Friday, July 15, 2011

Facing the Music

It's been gospel that we don't generally enjoy live musical accompaniment with our restaurant meals, especially when the musicians (some of whom barely qualify for that honorable title) come to our table and start in on "Cielito Lindo" or other chestnuts of Mexican music.

But recently whle in Tonalá, Jalisco, we had to come to terms with live musical entertainment.

It was at a recommended restaurant not far from our hotel, El Rincón del Sol. Their website advised us that we would be blessed with live music with our meals. So, we entered the small, attractive restaurant hesitatingly. We scoped out the scene from just inside the doorway. This young man was seated with a guitar and a rhythm machine and performing rather nicely. Easy going voice and a deft touch with the guitar.

He seemed harmless enough, the amplifiers were well adjusted, and his repertoire was easy listening; so we seated ourselves, then ordered.

(Now, for the food.)
Doña Cuevas had a well chilled Cerveza Bohemia, and I had a coctel Margarita, served on the rocks. We looked over the menu and nibbled totopos (tortilla chips). There were little boat shaped dishes with tasty house-made salsas. One was a tomatillo based salsa with something like chile pasilla for the heat component; another was thick, crushed red tomato, with more kick; and the third was a classic Salsa Mexicana or Salsa Cruda.

We decided to forego appetizers, as I ordered a Molcajete de Pollo for a main course and la Sra., a Filete de Res in a garlic and sweet pepper sauce.

The cooking took more than a little while, but we were enjoying the drinks, and especially the music. I was pleased that the entertainer knew a Spanish version of "Cottonfields Back Home").

Eventually, the platos fuertes arrived. The Molcajete was a molten lake of fire in its volcanic stone bowl. The chicken strips, zucchini slices, onions and nopalitos were tender and succulent.

Doña Cuevas' Filete de Res, smothered in a garlic and sweet pepper sauce was tender beyond belief. Even the frijoles alongside were good.

This was a very enjoyable meal, and the entertainer made it even more so. I have to conclude that it's not live musical entertainment I dislike with my restaurant meals, it's bad music, especially when it's forced upon us.

We liked it so much, we lingered over some flan (perfectly ordinary) and a not too bad cup of coffee.


Food: ****
Service: ****
Price: $-$$ Our bill, for 2 mains, 1 Margarita and 3 beers was in the mid to higher $300 peso range.
Ambience: Relaxing
Restrooms: adequate

Open Monday to Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

16 de Septiembre No.61 Down Town

Phone. +52 (33) 3683 1989 / 3683 1940

Tonala, Jalisco, Mexico.

NOTE: Musical artists may vary.


Calypso said...

Cerveza Bohemia - one of my favorite beverages in Mexico. We are drinking Fat Tires when we can find them here in Las Vegas ;-)

Have a safe trip.

Anonymous said...

Bad and LOUD music is the problem, the latter part being the worst.

That's a nice-looking molcajete, señor.

-- Felipe

Anonymous said...

Doubt that lava rock vessel would meet the health code, if there was a health code.


Don Cuevas said...

Hola, Mudge: Health Code? What? Where?

The molcajetes are heated to a nearly incandescent temperature before the food is placed inside.

No te preocupes.

Don Cuevas

Tancho said...

You are right about bad music, a little background music in a restaurant is ok if the musicians are decent. Unlike the ones in Patzcuaro the 4 or 5 old men that show up and immediately make me ask for my check.
The Molcajete de Pollo looks delicious, we are going to be in Tonala soon and will definitely go to a tried and true restaurant especially after your keen review.

Don Cuevas said...

Tancho, another Internet friend, "Chinagringo", also recommends "El Boquinete", in or near the Hotel Tonalá.

We may try it on our return.

Don Cuevas

Julia said...

When I have been at certain restaurants I have often thought to myself why didn't I bring earplugs? For some reason the staff always wants to seat me close to the music sometimes I can't hear the wait staff. A little tinkling piano or guitar maybe a harp is okay but loud recorded music or trumpets with bad off key singing, no thanks.