owner of Pan D' Les bakery in La Paz. My personal favorite is the Multigrano loaf, full of crunchy seeds and a nice chewy crust.