The weather is clearing so it was a nice day for a walk. I took a stroll across a bridge to the north side of town and walked along Morelos, a street up a block or two from the malecon and a bit further down than I had walked before.
298) La Casa del Tequila
At first I thought this might just be a place that sold tequila. When you first walk in there is a tequila tasting area and they say they have 350 kinds of tequila for sale. It looked like it. They have a lot of tequilas that you just don´t find in the stores and, interestingly, do not have the ones you do find. They focus more on the more unusual and more expensive types. I only sampled one, it was very good, before walking through that area to my real goal.
Behind the tasting area was a very nice and quite ornate wood and metal bar. I thought it was a genuine antique but after talking to the bartender I found out it was only ten-years old. It was, however, made with old planking from barns and doors so it had that antique look about it. The top of the bar had four wood planks about three feet long, one foot wide, and half an inch think affixed to it. The planks were framed in iron bands about one and a half inches wide with large rivets about every three inches. Although the iron looked old and rusted I found out it had been painted with a special paint to make it look that way. The front of the bar was a pounded metal separated into panels with the same type of bands described above. In the center of each panel (except for two where it looked like they had been removed) were brass looking emblems with an agave plant and the name of the bar inscribed. The back of the bar was equally ornate but all wood. There were mirrors and glass shelves that held an impressive liquor selection, mostly tequilas. The bar stools had backs and real leather seats. The bar-rail looked to be twisted wrought iron and was held in place by wide iron bands with ornate curls on each end. The wall behind the bar was painted to look like storage racks of, what I presumed to be, tequila barrels.
There was also a large, bright eating area with several tables. Not too large with overhead fans and those behive lights. I asked a couple who were leaving how the food was and they said it was very good. I saw the little kitchen and the Mexican lady making the tortillas looked like the real deal.
I had a margarita on the rocks and it was one of the best I have ever had.
299) La Casa del Habano
At the end of the block, across the street and up a bit on Aldama, was this interesting place. At least interesting for here in Puerto Vallarta. When I first walked in I thought it was just a place to buy cigars, but the sign out front did say bar. They sell nothing but Cuban cigars and have a very large, walk-in, humidified temperature-controlled room to store them in. A very impressive selection too.
Walking though this area you enter a very nicely appointed smoking room with a small, three stool bar. The bar has a black and red marble top and sits off to one side of the smoking room. Given the number of comfortable chairs and sofas available the bartender thought it was a bit strange that I chose to sit at the bar, but rules are rules.
There were a couple of televisons that were turned off and a lot of books and magazines available for reading while you enjoyed a good cigar and a drink. The pictures on the walls were mostly cigar related and cigar advertisements. There was a large poster of Che Guevera enjoying a cigar. He seems to be second only to Zapata in popularity down here. On one wall was a nice stained glass hanging of people harvesting tobacco and to the left of the bar was a black stained glass hanging with the words ¨Habanas unicos desedes 1492.¨
I spent my time at the bar smoking a small cigar, having my drink, and chatting with the bartender. She was born in Puerto Vallarta and has lived here all her life, 32 years. We chatted about the changes we have seen and she told me about some small towns that I might want to visit. She was somewhat surprised that I had been to several of them already. While I was there a fellow, Wayne, stopped by. He was from Niagra, Canada. This was his first time in Puerto Vallarta and he was going to be here for four weeks. We chatted a bit as well.
I had a Cuba libre.
300) Etc. la Cantina
Back on Morelos and down a block or two from La Casa del Tequila, was this large, but not touristy, bar. The bar itself was a fairly large wooden three-sided affair with a tan marble-patterned linoleum top. There were beer cases and a few kegs being stored there along with the obligatory beer cooler. The bar-stools were plain wooden affairs. The bar rail was seemed to be a large iron tube. The most notable decorative touch were a number of old saddles mounted on the high up on the white plaster walls. There was a bit of orange paint to brighten the place up a bit.
Although this was on a busy street, the back-side of the bar was cool. You could just hear a touch of the traffic through the doors and windows that looked out on the street.
There were a lot of wooden tables and chairs and, from the menu on the wall, it looked like you could order Mexican bar food: Alitas, Burritos, Nachos, Carnes F., Papas F., Camarons, and Cacahauates. I am not sure what half of that stuff actually is, and I wasn´t hungry enough to find out.
There wasn´t anyone in the place but me and the bartender and he didn´t seem to speak English. Maybe the place livens up at night, it was only a little after 3:00 P.M. The bartender was watching a soccer game on television, Chelsea vs. Barcelona. He didn´t seem too pleased when Chelsea scored to increase their lead to 4 to 2 (I subsequently saw on the news that this was also the final score).
I had a Pacifico and headed home.
Not a real milestone like 250, but round numbers are always nice, so with 300 down I now have 700 left to go.