Friday, February 25, 2005

Fairly Fast Friday

I got off to an early start and headed to the far north side of town. I didn't want to hit anything real close to where I stay because I have a friend coming in tomorrow and thought I would save a few of them for him. I walked past a few that were open and kept going well past the end of the malecon to start off my day.

251) Salsa Mexicana Bar

Mostly a restaurant on Avenue Mexico, across from the Pemex gas station. It is mostly a restaurant with a small green cement topped bar that looks out onto someone's back yards with clothes drying on the line. Yellow walls, a light orange ceiling and dark brown cement beams. Pictures of old Mexico on the walls with several of Zapata and the boys and at least one of Pancho Villa. There was a picture of Spud, the Bud Lite dog, on the wall, but no Bud Lite to be had. Same with the large plastic Miller bottle. There is a colorful white, red, and green awning out in front and lots of those Mexican doily things you see hanging from the ceiling.

I had a Negra Modelo

252) El Andariego

Across the street and a bit south of the Pemex gas station was this place that was just opening up. This was a very nice looking place with a curved wooden bar and six swiveling bar stools. There were several colorful murals ranging in subject matter from small, naked children frolicking in a pool under a couple of waterfalls to a surealistic scene of old Mexico combined with what looked like a Mexican version of some kind of ancient Roman debauchery. There were also a couple that were views overlooking Puerto Vallarta and the bay. There were at least three levels and with the white tablecloths and fancy place settings it looked like it would be a good place for dinner. There were nice soft-orange glass shaded lights hanging over the bar and large copper-cone shaded lamps hanging over the rest of the place. It had windows facing out on the busy street but the noise level is muted. As I headed out I noticed some tubes of stuff on a table and picked on up to see what they were. It turned out they were paints and the artist who, apparently was still working on the murals, was there and we chatted a bit.

I had a Corona and it was served in a nice frosty mug.

253) Jazon Criollo

Located on the corner of Avenue Mexico and Venezuela this place is across the street from a small park. It is a nice little restaurant with a small, six-stool green cement bar. The floor is light green and dark green tiles. The tablecloths are green and white checked and the tables and chairs are painted green. The awning in front is also green. The bar stools, however, are maroon. They must have run out of green. The sign above the bar says El Tiki Tiki Bar. I guess that is because it sits under a fake palapa overhang and has a papermache parrot hanging above it. There is a real parrot perched outside in front of the place though.

I had a Corona.

254) Pool Vallarta

Almost right next door is a fairly good sized pool-hall with nice carved wooden tables covered in blue felt. They have a nice carved wooden bar up front and their beer is half the price of thelast place, 12 pesos versus the 24 pesos I had just paid. The only drawback was that the beer-cooler was a bit too warm and there was an incessent, and quite irritating, high-pitched beep the whole time I was there.

I had a Corona (and it wasn't warm).

255) Mesa del Co Co

On Brasilia across from the Stadium Sports Park was this, what appeared to be, locals only bar. There were three small, very old, and authentic looking leopard skins on the wall, a pool-table, and an outside seating area in the back. There were, again, the requisite pictures of old Mexico on the walls along with a few Mexican movie posters. It had a bunch of round wooden tables with large leather-backed chairs and a nice little brick-fronted bar with a wooden top. There were a few locals in the place and two of them were drinking a pinkish drink out of those large margarita glasses that you see. They didn't look like the type of hombres that would be drinking fruit punch, but when the ordered another round I saw what it was. Beer and tomatoe juice with a squeeze of lime over ice. I have to admit to having drunk that very thing long ago and in a place far away.

I had a Corona

256) La Dolce Vita

I was planing on just heading home but by the time I got to this place on the Malecon I really had to take a whiz so I popped in. It is an Itallian restaurant that feature pizzas. They have a coal burning oven in the back that they use to make them and they are quite good. It is a multi-level place with red-checked tablecloths. There are pictures of movie posters on the walls, many of them from the movie that gives the place its name. I sat at the bar and had, unfortunately, a very bad margarita. There is no excues, in my mind, why a decent restaurant should use that sweetish yellow stuff that passes for margarita mix. Limes are plentiful and cheap here and even the dive bars use them in their margaritas. Bah.

I had a margarita.

257) Bar Oceana

I stopped in this one because I was curious how I had missed it during my previous pass along the malecon. It is right across the street from La Gruta. The only thing I can think of is that it was closed. It is an upstairs corner bar, open on two sides, with a great view of the bay. It was an exceptionally clear day so the view was quite good (not that it is ever bad). There is nothing fancy about this place, just a decent bar with white-washed walls, a cement-block ceiling with dark beams and Old Moon Rising on the jukebox. A good place to end the day relatively early in the afternoon.

I had a gin and tonic and headed home.

A pretty good day and down to 743 to go. We shall see how I do when my friend shows up. Perhaps a few more late nights, but we shall see.

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