Jitomate Gourmet in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

We went to a new pizza place in the west end of Ajijic on Saturday for lunch with friends and thought we would share it with you.

 

We went there because my husband had heard good things about them and especially the Pizza with Artichoke Hearts which is delicious.

 

They have starters of a cheese plate, mushrooms in garlic, portobellos with brie and Mediterranean panela.

 

They also offer lunches of pork leg, panela, queso Oaxaca and calabacita (zucchini).

 

Here is a list of their sourdough pizzas:

 

Marguerita, Vegetarian, Amore mio, Marinara, Mushroom, Heart of Artichoke, Anchovy and Black Olive, 4 Cheese, Salami, 4 Stages which has 4 different flavors (Shrimp, 4 Cheese, Vegetarian and Heart of Artichoke), Pepperoni and Shrimp.

 

Also every day the have Chef’s specials.  Jitomate Gourmet used very fresh ingredients and their tomato is fresh too.

 

The excellent Chef is Gerard Militello and he can be reached at 333 597 3076.

 

Jitomate Gourmet is on facebook – jitomate gourmet

 

They do not deliver yet but they are working on that.

 

Jitomate Gourmet is located on the Chapala – Jocotepec carretera # 976A in west Ajijic just past the old Anchor Restaurant.

 

All four of us very much enjoyed our lunch of delicious sourdough gourmet pizza and cold white wine.  The pizzas come in medium size and we ate three.

 

Buen Provecho.

Drinking and Driving in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

Sunday July 6th squads of agents from Jalisco’s Traffic Department (Secretaria de Movilidad or SeMov) swooped down on lakeside to trap drunk drivers. Breathalyzer were administered to 798 drivers at checkpoints set up simultaneously at the east end of La Floresta and on the Chapala-Guadalajara at Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos.

 

The agency reports that officers snared 23 or more individuals who reportedly tested above the legal limit of 0.41 mg of alcohol per liter of exhaled air.  An additional 16 drivers were ticketed for minor infractions.

 

The law says if you are 0.41 or over you can be arrested and taken to jail in Guadalajara and your car confiscated with steep fines in place to get them back of about $3,200.00 pesos.

 

The operations like the one on July 6th are to continue on a permanent basis, rotating to different locations on week-ends.

 

No one, including this blogger, is promoting drinking and driving and we all want safe roads.

 

Many restaurants are worried how this will affect their businesses, including further worries about decreased tourism but one restaurant, rather than wining has come up with a wonderful plan which will, indeed increase their week-end business.

 

They want their customers to continue to come to enjoy dinner out on the week-ends and have wine with their dinner if they wish..  This restaurant has committed to drive anyone home by their staff if needed.

 

This restaurant is El Jardin de Ninette, Carretera Oriente # 52B in Ajijic.  (376) 766-4905.  They are open 12 noon until 8:00 pm and are closed on Mondays.

 

I think is an elegant solution and I applaud Ninette for their innovative thinking.  They will continue to enjoy my custom.

 

Well done, Oscar.

 

Buen provecho.

 

 

Elegante Restaurant in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

Last night we went with a friend to a relatively new restaurant in Ajijic, Lake Chapala.  It was called Elegante and had come highly recommended from other friend’s whose good taste we trust.

 

It was delightful but not cheap.  It is a very French menu with Caesar Salad, House Salad and Baked Brie with a rather nice coulis and several other items as appetizers.

 

Mains were US Flet Mignon, Fish, Pork, Lamb Chops or Wild Salmon.  All beautifully prepared and presented with very interesting sides.

 

First you get the drink or wine of your choice and a delicious basket of hot popover type bread.

 

We shared the Baked Brie and Caesar Salad and House Salad and we all had the lamb which was delicious, tender and juicy.  It was served with mashed potatoes with goat cheese and snow peas and everything was cooked perfectly. We feel confident that the other entrees would be just as spectacular.

 

The restaurant itself is black and white and, like it’s name, very elegant.  There is an outdoor area too.  It is small, nicely appointed and the food is definitely above average.

 

There was a list of desserts which we did not look at as we all had Spanish Coffee for dessert.

 

Elegante is located on Constitucion # 59 just West of Javier Mina in downtown Ajijic and the phone # for reservations is (376) 766 1066.

 

The service is very warm and attentive.

 

Bon Appetite.

 

 

St. Remy du Lac by Pierrot in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

St. Remy du Lac by Pierrot is a wonderful restaurant which used to be in Tres Leones Bed and Breakfast but has now opened in a different location.

 

When it was in Tres Leones we enjoyed a delicious brunch and a dinner or two.

 

We have been to the new location twice now for dinner and the last time was quite memorable. The first time was very good too.

 

There were six people and we started with three appetizers to share.  Wonderful buttery pate de foie gras with cranberry coulis, mussels in a white wine sauce and escargots.  We also had a lovely Amuse Bouche of cherry tomatoes and goat cheese.

 

The mains were Canard Confit with hericots verts Boeuf avec Quatre Poivres Sauce, Potato Lasagne and Carrots and Scampi with Capellini.  All mains were absolutely delicious and very well prepared and presented.

 

We had baskets of wonderful rustic warm bread and a cheese platter for dessert.

 

We washed this excellent meal down with lots of French Chablis  Rusty Nails and plenty of after dinner drinks, such as Ricard and Port.

 

The restaurant is in a beautiful outside setting in a lovely garden with good parking.

 

The service is very warm and professional.

 

St. Remy du Lac is located on Calle San Antonio 10B in downtown Ajijic and reservations can be made by calling (376) 766 0607.

 

They categorize themselves as a European/French restaurant and their web site is: www.st.remy.mx

 

The general manager is Piotr Dhainaut and they do catering as well  You can also reach Piotr by email at: piotr@st.remy.mx and they take credit cards but not American Express.

 

For a special evening with friends or family St. Remy du Lac is an excellent choice.

 

Bon appetit.

The Bee and Thistle Guest in Vancouver, B.C.

We have been away at our niece’s wedding in Vancouver, Canada and everything was spectacular from the wedding itself to the sushi, the scenery and our wonderful family to name a few things we enjoyed.

 

After an exhaustive search we decided to stay at The Bee and Thistle Guest House in downtown Vancouver.  It is located on 1842 Parker Street, Vancouver, B.C.  V5L 2K9 and their telephone # is (604) 669-0715.

 

This was an outstanding choice and we enjoyed our time there very much. Every detail had been meticulously attended to and we were delighted.  The queen bed was heaven with sheets of at least 1000 threads with 4 lovely fluffy pillows with the same soft linens.  It was one of the most comfortable beds we have ever slept in.  They do not do breakfast but there is a fridge in your room with water, pop and snacks of all kinds and every day there were two large home baked delicious cookies at the end of our bed which were a different flavor every day.

 

Our room had a fireplace and Shaw TV.

 

For breakfast we were very near Commercial Drive which had lots of lovely places for decaf lattes and delicious bagels with a variety of fillings.  There are other quaint places to eat and shop within walking distance.

 

The antique armoire contained not only hangers but also an ironing board and iron and 2 umbrellas.

 

The bathroom was beautifully appointed with every product you could possibly need including make-up remover wipes.

 

The shower had the wand and rain shower and the water pressure was wonderful.

 

We had a lovely view of the mountains from our bed and all in all were very happy with our selection of Molly’s Room and the rate was $191.40 CDN per night.

 

There were two other rooms on our floor, Florence and Ivy and we had a peek in and they both looked lovely too.

 

My husband noticed a plaque on the house saying it was one of the top ten guest houses in Canada in it’s day.

 

Their email address is: yourhosts@beeandthistle.ca and their web site is: www.beeandthistle.ca

 

The owners are Lynn and Michael.

The Rainy Season Appears to be Here.

The Rainy Season appears to be here. Late but here nonetheless.  The Rainy Season is traditionally from June 15th to October 15th.

 

Although this is good news and the temperature has dropped 10 degrees which is most welcome and soon everything will look and smell wonderful, the rains do increase the risk of Dengue Fever.

 

Last year there were 240 confirmed cases in Ajijic, Lake Chapala.  These statistics were confirmed by the health authorities in the municipality of Chapala and high incidences were also detected in other Lakeside communities.

 

I thought I would take a moment to help you with some tips of how to avoid Dengue and what the symptoms are.

 

The Chapala government and local branch of Jalisco’s Health Ministry are expected to launch a community Dengue Fever prevention campaign within the next few weeks.

 

The program will involve getting rid of household junk and open containers that collect stagnant water where the mosquitoes reproduce, as well as neighborhood fumigation patrols to eradicate the insects.

 

Dengue is caused by any one of 4 different but related types of virus.  It is transmitted from sick persons to healthy individuals by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.  The  genus is distinguished  from other kinds of mosquitoes by white stripes on its legs and a distinctive lyre-shaped marking on the thorax.

 

Symptoms of Dengue commonly begin with an onset of a high fever occurring 5 to 7 days after infection.  The disease is sometimes referred to as ” breakbone fever” because it causes intense joint and muscle aches along with extreme fatigue.  Other symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, headache (especially severe pain behind the eyes). a red rash on the body, increased skin sensitivity, nausea and vomiting;  Blood testing is required to confirm diagnosis.

 

There is no specific treatment for the illness which normally lasts for a week or more, provided there are no complications. Patients require bed rest and sufficient intake of fluids to prevent dehydration  Aspirin is usually prescribed to relieve fever and discomfort.

 

A more severe form of the disease can strike those who have had the disease before so see your doctor asap.

 

Personal protection measures to reduce the risk of infection  include the use of bug repellents, insecticides, appropriate clothing, window screens and bedroom netting to limit exposure to insect bites.

 

There is a private vaccine that works against 4 types of Dengue which was introduced last September in Mexico under the commercial name Dengvaxia.  The recommended prophylactic strategy is 2 doses every 6 months over a full year and is available at a cost of approx. $1,500.00 per dose.  Ask your doctor if you are interested in going this route.

 

Buena Salud.

 

 

 

 

Dra. Angelica Quintero Palomino – Pediatrician in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

When we first moved here in 1994 our then two children were the only blonds in the classroom and we had trouble finding a good doctor for them.  We would tend to their medical needs as we went back and forth to Canada.

 

Now we have three grandchildren here and our daugheters have found a wonderful pediatrician for them.

 

Her name is Dra. Angelica Quintero Palomino and although she works in Guadalajara she comes out to Ajijic regularly and lives in Ajijic.

 

Dra. Angelica is located at Maskaras Clinic on Hidalgo 79-G, (the carretera) in Riberas del Pilar, Chapala, Jalisco 45900.   The phone # there is (376) 765-4805 and her cell  is 045 333 167 6814.

 

Our girls are very happy with Dra. Angelica and trust her completely with their children.

 

Once when one of our daughters and her family were in Manzanillo their baby got thrush.  They were able to reach Dra. Angelica on her cell and get the proper treatment and medication to fix the problem.

 

Dra. Angelica has given all our grandchildren their shots and check ups.  Some of these shots are free at the Health Center but you have to be Mexican to be eligible for the shots without cost.

 

Dra. Angelica is the mom of four boys including twins so is quite capable at dealing with all situations.

 

I wanted to mention Dr. Angelica to you as more younger people are coming down with their small children and I wanted you to know there was an excellent pediatrian right here in Ajijic, Lake Chapala to take good care of them.

 

Dra. Angelica is married to Dr. Carlos Garcia Dias del Castillo who runs Maskaras Clinic so you know the service and care will be excellent.

Go Bistro in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

I have blogged about Go before but after having a lovely dinner there last Saturday night I thought it was worth another word or two.

 

As you have probably noticed it is a little warm outside.  We had specifically chosen Go Bistro to have dinner with our friends because of the lovely cool garden.  There are lots of fans, a fountain and lush green foliage all of which provide a beautiful cool setting.

 

They have lovely cold fruit soups and I thoroughly enjoyed the cold cucumber soup which was absolutely delicious.  The rib eye my friend ordered was the best we had had at a restaurant in some time and the veal with gorgonzola which as good as ever.

 

My Caesar salad was crisp and delicious and the white wine was cold and delightful.  Go Bistro also has special drinks of the day and you receive a voucher for a free drink for your next visit with every meal.

 

Peter (the owner) was there to great us as usual along with his charming hostess Janine and found us the perfect table in the garden.  Normally, we like eating at the private table in the “library”  but we knew the garden would be the perfect spot for this particularly warm evening.

 

The waiters are friendly and attentive and they have daily specials and a regular menu.  It is very difficult to choose what to have as everything is delicious and well prepared.  Prices are very moderate.

 

Go Bistro is located on Marcos Castellanos # 31 just north of the carretera and for reservations call 333 502 6555.

 

Go is open most days from 6 to 8:30 PM.

 

If you are looking for a cool place to beat the heat Go Bistro might just be the answer for you.  It certainly was for us.

 

Buen Provecho!

 

 

Banking ATM’s in Ajijic, Lake Chapala

Things are certainly changing for the better with regard to banking in Ajijic, Lake Chapala.

 

When we were first here 23 years ago you had a choice of an ATM at Bancomer in downtown Ajijic or several banks that had ATM’s in Chapala.

 

More than once over the years one or more of these machines ate my credit card and it would take weeks to replace it especially if your credit card was from Canada or the US.

 

I finally got a debit card from Bancomer and I am jolly glad I did.

 

On Friday, Walmart’s Bancomer’s ATM ate my card and, of course, the staff at Walmart will do nothing to help you.  They did give me a phone # for which I did not hold out much hope.  I cannot speak for other Mexican banks but Bancomer do seem to be doing everything possible to make your life easier.

 

I called the phone # and asked to speak to someone who spoke English.  A few minutes later Ulysses Ramirez came on the line and gave me instructions what to do to get  new debit card that day.  This was unheard of in Ajijic in days gone by and I was skeptical.  He said first he would cancel my card so I was protected and then he asked me a few security questions to make sure it was me.

 

One of the questions was what was the expiry date on my debut card and I said I did not know because I did not have it.  Other than that things went quite smoothly.

 

He said he would give me a report # and I should take that #, my debit card # and my passport to the bank and the bank would replace my card that day which they did.  I was thrilled even though I had devised a Plan B in my mind.

 

I did have another account with a debit card so I would have transferred some money into that account.

 

The phone # for someone to help you with Bancomer is 01 800 226 2663.  I am sure the other banks might have similar help #’s in place for their customers.

 

 

I am very happy about getting my new debit card the same day but I still worry if one of my Canadian cards gets eaten.

 

Also it c an be difficult to get funds at an ATM from your Client Card from up north.  I have found that Multiva does offer this service for only $46.00 pesos.  Theres a Multiva ATM in Superlake in San Antonio, Tlayacapan and across the street from Gossips restaurant on the overpass in downtown Ajijic.

 

Having a local debit card is definitely a safety net for eaten cards.

The Rainy Season is Almost Here

I know a lot of us have been feeling the heat.  Literally.

 

Every year it seems that we always say “I don’t remember it being this hot last year”.  April and May are usually our hottest months but April this year was lovely.  May, on the other hand, has been quite warm.  This is usually the time of year that most people travel to escape the heat.

 

The good news is that the harbingers of the Rainy Season, the Rain Birds, are croaking themselves hoarse which mean the rains are near.  With the onset of the rains come cooler temperatures.

 

That is not all.  The rains bring flowers and flowering trees and wonderful fragrances and clean smells after the storms.

 

The Rainy Season is everyone’s (well almost everyone’s) favorite season of the year.

 

Our friend who experienced their first Rainy Season last year came up with a wonderful description of this magical time of year.  She said you could plant a pencil in the ground and it would grow into a tree.  This is not too far from the truth and professional and amateur gardiners have a field day (no pun intended) during this season.

 

The colors are more vibrant and the storms are very dramatic with lots of thunder and lightening.  Thankfully, it usually only rains at night and is beautiful during the day.

 

One caution is that a lot of pets are not crazy about thunder so be vigilant of this when leaving them alone.

 

The dates for the Rainy Season are June 15th – October 15th to we have only about 3 weeks left until the rains come.

 

I predict they will be early this year as we have been hearing the Rain Birds for weeks.  Usually, the rains come approximamtely 6 weeks after we first hear the Rain Birds.

 

So keep your fans on and soon we will have relief from the heat.

 

Another aside is that the Rain Birds are not birds but very large insects and if you ever see one there is no mistaking what it is.