Sunday, September 13, 2009

Zocalo on a Saturday Night

Valeria greeted us when we went into Brasserie last night. She was so glad to see us and had wondered why we had not been into the restaurant. We took a table in the center of the patio near the fountain that tinkled gently as the water dropped from the bowl circled with cut roses to the basin. The brightly printed oil cloth tablecloth glowed from the lantern on our table. The air was cool and the light was dropping in the sky. By the time we left it would change from dark blue to starred velvet.

There is just something about Brasserie that lets us sink into Mexico and relax, that opens doors of conversation that everyday lives leave closed. We ordered drinks; white wine for me, a tequila and sangrita for Ned. We've read the menu a hundred times but tonight we read each item just for pleasure. Then, of course, we ordered old favorites. Milanesa. One pollo, one res.

As we sipped our drinks and ate our dinner the restaurant gradually filled up. A Mexican family. Husband, wife, daughter and grandmother. The wife and daughter walked on either side of the grandmother to steady her on the uneven stones, then made sure her chair was comfortable. A couple, not young, but dating. We could tell from little snippets of know that dating dance when you see it or hear it. Two ladies slipped to the back of the restaurant. Were they traveling together or did they live here? I love watching people and writing stories about them in my head.

No evening in town would be complete without a circle of the Jardin in front of the Parroquia. On the side toward the Parroquia were the families with children playing with new toys purchased from the vendors who seemed to position themselves in front of each child. What parent can resist. Another side was filled with food vendors. Oh, how good those hamburgers smelled. Another side, the boys with slicked back hair and baggy jeans were gathering to wait for the girls in tight jeans and tank tops. And the fourth side of the Jardin was lined with waiting mariachi bands.

We walked down Cuna de Allende past tables that have spilled outside restaurants into the closed street. Live music drifted from the restaurants. When we turned from Allende to Pila Seca, the smell of garlic and pizza was heavy from the Grotto. No way we could eat again but we were reminded that soon, very soon we must return and go a table by the window on the dim second floor for one of the thin crust pizzas and glasses of red wine.

We are really, really back in Mexico.


Jan said...

Absolutely fantastic. I'm so glad you're home! It's a great feeling isn't it? You are both troopers and you made the best of Texas.

Alfredo said...


carolyn and john simsarian said...

Your comments on leaving the kids "alone" are spot on. Looking forward to returning to SMA the middle of October. Your postings help keep us in touch with life in Mexico. Thank you, thank you. Carolyn and John Simsarian

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to get back. Thanks for keeping us in touch with SMA. We are so happy to find someone else who really enjoys cooking....and actually does it.

Enjoy your day.

Bob y Sam

Billie said...

Thanks everyone. Carolyn and John, Bob Y Sam, San Miguel awaits you. Hurry home.

Islagringo said...

What a wonderful piece of descriptive journalism. I could see, hear and smell everything!

Billie said...

Thanks Islagringo but I long for the accomplished stories of Felipe.