Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tlaquepaque, Mexico

Tlaquepaque is a highly fashionable suburb less than 10 kilometers from Mexico's second largest city, Guadalajara, with a hip, up market colonial center with a character and style of its own. A must on any Pinoy tourist agenda. The street of the main shopping area is closed to traffic so that people can stroll and shop at a leisurely pace. The colonial-style streets that remind me of the streets of Intramuros are lined with shops and restaurants.


Shops specialize in arts and crafts from all over Mexico with particular emphasis on up-market ceramics, bronze sculpture, blown glass and embroidered cloth. You'll find skillful painters that use spatula who sells their work of art in the streets.


Beads and bags sold by natives.

beads n bags

The art gallery of Sergio Bustamante offers excellent pieces there are finely crafted and out of this world.


The paint jobs on his work is stunning. The transition between colors is very smooth even up close and you'll not see abrupt changes in color where there shouldn't be.


I love this big mermaid sculpture. Notice the intricate tail made of small finely detailed fishes. Bravo!


Cafes and restaurants have tables on the sidewalks where you can watch busy shoppers pass by. Casa Fuerte is one of them.


The floor of the entrance is covered with pine leaves to remove dirt from shoes. This also releases the fragrance from the leaves that spreads to the restaurant.


There's an indoor and outdoor dining area. The outdoor dining area is airy, colorful and relaxing.


Special melted cheese Mxn 75 (Mexican Peso). A Generous chunk of Oaxaca cheese, breaded and melted in a molcajete (stone mortar) which contains simmering green ranchero sauce.


The big chunk of Oaxaca cheese is sliced into cubes after dumping it in the stone mortar. The cheese melts and blends with the green ranchero sauce which you then place in soft taco. This is yummy.


Tamarindo shrimp Mxn 180. Delicious pacific blue shrimp saute with the exotic tamarind sauce and chile chipotle sauce, served with rice and vegetables.


Garlic shrimp Mxn 170. Tender shrimp delicately seasoned with garlic and mild chile guajillo.


Sole filet with mussels and fennel sauce Mxn 149. Fresh grilled fish fillet, bathed in a fine fennel sauce. Garnished with mussels in their shell and appetizing rice.


Heart of fillet "El Dorado" Mxn 138. The house specialty. Golden crust outside and very tender inside, exquisitely cooked in garlic butter, garnished with vegetables in zucchini blossoms sauce.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Airline Food Adventure

We often hear people say bad things about airline food. If you ask me, they are just like any other food - some are so so and some are good. What's unique about airline food is how they compress everything to fit in the the food tray in front of you. Let me give you a peek of what airline food looks like.

Korean Air from Manila to South Korea. Vegetariean version of Bibimbap without rice and egg (sorry, no pic).

Korean Air from South Korea to Narita, Japan. Chicken, kimchi and pineapple.



Aero Mexico from Narita to Tijuana, Mexico (Dinner).


Pork with miso sauce, Tawara rice and black sesame seed accompanied by carrots and snap peas. Surimi salad with fresh lettuce. Green tea noodles with chives and wasabi. Toffee cake.


Aero Mexico from Narita to Tijuana, Mexico (Breakfast). Omelette served with tomato sauce, onion, red and green pepper and olives, with Lyonnaise potatoes and chicken sausage. Muffin, bread and fruit plate.


Aero Mexico from Tijuana to Guadalajara, Mexico. This is a short trip similar to Cebu Pacific from Luzon to Mindanao. But unlike Cebu Pacific where only flavored C2 green tea is served, Aero Mexico serves a full snack of ham and cheese cold sandwich, chocolate bar, potato chips and your choice of drink.


Aero Mexico from Guadalajara to Tijuana (Snack)


Japan Airlines from Narita to Manila (Lunch). What I like with Japan Airlines is the pack of nuts and crakers that they serve before the meal.



Intercon bfast, Taco, KFC, Guacamole

Still about Mexico. I like hotel room service because you get to have a nicely presented hot breakfast even when you're still in your pajamas.


Bacon, tomato, hash brown and eggs.


Toast and danish pastries coupled with Anchor butter and Dickinson's honey & jams.


A fruit plate of juicy papaya, watermelon, strawberry, kiwi, melon and pineapple.


There's a KFC restaurant near the hotel. This is the KFC 2-pc chicken meal. The taste of the chicken, gravy, mashed potato and coleslaw is the same but they don't serve rice. They give you tomato catsup and jalapeno sauce.


Another nearby restaurant offers various kinds of tacos. Here are three of them. It's a popular restaurant for the local folks but I find the taste a bit bland. Maybe because I was was expecting it to taste like sharwarma in the Philippines.


These are the sauces they give you for the taco. The green one is made of avocado.


Avocado is widely used in Mexico. Avocado slices were present in a tuna cheese melt sandwich I had.


Guacamole (an avocado-based relish) is served with meat dishes such as those shown below.



Random Travel Pics

I saw this in the airplane toilet. Imagine yourself reading this thick book of The Count of Monte Cristo. Either you're a great fan of the book or you have a bad case of diarrhea. I'd go for magazines or an LCD showing cool short clips from Pixar like the video clip intro of Monsters Inc. and Shrek 3.


The capital of Mexico, Mexico City, was founded on top of the ruins of the nucleus of the Aztec Empire. This is the Aztec calendar system that was used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. It's a 365 day calendar with a 260 day ritual cycle called tonalpohualli.


A funky car in Mexico.


This Monroe Struts ad taught me the spanish language pretty well. A big plus of course is the convincing illustration they used.
"Cambio Diaryo, cambio cada 60,000 kms"
Cambio means change. Diario means daily. So it means change your underwear daily and change your vehicle's struts every 60,000 kms. Cambio is also used for the money change you get after you buy something. In Tagalog, "kambyo" refers to the car's stick shift. I could only guess that around the time MacArthur's father stayed in Malacanang, driving teachers would shout "cambio!" to tell student driver's to change gear. Newspapers are called dyaryo in Tagalog and dailies in English. Pinoys use the term "kada" the exact way "cada" is used in Mexico.


Their speed bumps are made of metal which are bolted to the pavement.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Smart Roaming

I am subscribed to Smart Communications post-paid service. For activation of the international roaming feature, I paid a PhP 2,500 deposit which I can later claim if I choose to deactivate the service. Let me take you to a few screen captures as my phone roamed the international GSM network. Some networks are 3G while some are not.



South Korea - I guess SKT means South Korea Telecoms


In Japan my phone roamed between Vodaphone and NTT DoCoMo



Telcel in Mexico