December 1 – 4
Our 2 1/2-hour bus ride back to Mexico City proceeded smoothly and at a reasonable cost of 424 Pesos ($21.81) with a taxi ride to and from hotels running right around $6. It was nice to get back to Hotel Casa Gonzalez, a familiar surrounding for us even though our room this time, while less expensive, was quite a bit smaller.
After doing some online research, we decided to walk to the neighborhood surrounding the metro stop for dinner and visit La Casa De Los Abuelos, a chain of restaurants in Mexico that offers a standardized menu and is reminiscent of a upscale Denny’s or Applebee’s. Entering the lobby with lots of seating for waiting customers, we were ushered to a booth in the middle of the large dining room for our meal.
The waitress spoke a fair amount of English and with the menu likewise, we easily came to a decision about our order, starting with a large bowl of a standard Mexican soup, the Pozole Pollo, a tomato broth-based concoction that while very filling, was pretty bland.
Next up were our entrees, a Pechuga Empanizada, breaded chicken breast, for Joanna and the salad Miriam for me. Both had more than adequate portion sizes and honestly, we again ordered way too much food to thoroughly enjoy the meal. The quality was good, but in hindsight, much like a meal at any large chain in America, there was nothing memorable about it.
Leaving quite a bit of food on the plates, we did enjoy a decent flan and in the end were pleased overall with our experience, primarily because it was in a touristy location and came to just 473 Pesos ($24.33). As they don’t serve alcohol, that helped to keep the tab down but still, for the amount of food we consumed, eating for under $25 is what anyone would call a bargain.
The next day we decided that, after multiple days of sightseeing, we needed to relax and not do anything too structured, so after another satisfying breakfast at the hotel we set off in search of the main Harley Davidson store in town in order to purchase a t-shirt for Doug (aka the Griz). As a devotee of that brand of motorcycle, we’d picked up a number of shirts for him in various countries, so it gave us an excuse to go shopping.
We took the metro to a stop about a mile or so from the shop and started walking and what we discovered is that different parts of Mexico City are home to particular workshops and industries. The zone we walked through specialized in printing and graphics and each street was lined with shop after shop.
We arrived at the Harley shop and with the assistance of a very helpful staff member, found just the right shirt in Doug’s size. Finished we started walking back to the Metro stop but on the way decided to duck into the Parque Delta Mall so that Joanna could visit Desigual, a Europe based ladies clothing store whose fashions fit her sense of style. While she did some shopping, I lounged through a sports shop nearby eventually purchasing a new baseball hat, doing my share to keep the malls of the world afloat.
Having walked quite some distance that day, we decided to take a taxi 150 Pesos ($8.20) back to the hotel, fairly easy to do as a line of them was waiting just outside the mall, but given Mexico City traffic conditions, we might just as well been able to walk as quickly back. Our driver got confused direction wise as we got close to our destination and as we’d become familiar with the neighborhood, were able to guide him there.
A block or two short of getting there though, we had him drop us off at La Chinampa, where we’d enjoyed tacos during our first stay. This time around we opted to get two orders of flautas (taquitos), one chicken and one shredded beef washed down by a beer apiece, a refreshing and welcome afternoon snack. The tab with tip came to 230 Pesos ($12.57).
We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening hanging out with the blog, some video, and reading to keep us occupied. Oh and a few beers from the Circle K down the street. Around dinner time we ventured out and decided to stay in the neighborhood and give Pizzeria Balboa another go, this time sitting outside with a view of folks walking up and down the street. First up, we ordered a cocktail apiece, the Margarita Balboa (Tequila Don Julio Blanco, Cointreau and Orange Juice) for me and an Adelita (Mezcal Union, Cointreau and Grapefruit Juice) for Joanna.
They were a perfect start to our entrée, the Short Rib Ravioli, which we consumed along with a glass apiece of Barefoot Pinot Noir. The ravioli, full of great beef flavor and accompanied by a hearty, yet creamy sauce made the best of what had been a relaxing and not so typical day for us, one where we abandoned for a short time being tourists and just became citizens of the town we inhabited. To remind us of how much we liked travel here, the tab of just 610 Pesos ($31.24) including tip was the icing on the proverbial cake. We were ready to tackle our last day in Mexico. And it would be a good one.
La Casa De Los Abuelos: http://casadelosabuelos.com.mx/
Parque Delta: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parque_Delta
La Chinampa: https://lachinampa.com.mx/
Pizzeria Balboa: https://www.wansoft.net/Tienda.Wansoft/Home/Index?id=tMKXZE/E7DA=