Ellen: All I want to know, I just want to know one simple thing. When do I get to become an Islander?
Councilwoman: Ellen, never! Never! You’re not born here — you’re not an Islander.
When reading up about tacos early in my Mexican stay, I became obsessed with finding al pastor tacos. They are made of pork meat marinated in pineapple juice (and other yummy stuff) and roasted on a spit like gyros meat. Since I have been in Maz, I have been looking for these elusive tacos, chasing dead internet leads and finding places that claim to have al pastor tacos, but the meat is merely cooked on the barbecue. I know I could have probably asked and been directed to some, but this was my own little treasure hunt for the winter!
I had the right idea on how to find them, walk and walk and walk and follow my nose, but I found them in the last place I would have expected… the Golden Zone, right on Camarón Sábalo!
So I’ve been working myself to the bone the last few days because a client is injured and her other main subcontractor is ill. If this company goes down, I go down, so like the little Dutch boy, I stuck my finger in the dam and typed, typed, typed.
I was finally done the project by 11:00 today and was done for the day, needless to say! I have work for tomorrow and through the weekend, but it’s a normal amount. I haven’t been to town in a full week, so I decided to head out for lunch and to pick up a few groceries.
I did my normal route to the bus stop, picking up a grapefruit juice on the way.
Then, I rode the bus to just past the Rafael Buelna roundabout. The taco places I’d seen advertising tacos al pastor were all in a row on the southbound side of Camarón Sábalo and I went into the first one as it looked very clean, but not as Gringoified as the others. I had a good feeling I made the right choice when the server did a double take as a I came in and told me, in a very thick accent, “Sorry, no menu English.”
The prices were typical for authentic Mexican fare. The al pastor tacos were something like $13 each or four for $40. I ordered two and a limonada that, at $35, was more expensive than my food!
Before my tacos arrived, I was presented with four bowls of salsa (pico de gallo, avocado, spicy pimento, and brown deliciousness, as well as a plate of limes and cucumbers and another of chips. I’m glad I only ordered two tacos! And I’m also glad that I called the server back to specify corn tortillas because he had told the cook flour ones, which, by the way, were double the price! Crisis averted! 🙂
And behold tacos al pastor! Marinated pork, pineapple, onion, and cilantro:
They were everything I hoped they would be and so worth the search! I loaded on the salsas and dug in. I didn’t get any utensils, so I used chips to scoop up what fell out!
When I was done, I worked my way through the rest of the chips, cucumbers, and limonda, then paid the $62 tab (plus a $10 tip).
I decided to brave the bathroom and was surprised to find a rather nice very recently redone bathroom with everything but toilet seats. By the way, navy blue toilets seem to be the rage in Mexico!
On the way to lunch, I had seen something I haven’t seen since San Carlos, a Thrifty’s ice cream parlour! So that’s where I headed after lunch!
I love nieve de garrafa, but sometimes you want a real proper chocolately ice cream and that is surprisingly difficult to find in Maz. I ordered a scoop of chocolate brownie in a regular (galleta) cone. I remember thinking in San Carlos that $29 was cheap for an ice cream cone, but I don’t think that anymore. 🙂
Then, I headed to Mega and took a picture of a restaurant that has caught my eye a few times:
I was just at the Mega parking lot when I realised I didn’t want to get my groceries there. I didn’t need anything I couldn’t get at the little Ley and lugging stuff home from Mega would be a huge pain unless I took a pulmonía, which would have been the best thing to do since I wanted mostly cold stuff.
So I went back to Avenida del mar to catch the bus and just missed it. I waited about 15 minutes for the next one.
I did see something that made up somewhat for the wait. A car inched its way down Avenida del mar and there was an old man in the back seat practically hanging out the window yelling, “It’s the ocean! It’s the OCEAN!!!”
The car was plated in Chihuahua, a non-coastal state, so I’m thinking this was the man’s first trip to the sea. I am choking up thinking about how joyful he sounded.
I finally got on a bus and did some research on my phone about reliable web hosts since I’ve decided to move the blog to a better provider after uskeba.ca was down for about an hour this afternoon.
I put the phone away as we turned into Centro as this was only my second time riding towards the Mercado and I wanted to get a better sense of the route. The (Mexican) lady sitting next to me then asked if the Mercado was coming up, telling me she just moved to Maz and doesn’t know the buses yet.
I look so much like a tourist in my sundresses that I’m shocked she asked me, but I guess that since I did the bulk of the route buried in my phone, I must have appeared to be an experienced bus rider. I told her we were about four blocks from the Mercado and to just wait for a huge crowd to stand up to know where to get off!
After we passed Zaragoza and turned onto Aquiles Serdan, I realised that I didn’t need to go all the way to the Mercado (I was exhausted and ready to get home). I got up and the bus stopped at the corner of Melchor Ocampo, the street the Ley is on!
So I only had a couple of blocks to walk and there was the store. I really like the little Ley as it’s so compact that you can get in and out very quickly when you know what you want. My top priority was powdered milk, which I use in my coffee. It was on sale again and about a quarter the cost of what I pay in Canada, so I picked up two bags and that should get me through until I get back in November.
I’ve figured out the shortest route from the Ley to the panga, so I was at the dock in short order. There, a family was crowding the ticket booth debating whether or not to go over and the ticket seller took pity on me and told them to move aside. I paid my $8 and as I was putting away my change, I heard the man complain about the cost of the fare ($30 round trip x 4 people=$120) and the fact that I hadn’t paid that much. I then heard some very sweet words, “¡La chica es una Isleña!” (the girl is an Islander). 😀