Lunch at Amaro and a Mayan Craft Fair

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I’ve been neglecting one of my friends and wanted to take him out for a nice meal to make it up to him and catch up. The other day, he posted some nostalgic photos of dining at Amaro in Centro. I looked up the restaurant and it seemed lovely and was well rated, so I invited him to lunch there today. I know he enjoyed dining there when there is live music, but that would be a late night, something I can’t afford right now. However I thought a Friday 2PM lunch in Centro would be lively enough and the joke was on me — the place was empty. Being a Centro restaurant in a prime tourist location, prices were a little high, so I was worried the lunch was going to be an expensive wash. Spoiler: it was worth every centavo and both my friend and I came out stuff and delighted. 🙂

For our first course of drinks, he went with his favourite of Bohemia Clara beer and I had a gin, lime, and cucumber cocktail that was very refreshing.

The courtyard of the restaurant is lovely. You can see the stage for the guitar player. I liked that we could enjoy the bright blue sky without getting baked the way I sometimes do in the terrace of my favourite Centro restaurant, Pita.

We were started off with crostini made from their homemade bread served with a fresh habanero salsa. A delicious and just light enough starter.

I had garlic shrimp. Do not let this simple plate fool you. The salad was exotic — I do not know what the heck the base was made of and never had a chance to ask! The rice was delicately seasoned. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and had this incredible onion, garlic, and white wine sauce that was delicious mopped up with fresh bread as well as corn tortillas!

My friend had the local dish of cochinita pibil. I traded him one shrimp for a cochinita taco, and it was one of the best I’ve ever had, not greasy like the cochinita I get at my local market.

I switched to a Patito Lager after my cocktail. This is a local craft brewer, quite expensive, but all their beers are delicious. I paired my beer with non-photogenic chocolate fudge cake topped with vanilla ice cream and a cherry. The cake was a bit dry, the ice cream more like ice milk, but together, they were decadent perfection.

Lunch for the two of us including a tip came to just over $1,200 pesos, very reasonable for the quality of the food and the location.

We then walked 10 minutes north to Santa Ana Park to attend to a Mayan craft fair, where an impressive storm was brewing!

So much of the “handicrafts” sold in Mexico are the same made-in-China tchotchkes you can find the country over. So when local artisans are in attendance, I like to show up with a full wallet.

I started off with this purse made of the same fibres as hammocks. It is fully lined and has a pocket inside for your phone. It comes with the beige bag, a clever way to advertise.

Then a mortar and pestle-like kitchen tool for grinding soft things like herbs and garlic:

Finally, another purse, the colour of which the iPhone cannot do justice, same problem as my office. It’s a deep teal jewel tone. I colour corrected as best I could to give an idea of the effect. I’m going to get a lot of use out of this one as it has just enough space for my phone, keys, and wallet, so perfect for the odd dash out to Oxxo or the tortillerĂ­a.

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My friend only lives 10 minutes from me, so I would have normally Ubered back to his place and walked home, but with that storm, I decided to do a two-stop trip and get dropped off at home, a smart move as the sky let loose just as we were pull up in front of my pink palace!