After crossing above the freeway you come across Mercado Surquillo No. 1.
And while we didn't intend on spending much time checking out the market we just couldn't help ourselves. I'd forgotten how much we loved the Mercados in Peru. Though it looks like things have changed up a bit as the largest crowds here were for the "Bioferia"; the tents selling organic items.
The rest of the market was also fairly busy; especially the food and drink section.
Though we were almost waylaid by the "Festivo Gastronomical".
Which had a neat "food court" kind of feel to it.
Where some of the smells were just plain intoxicating.....
We were tempted but the Missus had Cebiche on Her mind and there was no stopping Her.
It was nice being back in Peru. It had been too long.
Mercado Surquillo No.1 Paseo de la Republica block 53 Surquillo, Lima, Peru
And there was some Cebiche calling our name from behind the market!
On our last full day in Seville we got a bit of a late start. But it was Sunday after all. As we stumbled out of our apartment over to the Plaza del Salvador we could hear the crowd before we actually saw it.
Good lord, all these young people, many having beers, at 830 in the morning! On a Sunday! I guess Saturday night just wasn't enough.
We decided on something a bit more suitable for breakfast. I mentioned my growing fondness for the simple tostada de aciete (toast with olive oil) in a previous post.
We just stopped at a corner shop and got our tostadas and espresso and were ready to go.
As we passed the very humble exterior Capilla de San José (Chapel of San José), which was open as we passed. The interior however, was a whole 'nother story. As you can see by the elaborate Baroque altarpiece.
From here we headed back in the direction of La Alameda where we had passed the night before.
This park was originally built in 1574 and was once the oldest public garden in Europe. I really like the Roman Columns. Hercules stands on the left and Julius Caesar on the right.
We saw tents set-up. Apparently there's a Sunday Market in the Plaza. So we decided to check things out.
It was a charming little "Mercadillo", full of locals.......
We even bought a very nice bottle of olive oil from one of the vendors. Then had a seat at one of the cafes to enjoy some espresso and watch the world pass for a while We even saw a character from the previous night; the "Smug Pug" making his way around; as smug and oblivious to all who gave attention as the night before. As we strutted from tree to tree, I again automatically started Overture to the Barber of Seville. I should have taken a photo, but we were just having too much fun.
Hard to believe that in the late 80's and 90's this area was a drug infested neighborhood that was once home to 35 brothels. Yes, gentrification, now it's one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Seville.
The "Weeping Virgin" has tears made of crystal, real human hair, looks down upon you with a handkerchief in her right hand and a rosary in her left. She wears five emerald brooches donated by The famous Bullfighter "El Gallo". In fact, I read that after Joselito El Gallo was gored to death, La Macarena was dressed in black for the only time in history.
And she moves many. I saw a couple of women start weeping at the sight of her. We saw women give up their babies to the staff to be brought in front of the statue.
You can actually walk in back of the statue as well. I gotta say; for some reason I really felt kind of spooked.
Still, this is pretty impressive. So impressive that many babies in Seville are named Macarena. Which does of course have ties to this song.
So yes, we've come from the Virgin Mary and Semana Santa to Human Hair to El Gallo the Bullfighter to Los del Río in a few sentences.
mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog with some 'regular' people who post. Today, Cathy is posting while Kirk is working and Ed(from Yuma) is out and about (in Yuma).
I saw an advertisement that Tip Top Meats (whichI've postedaboutmany times) was going to serve Thanksgiving dinner for $12.95 beginning at 1:30 that day. Trying to keep with our now non-tradition of going out for our Thanksgiving meal, The Mister and I planned our day around this time, but so did many other people; the line was to the door when we walked in. We turned around and did something non-traditional ( same as Kirk's Thanksgiving Day). A few weeks later, we drove North to Tip Top for breakfast. The breakfast menu is to the left as you approach the cash register, where you order and pay (food is brought to your table; you get your own beverage and water). The Mister chose the 'Big John' breakfast($7.98). Three eggs, potatoes, toast (rye) and -all you can eat- meat. Bacon is a choice, but because some people have been overly greedy in the past, now you can only have a single order/it's not all you can eat. Because we like but don't go crazy over bacon, the breakfast sausage and ham were part of the first order, with a return trip requesting the Polish sausage (bratwurst is also a meat choice). The sausages are made here; the breakfast sausages are large and have a hint of spicy red pepper as part of the ingredients. The thick slice of ham is quite wonderful and the Polish sausage is garlicky, peppery and smoked. All in all a great tasting meal. My 'Continental Breakfast' ($8.99) consisted of two thicker slices of cheese along with two quite large, crusty fresh fluffy rolls and two slices each of liverwurst, an in-store deli meat made in aspic with ham, mustard seeds and peppercorns (it's not head cheese, but a milder flavored, pleasant deli meat), two types of salamis and two thin slices of a wonderful Black Forest ham. This was a perfect breakfast for me. Walking through the store, we checked out the refrigerated section, countertops filled with fresh breads and pastries and the freezer area. Then, there were shelves just past the cash registers where you pay for the store purchases. That rack is for the Tip Top brand baked items. Mincemeat- made with beef suet-realmincemeat!The fresh, buttery and flaky pastry filled with the mixture of apples, raisins, currants, lemon and orange peel, sherry wine, brandy, citrons, spices and beef suet just tastes like Winter. Only made until December 31, it's a favorite holiday treat.
Tip Top Meats and European Delicatessen 6118 Paseo Del Norte Carlsbad, CA 92009 Website open daily 6 am-8 pm
Well, here's the abridged version. One of my projects....a really huge project, was delayed. All trips had been put on hold. As soon as I got official word of the dates being pushed back, I pinged the Missus and went to work, first requesting time off, then doing the logistics. It came together in an instant. You see, a few months earlier, one of the folks I occasionally work with mentioned the Icelandair free stopover program. Basically, you fly out of one of the airlines hub and you get up to a 7 night stopover in Iceland at no extra charge (there's even a "Stopover Buddy" program that's offered on occasion). I started quickly checking prices and found that Business Class from SEA to ORY was really affordable and we could easily fit in a 3 night stopover on the way back.
This meant we'd have 1 night in Seattle on our way to and from Paris.
We've been here so many times, way back to pre-blogging days, and I used to visit regularly while living in HNL....in fact, before I met the Missus, I was considering a move here.
But that's ancient history now and here we were....staring at this!
I had just been mentioning what a clear night it was when we came upon Fernando Botero's"Adam". (Click the link - It's a great article). So perhaps the night was a bit too clear for us?
We had a perfect night of rest and since breakfast was included in our room rate, we ended up having a satisfying breakfast at the Renaissance.
Pretty standard stuff. What made this for us was the awesome service. Friendly, efficient, just really perfect. Before we left one of the Servers brought us more coffee....in take out cups....a "little something for the morning". The Missus whispered to me, "increase your tip". Now that's a new one! I know it doesn't cost the Servers anything to do these little things, but they make all the difference to us; the customers.
So while we hadn't stayed at the Renaissance in ages, I think this is where we'll be when we return.
Renaissance Seattle Hotel 515 Madison St Seattle, WA 98104
Plus, check out time isn't until noon, so we took another nice little walk.
It had drizzled in the morning, but things had cleared up......but not everyone was enjoying their walk.....
Though by the time we headed down the Waterfront Steps, things were under control.
We headed up Post Alley to another "landmark", the Seattle Gum Wall, which is kinda neat or pretty gross, depending on your point of view.
Still, there's always something interesting to see or experience at Pike Place.
Our flight wasn't until almost 5 pm; as I mentioned earlier check-out time at the Renaissance is at noon, I'm sure I could have requested a late check-out, but we decided to just catch the Link out to Sea-Tac. Icelandair flies out of the 'S' terminal at Sea-Tac, which is our least favorite, but since we were flying Business we got to use the "Club at SEA".......even though there wasn't anything special in terms of food or drink, the comfort and low stress vibe is a welcome change from the usual cattle call.
Flying Business Class on Icelandair was a mixed bag. The seating is like domestic first, which means nothing lies flat....the movie selection is dated.....however, the service is fantastic, and in all honesty, the food was not bad.
The flier says - Soft Opening October 20th; Grand Opening October 22nd.
So there you go.
5950 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92117
Poke and Pintxos at Poseidon Project:
Like I mentioned in a previous post; I've kind of taken to the Poseidon Project, the little beer bar and bottle shop in my 'hood; Bay Park. It's a nice, neighborhood place, but it's a beer bar and bottle shop and doesn't serve food. Which can be a bit of a problem in this area.
I'll usually drop by on Saturday evenings when the Missus needs to work and have noticed that there's usually one and sometimes two catering folks coming in to serve food.
The usual Saturday stand is by a company named ILNLYF Foods, which you might know from the Little Italy Mercado. And yes, these guys serve poke.
I've yet to find decent poke in San Diego and I really had my doubts about these guys. And the first two times I tried the poke I was underwhelmed. I did enjoy that this isn't the typical San Diego "Chi-poke" set-up; the fast-casual fish with sauce thing. I did find the fish to be on the mushy side and the poke sort of waterlogged; as if they dumped a bunch of frozen fish into the marinade.
However, the guy serving the poke is very nice, friendly, Samoan, who has family and spends a good deal of time in Hawaii.
And wouldn't you know it; the last two times their version of shoyu poke has been pretty good. As you can tell; not too much "suji" (connective tissue) in the fish. It's been marinated....not just sitting around with some sauce thrown on it. I'd like a bit more onions, but the kimchi cucumbers are a decent addition. I was told that because their customer base at the Mercado's said it was too salty; they've had to change to low sodium shoyu....so they told me to visit them at the PIF and other festivals where they "don't hold back".
Tried it again recently and I gotta say; it's a two fer two...though i'm not a big fan of the "fried rice", which was too hard and dry. I'll stick with the white rice....though they did have a decent mac salad a few weeks back.
Also, on occasion there's young lady who makes paella, and later on some Saturday evenings she'll bring in some Pintxos......you know what that is, right?
They'll tell most folks this is "tapas", but the young lady is from Bilbao. In Basque country, they call this Pintxos.
Some Tortilla Espanola, maybe a version of Champinones Al Ajillo, Boquerons, or Crouquettas de Pollo. Nice folks.
I'm not sure what the entire lineup of food purveyors is; so you may want to call ahead on a Friday or Saturday to see if they'll have anything; 619-230-5334.
Over the last couple of weeks; I've noticed a couple of things; the beer cooler doesn't have the variety it used too; they don't always have all 8 pulls going. I really like this place and hope this isn't a bad sign. I've enjoyed meeting some of my more like minded neighbors, the two and even four-legged ones.....so I'm hoping Poseidon hangs on and maybe gets a kitchen, or something.
Poseidon Project 4126 Napier St San Diego, CA 92110
Man, they just opened in April! Cathy sent me a text about this and I went to check out their Facebook Page:
"Char House September 14 at 9:03pm To our valued guests, Char House is now CLOSED. Thank you for your support and we hope to continue serving you at our other location in Hillcrest: Pho Fifth Ave. 3807 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103."
I drove by yesterday.....
Geeez.....the Grand Opening sign is still up.....
7765 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92111
Yum Cha Café Closes:
Cathy also mentioned this to me as well. Notice the trash bins in front of the door. The place caused a bit of buzz and opened to lines. But slowly got worse and worse and based on what I had during my last visit, they really did seem like they were circling the drain.
6933 Linda Vista Road San Diego, CA 92111
Since we've been on 99 Ranch Market watch here at mmm-yoso...... The sign has been up for a couple of weeks.
Here you are, checking out mmm-yoso!!! to see what sort of food in what part of town is featured today. Kirk is having a busy time at work and Ed (from Yuma) is having a relaxing time (in Yuma) so Cathy is posting.
Back in December, a dear, long time friend sent a message that she was going to be in town for a day, having a book signing at Mysterious Galaxy, one of a handful of Independent bookstores we have in San Diego County. Mysterious Galaxy shares the same parking lot with Balboa International Market, which I posted about in 2010 and again, in 2012.
She and I had a good visit after her extended signing time (many San Diegans are fans of her book, which is nominated for a World Fantasy Award). The Mister and I have gone back to this part of town quite a few times this year to have lunch after exploring Mysterious Galaxy.
I'll spare you photos of the store interior; it's about the same as in the prior posts. Fresh breads are available and the Produce prices are particularly good.
Walking though the doors of the market, (if there aren't any grills cooking out in front), then to the left and back corner, you'll find a deli counter with many choices, and a menu over a cash register, where you can place your order. There is also a stack of paper menus. Order, pay, find a seat at the front of the store (you'll get a number and the plates will be brought to you).
The salad plate with chicken is $8 and enough for a meal or a light bite to share. (Depending on my mood, I'll walk into the store and purchase a beverage while waiting)
The a la carte kabob plate is $4. This is a seasoned ground beef (koobideh) kabob served on top of store baked flatbread, with the onion, grilled tomato and basil; quite enough food.
The vegetarian meza is $9 and includes dolma, fresh made falafel, a slice of Kuku (spinach/egg/spiced pie), eggplant salad, cucumber salad, tzatziki, hummus and pita bread.
Always good, fresh, tasty.
Balboa International Market 5907 Balboa Avenue San Diego 92111 (858) 277-3600 Website
For $1 you can get a cup of tea, which comes with tiny sugar cubes.
It's a beautiful long weekend. Here's a couple of things I've noticed over the last few days.
Another Up 2 You Café opening on Convoy:
In the location that used to house several versions of a "Berto" (I think it was Rolando's last) Taco Shop on Convoy.
Noticed the public notice a few days ago. Looks like it's going to be yet another location of Up2You cafes. Which Kirbie,CC, Jinxi, and our own Cathy have posted on. Looks like this one will be a bit different as they will serve alcohol.
4403 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Keils in Bay Park Becoming Sprouts:
Listing this one since it's basically right up the block.
After something like 3 decades, Keils is going to become a location of Sprouts.....I was told sometime in 2017. I really don't shop here often; but I realize that Keils has been a fixture in the neighborhood and folks know the staff here. Kind of sad in a way.....
We'd had a great time in Dordogne, but were pretty tired and were happy to be back in Bordeaux. It all seemed familiar to us....we knew the drill, how to catch tram from the Gare Saint Jean. In fact, shades of Saint Jean de Luz, seeing us use the tram ticket machine...folks would ask us....in French how to us the quite easy ticket machine. It was so strange. If there was one person who really didn't look like they belonged, it would be me. Anyway, we ended up helping a couple of folks get their tickets..... We were staying at the same apartments, so getting settled in was a snap. As was getting back to our favorite little place in Bordeaux, Bar a Vin.
We got a simple cheese plate and a glass of wine each.
I had a glass of the 2008 Saint-Julien Chateau Langoa-Barton, Grand Cru......
It was lovely, rich, berry flavors, with not too much tannin.....
Bar a Vin 3 Cours du 30 Juillet Bordeaux, France
The Missus then decided that it was time for a walk, so this time we headed up along the Garonne River, passing some interesting sites on the way.....
The Chartrons neighborhood was once filled with the homes of rich merchants, but eventually fell into disrepair. A large renovation project has turned the Quay des Chatrons into a hip and gentrified neighborhood.....
And further north is Bassin a Flot, once lined with warehouses, dry docks, and other industrial businesses, the place turned into a wonderful urban renovation project....now lined with bars, restaurants, and hip shops.
It was time to decide what to do for dinner. The decision was quite easy. Our favorite meal in Bordeaux was having some cheese and baguette, with a bottle (or two of wine), and just relaxing.
We turned around and headed back to Marche des Grands Hommes and the Carrefour Market.
We picked up some wine and other items and headed out.
On the street on the other side of Marche des Grands Hommes, that lead to Allee de Tourny was a cheese shop that I wanted to check out named Fromagerie Beillevaire.
The guy working here was quite nice and the selection was nice.
It was hard picking just 2-3 cheeses....but in the end we basically just chose three.
Fromagerie Beillevaire 8 Rue Michel Montaigne Bordeaux, France
Looking back, I noticed we'd done quite a bit of walking on this day. No wonder we were pretty tired when we got back to the apartment. This time around, they put us in a huge 2 bedroom unit on the third floor, which was very comfortable.
The kitchen was well equipped.
And because we travel light, the washer/dryer was welcomed. As was the tub where the Missus could soak and relax......
I was really struck by the view out the round windows.......
Dinner was a simple, but satisfying affair.
With the Missus' favorite bottle of 4,9€ (about $5.40/US) bottle of white.
The folks that ran the apartment also left us a nice bottle of white as well.
A very nice gesture.
The Missus had a bath, I had my glass of wine and started a post while looking out onto the street below.
After all of the activities of the previous couple of days; it was nice to just sit back and relax.
After a wonderful stay in Sarlat, we were heading out the next morning. We loved staying in the wonderful B&B we had booked....well...except for a couple of the paintings......which strangely kind of spooked me in some strange way.
But, here we were ready to head out for the next leg of our trip in the in the "Le Gauche.....La Droite....Sortie....mobile"
If there was any doubt as to the beauty of this part of France, all you need to do is to take short pause at the Limeuil Bridge. On a day like this; with the sun shining, the water sparkling...can you see the folks fishing?
We drove along, our objective the hill town of Domme. I'd read that some of the best views of the Dordogne Valley were to be had here. Which I believe are true.
Most folks might be too young, but my Mom used to play this old album once in a while.....
"On a clear day Rise and look around you And you see who you are On a clear day How it will astound you"
Many of the canoe trips on the Dordogne River start here.
It's quite an amazing drive. We stopped at a little shop by the side of the road and bought some duck rillette and foie gras for Sammy....yes, for Sammy. And from the parking lot you had a dramatic view of Chateau de Castelnaud.
A few kilometers down the road from La Roque is the stunning and yet imposing village of Beynac-et-Cazenac.
Walking from the waters edge, up the charming narrow, winding, cobbled streets, it seems like you've just stepped onto a movie set.
You should park in the lots at the bottom of the hill, or you'll risk the fate of this automobile, manned by a British couple, who had gotten to the point of no return and seemed trapped on in of the narrow lanes. The poor guy seemed like he was going to have a coronary, while the woman was quite amused. They managed to get the attention of one of the locals, who kindly jumped into the car and maneuvered it down the street. I told her, "you've sure got a story to tell when you get home, don't you?" And the woman cracked up and nodded.
The rest of the walk uphill was uneventful and we just took in our surroundings. Near the top there are cafes and restaurants. You can visit the Chateau, and yes, there's even a parking lot....apparently there's an easy way up the hill.
We just walked to the look-out and took in the view. Yet another fantastic sight.
The best shots of the Chateau are taken from right above the cemetery.
The Chateau was once seized by Richard the Lionheart who used it as his base of operations in the area. You can read a nice history of the structure here.
Our destination for the day was Les Eyzies de Tayac so we passed through the village of Saint Cyprien and the road was closed. It was market day, so we decided to stop and enjoy.
There were many temptations.
But in the end, we just went with some fromage.....
And a strong double espresso.....
We got out of town via a round about way and actually got to Les Eyzies quite early........
There wasn't much going on so we decided to just head up north, to Perigueux, the Prefecture, administrative "capitol" of the area. We parked in one of the lots alongside the river of this old Roman town and paid a visit to the TI and picked up a walking tour map, which started at the Mataguerre Tower right across the street.
There were once 28 towers forming the walls that protected the district of Puy Saint Front. Built in the 15th Century, this is the last one standing.
The walking tour took us up and down winding alleyways, past historic buildings like the Maison des Dames de la Foi. The façade dates back to the 12th century. In the 17th century, the structure was turned into a convent.
We found the streets to be eerily quiet. I guess Sunday is a very slow day in Perigueux.
Round the corners you'd find little alleyways which seemed to be protected by a metal gate....which was open.
Exiting the alleyway, we found ourselves in a square....which was very peaceful and sedate.
We were getting a bit hungry, so we found one of the few shops open, a bakery, and got espresso, water, a croissant....
And had a bit of our cheese.......
Funny thing about France....I could just about live on croissants, baguettes, cheese, charcuterie, and wine.
We finished things up by visiting the rather imposing Cathedrale Saint Front (Perigueux Cathedral). A UNESCO World Heritage Site with quite a long history. This area has been used as a place of worship since the 6th century.
The interior space is quite large and one of the most noted features is the Baroque altarpiece carved from oak and walnut.
The Bell Tower soars 200 feet over Perigueux.
We were starting to get a bit tired. It was time to head back to Les Eyzies de Tayac to check-in and freshen up....and maybe meet a Cro-Magnon or two.....