Friday, April 06, 2007

Lunch at Dago's

Thursday we went down to the malecon for lunch at the eponymous Dago's. He is a man who was born and raised in Cuyutlán and is an age-mate and best friend to Fernando. He opened his puesto several years ago and it has become one of the nicest along the beach. There are two places you can eat at a puesto; either right off the malecon or down under umbrellas at seaside. If you sit on the beach you rent a table, chairs and umbrella and waiters bring your food and drink. We chose to sit up by the kitchen, out of the crowd.

As we sat looking through the umbrellas down to the sea we marveled at the industry going on around us. Much coming and going from the kitchen down to the folks at beachside tables, raking of the sand, sweeping the walkways, scrubbing the tables and chairs that get so salty and dusty. There are probably 20 puestos along the beach, some larger than others. In this country of intrepid entrepreneurs, if you have a grill, a cooler for beer, an umbrella and beach chair, you're in business as a puesto operator. They come and go with the season but every year someone else tries his luck on the beach. It's a wonderful country that lets this happen, without too much dither about "standards." Hey, if you patronize one puesto and get the tricky tummy afterwards, go to the one next door.

Chouy and Fernando are both working at Dago's over the two weeks of Easter holiday. She is doing most if not all of the cooking which promises that everything will be delicious. She prepared fish tacos, bean tacos, a special salsa for Jim without any jalapeño peppers, and a lovely sweet-ish salad of jicama, cucumber, beets and oranges, all diced up together. The beets turn everything a beautiful pink.

At the other end of the restaurant Fernando was presiding at the bar, whipping up margaritas, piña coladas, cocolocos, "Si tu queras" (whatever you want). Always the cheerful, congenial host, he has never met a stranger. Between the two of us the Patient and I ate seven tacos, drank four beers, and polished off one plato of salad. The Patient cleaned his plate and sat back most satisfied. My satisfaction came from his good appetite, good color, and vast improvement. I think he has put on a bit of weight, too. Even his hair is growing back more quickly. That's what Cuyutlán will do for you!


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