It’s just that life got in the way…

There are too many things going on here. I left the old job, started the new job and was promptly whisked away to Xalapa, Veracruz. I’m back in Guadalajara now and still working on getting settled into the new job, which is fabulous (in case you were wondering). Things are good and the blogging fell by the wayside.

The review of Xalapa is that is was great. Adolfo came with me and we really liked the town.

Xalapa is also spelled Jalapa, but pronounced the same – an H sound like in HOT. The people there are called Jalapeños. Guess what kind of chile they are known for producing….. Xalapa is not on the coast, but up a bit in the mountain side, but not far enough to get cold. It is pretty warm this time of year and humid like a Missouri summer. Nearby there are coffee farms and a lot of the business moves through town. It is also the capital of the state of Veracruz and the site of the main campus of the Universidad Veracruzana. It is known as a university town and it seemed to live up to that reputation. Veracruz is a long thin state on the Gulf Coast and is know for its port, fish dish (pescado a la veracruzana), humidity and transvestites. There is an oft repeated saying that the best looking women in Veracruz are men.

We stayed in a very nice (but not expensive) hotel called the Posada del Cafeto and they had coffee trees growing on the grounds. (that sounds like a pun, but wasn’t meant to be) In short time, we found two places to eat which we became very fond of over the 5 days we were there.

One was a local institution called La Sopa, which is located in Callejón del Diamante. We ate dinner there one night and had enfrijoladas, which play on the same concept as enchiladas, that is – they are tortillas pulled through a refried black bean sauce and rolled or folded over some shredded chicken and sprinkled with a hard salty cheese. They are obviously more filling than enchiladas, which are tortillas pulled through a chile sauce. So, Adolfo and I split one order and felt very good about that decision. I later ate there again and had a Pollo Manchamantel which was excellent. It was a chicken thigh covered in a chile sauce, like a type of mole. Manchamantel means “tablecloth stainer” so I had to drop my fork down the front of my shirt for the proper chile stained effect.

The other favorite place to eat in Xalapa is a relatively new café called La Galaria Barragán, which seems to occasionally have art exhibits. While we were there they were changing the exhibit. We spent a lot of time in this café and the second time we stopped in the cook recognized us. We had a chat with him about the menu and his experience working and cooking in Puerto Vallarta and he told me to send him a message the next time I am in town and he will reply with the menu for the day. Excellent! The only thing the Galaria Barragán is missing is a properly functioning internet connection.  Hopefully, when I return in August, it will be up and running.

We also went to the Museo de Antropología de Xalapa, or MAX, which is pretty impressive.  It is known as one of the best museums in Mexico.  The museum houses 7 giant Olmec carved stone heads and they are really stunning.

I will probably be traveling to Xalapa 3 times a semester, which means I should get to know town pretty well.
I still haven’t seen the market or the other museums in town.  I’m looking forward to going back.


3 Responses to “It’s just that life got in the way…”

  1. AJ Burke Says:

    So how far away IS Xalapa? Will you take a bus there or are you comfortable driving that far?
    I have never been a fan of pescado a la veracruzana, but they probably do it better IN Veracruz. Did you have great coffee, or is it one of those deals where the best stuff is exported and the local area doesn’t get to keep anything good?

  2. Yo Says:

    Xalapa is pretty far from Guadalajara I guess 12-14 hour drive. The best thing to do is fly to DF or Veracruz and from this cities take a bus. Veracruz is 1 1/2 hours and DF Mexico City should be 5 hours by bus.
    We flew to DF first then to Veracruz and then took a bus; took us about 5 hours total to be in Xalapa (10am to 3pm)

    Coffee is excellent!

  3. Paul Says:

    I’d like more details on your new job. What institution and what are you doing? Why Xalapa so often? Fill us in…..

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