A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

May 1, 2005 — “It’s the best Italian food we’ve ever eaten, including in Italy,” said a well-traveled American who lives in our small town of Bernal, not far from Queretaro in central Mexico.

That was certainly recommendation enough, so last night Kelly, our friend Rob, and I went out to eat at Piave, an Italian restaurant near the center of Bernal. Our time in Bernal is drawing to a close for now, and we want to do some of the things we’ve been meaning to.

First there were drinks: Rob had a mineral water, I had a freshly made limonada (lemonade), and Kelly had his favorite dark beer, Negra Modelo, served with a frosted glass mug. Soon the breads arrived:

We looked out the window as we ate. It was an enjoyable view of the Baratillo, a place where meals are served, especially on the weekends, and small vendors set up at any time:

“I’d never noticed that artwork before,” I commented.

“I’ll never forget when that was done,” Rob said. “Aurelio painted it, and I had to talk to him. He said come on up. It’s higher than it looks up there, and the scaffolding was pretty rickety. So we talked. He was happily painting away!” Aurelio is a local architect who is very artistic.

When our dishes arrived, they were also very artistic. I commented to Claudio Brusadin, the owner of the restaurant, who was serving us. He said something like, first the view, then the smell, then the tasting, in a crescendo!

I’ve never written about food much before this trip, but with lines like that, it’s easy!

Rob had ravioli:

Kelly had vegetarian lasagna:

And I had chicken with pesto:

We were enjoying the delicious aromas while we waited, none too patiently, for Kelly to finish the photos I’d requested. We got right to the next step, and it’s too bad I can’t include you in the tasting. (Crude thing, this internet!) Most years, I grow several kinds of basil in my garden and make my own pesto, and this sauce was at least as good as I’ve ever produced. It wasn’t just pesto. I was almost sorry when Kelly and I traded plates about halfway through the meal… at least until I tried the lasagna. Rob had a good report on the ravioli too. It was made with ricotta and spinach, in a four-cheese sauce.

Some time later, Rob suggested we go all out and have dessert as well. It didn’t take much persuading. We ordered zabaglione, which took an order of over two people for the kitchen to produce this delicately flavored dessert. We were glad there was a short pause in the eating while this was prepared:

After such a memorable meal, we chatted with the restaurant’s Italian owner Claudio. He had an Italian restaurant in Mexico City for two years and has lived in Mexico for many more years. He loves what he does, and it shows. He graciously allowed me to take a picture of him in front of the restaurant:

If you are ever in Bernal, Piave is just a block from the central plaza, or jardin. It’s open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 1:00PM on into the evening. On special occasions, it’s also open during the week.

Oh, and the cost for all this? It worked out to under $12US a person, including tips and everything.

After dinner, we strolled along the street where Rob lives. This week is Bernal’s annual feria, or fair, and Rob had already moved his car over to the place we park our motorhome Cando, because his street will be impassable for about a week. Vendors were busy setting up stalls along the several blocks of the street. I’ll blog more about that soon.

On our way home, Kelly and I stopped in to visit a Mexican friend. She offered us some water, but it wasn’t just water. On many Mexican restaurant menus, aguas or waters are listed, and they turn out to be delicious concoctions of fresh fruit blended with water. The water that she served us consisted of entire limes and mint mixed in a blender with water, and then strained. She offered us sugar to add, but with the after-taste of that zabaglione, the drink was perfect as it was.

A lovely evening. We expect to leave Bernal in less than two weeks, to return to Colorado for a while, and I thought of a line from Shakespeare: “Love that well which thou must leave e’er long.”

One Response to “World-class Italian Food in a Mexican Village”

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