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Milenesa American Style

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:29 am

Ask anyone now living in Mexico what they miss the most from back home and the answer is almost always about food, their favorite brand of peanut butter, a favorite breakfast cereal, or in my case it would be a good corned beef sandwich. Nothing else, not TV programs, a comfortable bed, or some pasttime activity, those are all available here or are worth the trade-off to do without them, but food cravings are hard to set aside altogether.

Folks at Lakeside are fortunate in that regard though, many items can be found in Ajijic that are available nowhere else in Mexico. I could always picture driving an hour or so to get a really good hot pastrami sandwich somewhere that knows how to make one, thin shaved slices piled high with mustard and pickle, nothing else. Ordering such at a Subway was just an effort to save the long drive, and you knew you had to instruct each sandwich-maker in the art of preparing one when it should be common knowledge how to do it. "With lettuce and mayo?" they would ask. "No!" How could they think such a thing? Didn't their mother teach them better than that? Well, things change. Now I drive more than three hours to get a mediocre pastrami sandwich, don't complain when it comes with mayo, and am just glad to get it. Period.

My Mexicana other half, Tere, has accompanied me to Lakeside on my last couple of visits. She has made me promise to bring her back again very soon. She likes the trips we make out to the beach, but if it becomes a matter of one trip or the other then Lakeside is where she wants to go. She likes the garden setting of Ajijic and it's weather, though the weather is much like Morelia's, but it's the food served here in the Lakeside restaurants.

A friend of mine in Morelia, another Californian ex-pat, told me his favorite spot was Ajijic Tango. We tried it and the food was good, the service excellent, and we had a nice experience there. I'm sure we will make it back there again once we try a number of other places that are recommended also but it's not a priority. Tere, like myself, is not a gourmet and neither of us would know a really fine meal if we found one. Popular foods are what we like and we found a couple of places to get them.

Pannino's had my pastrami, it wasn't a Los Angeles kosher district deli experience but after not being outside Mexico for several years it was OK, though I might have to give more precise instructions the next time I try one from there. I suggested Tere try the Monte Cristo sandwich, she loved it but it wasn't the Monte Cristo I remembered, a sort of club sandwich with ham, turkey, and cheese dipped in a batter and served with fruit preserves, but hers appeared to be like a fish fillet sandwich that was batter-fried, good, in my opinion, but no cigar. But we got there too late in the day, too late in the week to get any coconut cream pie. We shall return, earlier next time.

For breakfast it is Mom's Deli. I taught Tere about biscuits back in Morelia. Biscuits are our way of heating the home early winter mornings, that and breakfast pizzas to get the oven going. No one in Morelia has a heater in their home. At this point in time Tere speaks only a few words of English but is studying very hard to learn it. She was bowled over to discover Ajijic menus are written in English, she didn't notice right away they are also printed in Spanish. I am not used to waiters that speak English and realized it now takes me a moment to remember how to order in English. I am so accustomed to finding huevos al gusto, chiliquiles, enchiladas, and such that an offering of biscuits and gravy was a shock. It was at Mom's that I introduced Tere to poached eggs. After our first morning breakfast at Mom's there was no doubt that that is where we would go the following day as well. This time I talked her into having the ham steak with eggs and she never saw a slice of ham sliced so thick before. We tried a different place the next morning but it could not compare, Mom's is the place.

It seems the most memorable meal, the one that blew away Ajijic Tango for our unrefined tastes, was served at Bubba's. Just before our last trip to lakeside a few of us had an online discussion of Ajijic restaurants. I believe it was Gringal that was telling us about a really good chicken-fried steak at which Hound Dog insisted that was an oxymoron, a complete contradiction of terms, a "good" chicken-fried steak. For me, however, it sounded like pure ambrosia, nothing more decadent or American could possibly exist. And so we loaded up the SUV and headed for lakeside with that in mind, do or eat nothing else, but have some chicken-fried steak. How to explain this to Tere, nothing like it exists in Morelia. I told her we were going to Ajijic and we were going to have milenesa, American style. Hound Dog led us to the place for our American milenesa and the three of us all had the same. I was hugely satisfied and Tere saw that as a high-point in the trip and it was after we digested that meal and back in our hotel that she told me this is where we will go for our winter trip, not the beach, cold or not.
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Post by hound dog Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:38 pm

Peter wrote:I told her we were going to Ajijic and we were going to have milenesa, American style. Hound Dog led us to the place for our American milenesa and the three of us all had the same. I was hugely satisfied and Tere saw that as a high-point in the trip and it was after we digested that meal and back in our hotel that she told me this is where we will go for our winter trip, not the beach, cold or not.


What Peter has failed to tell you is that what he calls "American milenesa" or chicken fried steak, is only as good as the gravy and Bubba´s does a decent job of the gravy which must be what we Alabamians (although we do not eat chicken fried steak, [i]shudder
) would more specifically designate as "cream gravy". We would make this with fried (or frahed) chicken:

Brown some flour in the chicken or steak fat and pour in some milk stirring until it thickens properly.
Open one full bottle of Jack Daniels Black Label. Drink the bottle of Jack Daniels, preferably sharing it with close friends or even family members if you can still stand them. Feed the "American Milenesa" to yo dog and go out and buy thirty Krystal sliders to enjoy with the whiskey.

By the way, you can buy Jack Daniels in Ajijic if you have about the equivalent of $80USD in yo pocket. However, you cannot buy Krystal sliders but you can go to the Gran Plaza Mall in Guadalajara and git yosef a mess of Krispy Kreme original doughnuts along with a cheese whopper to go with the whiskey. Heaven.
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Post by Solovino Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:45 pm

I'll go with the Mexican milanesa for the sliders and substitute a fresh chopped salsa of cabbage, tomato, white onion, chile verde and avocado for the gravy of the chicken fried steak.

And save myself 50usd on the Jack Daniels by substituting a superior premium tequila.

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Post by gringal Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:54 pm

Bless you Peter.....you just gave me the chuckle of the day.......but Mom's? Gotta disembark on that one. Don't like it, but different strokes.

May I suggest the Early Bird Cafe downtown (I think on Ocampo)Ajijic for a real American breakfast including such delicacies as corned beef hash? Plus all the stuff you liked at Mom's. A very friendly couple hosting.

Real American burgers: 60's in Paradise, also downtown Ajijic. Elvis posters with your meal.

Another nice sloppy treat: A Ruben, complete with drippy cheese, goo, sauerkraut and of course, the corned beef......Roberto's at lunch........west end of town on the Carretera, right side. It that's not on the menu.....everything else is good, too. Gringo and Mexican hosts, Mexican waiters.

At Tango's, try the filet mignon for two: tender and juicy....enough for three.

For fish.....and this one's for you: Tabarka, also on the right, well past Roberto's to the West........Spanish style and delicious. Stick with the fish, though; don't go for the paella. Just trust me on that. If you get the three fish platter.....great sides. You'll need to control yourself on the French bread basket with the irristible garlic mayo dip. Oh yum. (Ask the Dawg to confirm). Bilingual waiters.

If fish and chips are desired......you won't find the Long John's variety, but the ones at Hotel Nueva Posada on the lake are good enough, and the atmosphere in the garden is outstanding. Very romantic. Huge trees, lake view, twinkle lights. Bilingual waiters.

To finish it all off (or walk it off) go to the Chapala malecon for a stroll and look across the street (all the way, past the parking area) till you see the Gelato place. Best I've found outside of Italy. Double yum award. For real American ice cream: Blue Bell, on the Careterra, lake side, going west from the center of town in a strip mall.

Haven't a clue where you'd get a real Monte Christo. Tell me if you find one.

For Booze of all varieties, Jack Daniels or good Tequila or a huge variety of wines: Paz Liquors, next to Superlake, east of the junction with the Libramento. Check out Superlake for high priced stuff imported from NOB that you have seriously missed. They probably have it.
Bon Appetit! Beer


Last edited by gringal on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:05 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Solovino Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:01 pm

Just shows how subjective restaurant reviews can be. Pete likes Mom's, you don't. I still don't understand your infatuation with Toscana in Manzanillo.

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:24 pm

Solovino wrote:I'll go with the Mexican milanesa for the sliders and substitute a fresh chopped salsa of cabbage, tomato, white onion, chile verde and avocado for the gravy of the chicken fried steak.

And save myself 50usd on the Jack Daniels by substituting a superior premium tequila.

Overall I believe I still have a preferrence for the Mexican presentation of these foods. It's just that for several years now there has been no choice in the matter unless I cook it myself.

Coming to Mexico it feels like I left 10-15 years of age at the border. That all has to do with healthier foods and a more active and healthier lifestyle. I didn't turn back my internal clock with chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy with mashed potatoes. For me that kind of food is a pleasant change of pace and a good reason for keeping three hours of driving between myself and Lakeside for most of the year.
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Post by gringal Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:33 pm

Solovino wrote:Just shows how subjective restaurant reviews can be. Pete likes Mom's, you don't. I still don't understand your infatuation with Toscana in Manzanillo.

I don't like either the food or the atmosphere at Mom's. Food's too greasy. Nevermind the atmosphere. Just my opinion, which is obviously in the minority since it's usually mobbed.

Now, about Toscana: And puleeze: my last "infatuation" was in high school.
If you know where you can find large, tasty, non-breaded, barbequed shrimp/prawns within the Lakeside area......please share. I'm not about to drive to Guad for it. If you know where you can get it in Manzanillo for less than 300pesos, that would also be good. The only dish I'm completely pleased with at Toscana's in Manzanillo is the shrimp skewered, barbied and dipped in garlic mayo sauce. Ever tried it? Sometimes, the mini-lobster is good, on the skewer with the shrimp. Not the last time, sadly.
The large lobster doesn't cut it. The steak, either. Fish....okay. Pasta? forget it. I like the creme brulee, except when the kitchen staff doesn't do it correctly, as happened last week. In any case, it beats the hell out of the overpraised (and overpriced) turkey "feasts" locally.

The location on the beach is appealing to us and the friends we usually travel with. We all tried the gruesome food at a few other places, like the one with the Neptune statue out front which thoroughly screws the diners. We've tried Dona Concha's and the quesadillos/tacos are good enough. That's lunch.

Now, Solo..........how about enlightening me instead of being snarky: Where are the good places to eat in Manzanillo? I'm not much interested in steak. I like fish, chicken and shellfish along with lamb (if tender). My stomach and taste buds are not interested in fire breathing food, either.
Thanks in advance for your useful advice.
Beer

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:01 pm

Thanks, Gringal. I was hoping to get a few recommendations for the next trip. It seems we were a bit limited for not finding a map of Lakeside but there was plenty to be found along the highway. Familiarity with the streets by the lake shouldn't take long to master but for newbies it is far from intuitive. Even you main plaza is not easy to stumble upon unless you have directions or know your way around. Ajijic Tango was the best hidden of the places we tried. And I agree, based on what we had, what we saw on the menu, and how long it took before we could regain full mobility after the meal my suggestion to Tere was next time we will go for the filet mignon for two. It may still be too much from the way you describe it though.

I am blessed, or cursed, with being right at six foot in height and my weight remaining in the 180's if I ignore it altogether and gorge myself on whatever I wish. The curse is that I can't finish the portions most restaurants provide, and if I try to do so I am virtually worthless for the next couple hours or so.

Lakeside really is a Disneyland for those of us with pedestrian tastes who have no idea why forks are always placed on the left of a dinner place setting. All I know about that is I can always spot Europeans in a restaurant because of holding a fork in their left hand and steakknife in their right, which no American does, we always swap hands. I guess that first use of the fork at a meal, to steady the meat with the fork as you cut into it justifies placing the fork to the left even in American restaurants. On me that is a wasted gesture as I am always sampling the veggies before getting to the steak so need to swap hands from the start.

One habit I have always had is being an early riser. I was born at 4:33 on a cold Monday morning in February, I was born ready to jump right into business. Breakfast for me is often my biggest meal of the day. I will take your breakfast recommendation seriously and find that place. Lakeside knows to open early for breakfast, waiting for 9am as in Morelia it is almost time for lunch. Lakeside also knows to put a shaker of black pepper on the table, a practice unheard of in other parts of this great and colorful country.

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:17 pm

Greasy at Mom's, that could be. I had my eggs poached so that eliminated a lot of grease. As far as atmosphere, they had outside tables to accomodate smokers like myself so that takes care of atmosphere. It seemed different inside. And they did have nice, big coffee mugs with attentive refills. It was like a visit to a foreign country, a totally unique experience for Tere. But I would guess those features are not at all unusual around Lakeside. Still, I'm always open for suggestions.

We visited Tabarka a couple months ago, ate the 3-fish plancha and thoroughly enjoyed it, but on this more recent trip we ordered individual items and the whole experience was lackluster, to be kind. We had been cautioned about the paella so that wasn't even open for consideration, but there it was in a prominent place on the menu beckoning like the Sirens of Lorelei, but we had been forewarned.
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Post by islandiver Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:59 pm

Peter wrote: I could always picture driving an hour or so to get a really good hot pastrami sandwich somewhere that knows how to make one, thin shaved slices piled high with mustard and pickle, nothing else. Ordering such at a Subway was just an effort to save the long drive, and you knew you had to instruct each sandwich-maker in the art of preparing one when it should be common knowledge how to do it.

Peter, did you ever drive to get a sandwich, when you could make it your self?


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Post by Carry Bean Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:06 pm

"All I know about that is I can always spot Europeans in a restaurant because of holding a fork in their left hand and steakknife in their right, which no American does, we always swap hands."

Not really, that's the way I eat & my father, born in Oklahoma in 1907 always did as well. Haven't had breakfast at Mom's but lunch of fried chicken was REALLY greasy but oddly satisfying. Chopped pork sandwiches at Bubba's are one of my favorites.


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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:32 pm

Islandiver - Being able to make it myself is the catch. Having to travel to get good pastrami is the hangup. After going the distance I will buy plenty more pastrami to make more sandwiches but upon arrival I want a sandwich ready for me.

Great that you asked because I just acquired a restaurant-grade salamandre that are going to put my home built sandwiches through the roof. Open-faced sandwiches with the cheese melted through it, browned just so, I can hardly wait to be able to use my new kitchen.

The steady and even heating this unit provides will put the final touches on a variety of foods from molletes to garlic bread to that old warning about "hot plate!" when being served at a good Mexican restaurant many years ago before the advent of microwave ovens.

When I go out to a restaurant I am always hoping to be surprised by something new or different that I can re-create at home. I especially like a bit of a puzzle, a flavor or texture that takes some experimentation to get right, something new or different I can spring on guests when the occasion is right.

I always liked simple or popular foods the best. You know there is a big, big difference in a mediocre pizza and the kind that is a slice of heaven - and in my opinion, most times, there is nothing that will take you there like a really great pizza. That is worth travelling for.
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Post by islandiver Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:37 pm

Lakeside really is a Disneyland for those of us with pedestrian tastes who have no idea why forks are always placed on the left of a dinner place setting. All I know about that is I can always spot Europeans in a restaurant because of holding a fork in their left hand and steakknife in their right, which no American does, we always swap hands. I guess that first use of the fork at a meal, to steady the meat with the fork as you cut into it justifies placing the fork to the left even in American restaurants. On me that is a wasted gesture as I am always sampling the veggies before getting to the steak so need to swap hands from the start.

When driving in Michoacán the blue road signs for eateries are a "Fork, knife And spoon" but when you stop and go inside there are no knives to be found.

Milenesa American Style Istockphoto_10423837-old-restaurant-sign-broken-spoon-knife-fork-blue-green-copyspace not exactly like this pic.

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:49 pm

Carry Bean wrote:"All I know about that is I can always spot Europeans in a restaurant because of holding a fork in their left hand and steakknife in their right, which no American does, we always swap hands."

Not really, that's the way I eat & my father, born in Oklahoma in 1907 always did as well. Haven't had breakfast at Mom's but lunch of fried chicken was REALLY greasy but oddly satisfying. Chopped pork sandwiches at Bubba's are one of my favorites.



Thanks, I stand corrected. I have the picture now. There is a scene from Americana where Papa sits at the head of the table, napkin tucked into the shirt front, fork in left and knife in right hands with full-fist grip anxiously awaiting Mama to put the vittles on the table.

I haven't tried Mom's for anything other than breakfast. Just because they can make a good breakfast doesn't guarantee anything for other meals. If I hadn't ordered Bubba's American Milenesa I was very tempted by the offering of the Chopped Pork sandwiches and fully intend to go back for some of that. Based on Bubba's gravy, we tried breakfast there but it was somewhat of a letdown. That rule works the other way around, apparently.

We added an extra day on our last visit and wanted to try Roberto's also but just ran out of time and ability to consume more. We shall return.
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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:02 pm

islandiver wrote:
Lakeside really is a Disneyland for those of us with pedestrian tastes who have no idea why forks are always placed on the left of a dinner place setting. All I know about that is I can always spot Europeans in a restaurant because of holding a fork in their left hand and steakknife in their right, which no American does, we always swap hands. I guess that first use of the fork at a meal, to steady the meat with the fork as you cut into it justifies placing the fork to the left even in American restaurants. On me that is a wasted gesture as I am always sampling the veggies before getting to the steak so need to swap hands from the start.

When driving in Michoacán the blue road signs for eateries are a "Fork, knife And spoon" but when you stop and go inside there are no knives to be found.

Milenesa American Style Istockphoto_10423837-old-restaurant-sign-broken-spoon-knife-fork-blue-green-copyspace not exactly like this pic.


That would be too dangerous in Michoacán, much in the same manner steel-tipped darts are no longer allowed in bars in many places in the US.

Restaurants here will provide a spoon at the table, then a fork if it is needed, but that is for restaurants and women. In Tierra Caliente men are seldom provided utensils at home. The women use them but men are expected to use the all-around general all-purpose utensil, the tortilla. The tortilla works for handling hot meat, serves as an eating spoon and serving spoon, as a napkin, then as an added bonus it is edible too! Egg the perfect package, Tortilla the perfect utensil.

I ate a platillo of carne asada and the fixin's last week at a place in Morelia's centro located on the main street. I lost my head momentarily and asked for a knife. The kitchen staff didn't have another to spare but did offer to take my plate to the kitchen and cut my meat for me. I remembered my Tierra Caliente ettiquette and just asked for additional tortillas instead.
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Post by gringal Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:22 pm

Peter:

Most of the free real estate magazines available in most restaurants have pretty good maps of the area in the middle.

If you find yourself lusting for Pizza, there is Toscana's, on the right heading East after the main part of town. The owner is Italian, and the pizza with everything (Toscana special) is good. BTW, they have Italian specialties other than pizza. Calzones, pastas, salads, etc. Beer served in frozen mugs. Wines by the glass. The place is a big yellow house set back from the road a bit in the trees. indoor and outdoor dining.

Another gringo food base is Cafe Magana, before you get to Toscana's, in a strip of shops on the right, heading East. Good meat loaf; fish and chips, ribs and such. The owner is a love 'im or hate 'im kinda guy.......but the food's good. Also has a bookshelf there. Take some; bring some.

Roberto's has good meat loaf and gravy, if that's a hankering, or, of all things...some Chinese dishes. I'd skip those, but some people love 'em.

Since you mentioned being a smoker (I do understand, having quit long ago but remember the addiction well) The Early Bird cafe and Roberto's have smoking sections, since they have patio areas. Toscana's, too, in their outdoor area. Likewise, the Nueva Posada Hotel in the outdoor area.

I guess you know now why I suggested going for the "three fish special platter" at Tabarka. lol.

Why not drive out to make something you can do at home? "Out" has its virtues, by definition. It's OUT. cheers

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:30 pm

OUT is great! It is our real reason for going to Lakeside. Really, I could do without the American food found at Super Lake, buying a lot of those things were just... well, kind of a joke, much in the same manner we set sights on chicken-fried steak for that last trip. I picked up a can of Hormel Tamales to spring on Tere, but surprisingly enough, they were pretty good.

Morelia is actually a sophisticated city of nearly one million residents, though unlike Lakeside the overwhelming majority of its residents are Mexican, and most items are able to be found in Morelia supermarkets except one, Grits. Does this make sense though? A country that does almost everything under the sun with corn, where the primary staple in everyone's diet is hominy, but I have to drive three hours to find Grits.

But there is a plus to our usual accomodations at Lakeside, a contradictory plus that we will eventually put to use, after a bit more exploration perhaps. Our hotel, Danza del Sol, has commercial stoves, San-Son brand, in their rooms. Their rooms are all suites, one, two, and three bedroom suites. The one bedroom suite is called a "Junior Suite" but there is nothing junior about it. It has a large bedroom, a large livingroom, a large outside patio, a separate dining room, and a commercially equipped kitchen. We don't like to leave to go home.

Someday we will take advantage of that kitchen other than just heating up water for instant coffee. Someday we will bring some nicer utensils and a bag of tricks and cook there in-house. There is so much room we will have to invite guests to dine with us.

Coming up on three years together, Tere and I know our honeymoon is nowhere near to being over. Unlike younger couples whose bedroom is the focus of family activity, ours is in the kitchen. We take turns in there trying to go one step higher each time in pleasing our mate. As long as the refrigerator chugs along our relationship stays fresh. I have to give her credit for taking over the routine duties but we are both always trying new positions and styles. No copy of the Kama Sutra at home but there is a volume of The Joy of Cooking - and always something new on the internet.
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Post by gringal Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:53 pm

Woo hoo....a sexy post.

Sounds like you're moving into the Hotel Danza del Sol. Next thing........

About the corn: All I wanted to do was make an old time tamale pie. In the end, I had to pay an outrageous price for a small box of Albers Corn Meal at Superlake. Maseca doesn't work the same. Go figure.








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Post by Solovino Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:42 pm

gringal wrote: Now, Solo..........how about enlightening me instead of being snarky: Where are the good places to eat in Manzanillo? I'm not much interested in steak. I like fish, chicken and shellfish along with lamb (if tender). My stomach and taste buds are not interested in fire breathing food, either.
Thanks in advance for your useful advice.
Beer

I wasn't being snarky. I was simply pointing out how opinions of restaurants are very subjective. As far as Toscana is concerned, my first visit was to the old location in Las Brisas when it was known as Willy's. I had a decent meal, I think I had the lamb chops, but on each subsequent visit (not that many) the quality worsened. After he moved to the present location due to his original location being heavily damaged heavy surf, IMO it became atrocious. The last time was about 3 years ago and we left it all on the plate and will never go back unless we are socially obligated to do so.

I have yet to find an eatery in Manzanillo worth a repeat visit. We have a home in Barra de Navidad so we have occasion to grab a bite when going thru the area but there are better places in Barra or nearby Colimilla for seafood. But the house has a nice barbeque that we put to good use while there and we fix many meals at home. Being a fisherman myself and having known many of the local pescadores from many years back, we can almost always count on having the very freshest fish. When we go out it is usually to a place on the beach for a beer and ceviche or a coctel de mariscos..

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:06 pm

As far as Toscana is concerned, my first visit was to the old location in Las Brisas when it was known as Willy's. I had a decent meal, I think I had the lamb chops, but on each subsequent visit (not that many) the quality worsened. After he moved to the present location due to his original location being heavily damaged heavy surf, IMO it became atrocious.

Is Toscana now a Pizza/Italian restaurant or is it more than that? Willy's is mentioned for a lamb chops meal. Has it changed focus? Perhaps their pizza can be recommended but a low score for other meals?? I'm curious.
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Post by Carry Bean Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:15 pm

"I have the picture now. There is a scene from Americana where Papa sits at the head of the table, napkin tucked into the shirt front, fork in left and knife in right hands with full-fist grip anxiously awaiting Mama to put the vittles on the table."

Possibly in some households, but not when I grew up. My mother could give Emily Post a run for her money.

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Post by Solovino Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:16 pm

Peter wrote:
Is Toscana now a Pizza/Italian restaurant or is it more than that? Willy's is mentioned for a lamb chops meal. Has it changed focus? Perhaps their pizza can be recommended but a low score for other meals?? I'm curious.

The Toscana we are speaking of is located in Manzanillo, it was known previously as Willy's.

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Post by Peter Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:00 pm

Carry Bean wrote:"I have the picture now. There is a scene from Americana where Papa sits at the head of the table, napkin tucked into the shirt front, fork in left and knife in right hands with full-fist grip anxiously awaiting Mama to put the vittles on the table."

Possibly in some households, but not when I grew up. My mother could give Emily Post a run for her money.

Very Happy

Please pardon. The time and setting led me to think of my own relatives from neighboring Arkansas, my mom was the first of the family born in California. I remember my cousin there whose favorite love story was Deliverance. My grandmother's sister's family were all that two-fisted type of eaters, the younger members equipped with single spoons held in similar fashion.

It is quite proper and very Emily Post to use the fork and knife in left and right hands, respectively, the standard that dictates that place setting at finer establishments. Your mother could be seated at the Queen's table, most likely. But that rarely seems the case for today's Americans in general, hand-swappers most of us are. But I believe you are correct and "the book" says that is what is proper.
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Post by David Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:09 pm

Why Americans became "hand switchers" is beyond me. Maybe Bill Bryson can tell us? When I went to Europe in 1975 I understood why the table was set the way it was. I've never had my fork in my right hand since.
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Post by gringal Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:41 pm

I never knew Toscana when it was "Willys" My first experience of the place was about a year ago after a French chef, Jean Francois, took over and, IMO, created some good dishes. Judging what is today by what was yesterday is just a bit unfair to the present owners, si?
Those who enjoy cooking at home, should. When I'm on vacation, I'd rather enjoy dining out. But..........whatever makes you happy. cheers

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