Birthday Extravaganza

Trip Start Jan 07, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Well, I finally arrived in Oaxaca City after a torturous bus ride from Puerto Escondido.  I was warned it was ike a roller coaster, and that was no lie.  5.5 hours of constant switchbacks AND up and down rolling hills can exhaust the living shit out of someone.  Add another 1.5 hours of frequent speed bumps and.....well you get the picture. 

For those of you who don´t know already,  my plan was to meet my two friends from New Orleans, Joe and Gail, to celebrate my birthday with them.  We discovered purely by accident, that we would be in the city at the same time and it only seemed right to hook up.  Gail is probably my best female pork friend in NOLA.  We don´t get together often to eat but when we do it is ALWAYS for BBQ.  Always.  It seemed only fitting that we have a pork birthday celebration together.

When I arrived at my hotel, the manager told me that Gail had left a message for me changing our meeting time for dinner the next evening.  He added under his breath that she was staying at Oaxaca´s finest boutique hotel and that the chef there was the ¨best in the city.¨ I´m thinking, great, she´s going to have some fabulous food stories for me.  Oh, if I only knew....

Our original plan was that prior to my arrival, she was going to find some down and dirty local joint for the birthday celebration.  Now she and her husband had been here for about a week before I arrived and had established a very friendly relationship with not only the chef, but the entire staff at the hotel.  When she asked the chef where to take me for our low down pork dinner he said to her....¨¨Bring her here.  I will cook something special for her.¨ Can you say JACKPOT.  Holy crap!  Amazing.  You can read the details of the entree itself on my pork blog, listed below.  It was a truly specatcular meal. Everything was perfect...the company, the setting, the food, the temperature, the chef was so incredibly friendly AND talented.  I felt so fortunate to be living and breathing in that moment.  I have wanted to come here and experience the food here for close to 20 years now.  To have the city´s best chef cook for me upon my arrival, was quite frankly a bit overwhelming.  But so very very cool.  Mil gracias Gail and Joe.

We decide before the night is over that Chef Ruiz is going to take us to his Uncle´s restaurant the next day for breakfast Oaxacan style --Pork Carnitas.  I am overjoyed.  Then he´s going to take us to the big Saturday market to shop for food for the restaurant.  Somebody pinch me.....please. 
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