Monday, 11/25/19

Arriving in San Miguel mid-afternoon, we found our hotel, the Casa San Miguel, and got settled in before strolling through the historic district to El Pegaso for a late lunch. The hotel is beautiful, hidden behind a wall with a tiny doorway into a small lobby that opens into a gorgeous planted courtyard. The rooms are on three floors (no elevators) with terraces outside. Cheap and charming, we had a spacious room with a small bathroom, for about $100 a night.





We had a late lunch at El Pegaso, which was nearby and had gotten great reviews on Tripadvisor.

El Pegaso:


We were seated on the rooftop terrace, which was pleasant.

We all began with gazpacho, which was done properly and made a nice light starter. I had a seafood salad and we all shared a flan for dessert.

Then we stopped into the cathedral, before heading back to the hotel for a short nap.




Dinner was a couple of blocks away at Aperi.




Wow! This is a magnificent restaurant. The decor, food and service are beyond reproach. Stanley and I both started with a cocktail, the Yellow Bird, a mixture of rum, banana, strawberry, pineapple, and Galliano. It was delicious. The wine we ordered was a Cabernet from Chihuahua, and it was perfect.

I started with frog’s legs, which were probably the best version I have ever had, with mushrooms, cheese, a tomato sauce, etc. I then had rack of lamb, done perfectly medium rare. For dessert we shared a banana sponge cake topped with chocolate.

Tuesday, 11/26




We had a wonderful day. Danny has an old friend, Jose, who lives in San Miguel with his wife Monica, and we spent the entire day and evening with them. They are very lovely and interesting people. They’ve both worked in restaurants and Jose was a sommelier, so we had a lot of conversation about food and wine.

We began with breakfast at Casa Blanca (Stanley and I didn’t eat, but the food looked delicious).


Café Casa Blanca 7

Then we then went to La Aurora, a former textile factory that now houses many art galleries, artists’ studios, antique shops, and furniture and decorative arts stores, along with several restaurants.


We had a fine lunch at one of them, Food Factory. I had a tasty plate of trout with mashed potatoes, tomato stuffed with cheese, broccoli and zucchini. This dish was only 230 pesos, which is about $12.



Dinner was at Nomada Cocina de Interpretacion, which certainly lived up to its name.



Small plates, but not really small, two dishes per person and a shared dessert is about all we could handle. The food is absolutely fabulous, creative Mexican. The chef is Mexican, but has worked in several European countries, so there is an international influence. The mushroom risotto was a standout, and the roast chicken with peanut sauce, fish tacos and roast pork tostada were truly wonderful. An unusual chocolate mousse is hard to describe but delicious. We had some great cocktails and a good bottle of wine, a blend of cabernet, tempranillo and barbera.

Wednesday, 11/27

We checked out of the hotel in the morning and drove to Queretaro. Patricia has family there, so she and Danny visited with them, while Stanley and I got together with our friend Joan’s cousin Barry, who she had connected us with and has a lovely house in the historic center.


Barry is a real estate broker. If you are interested in buying or renting, short or long term, check out his company, Queretaro Realty:


Barry graciously gave us a tour of the town, and we had an enjoyable lunch at a Xoaxacan restaurant, Tikua Sur-Este, which was excellent.

Tikua Sur-Este:


We liked the jalapeno Margaritas, and I had a dish of several sausages from Xoahaca, chopped and mixed with melted cheese. It was served with tortillas, but after having one rolled in a tortilla, I just ate it by itself. It was terrific.


After lunch, Danny and Paty picked us up and we drove back to Mexico City (next post in progress).










Friday, 11/22

After an uneventful flight on United, we arrived late and got a taxi to Polanco, where we are staying with Danny and Patricia. Danny is the son of our late friend Vy, whose Thanksgiving dinners we attended in 2013 and 2015. This time, we are making a longer visit, to include two days in San Miguel de Allende, Monday to Wednesday.


We had thought that Danny’s sister Laurie would be making a Thanksgiving dinner, but due to work being done on her apartment, she has been staying with a friend and is now going to Playa del Carmen to stay with her daughter Leslie. Consequently, Danny has reserved at the Four Seasons for Thanksgiving dinner and invited a few other people.

Saturday, 11/23

After a light breakfast, Paty accompanied us to a local wine store, where we were able to find a good bottle of Pedro Ximenez sherry. We also bought some port and Grand Marnier. We all then took off to the Museo Soumaya, which was built by the billionaire Carlos Slim, and named in honor of his wife, to house his massive collection of art works.


The building was designed by his (now ex-) son-in-law, and certainly makes a statement. Whether it is a positive or negative one is a matter of opinion.


The collection is a hodgepodge of European, Asian, Mexican and Latin-American works, including sculpture, painting, and decorative arts, displayed rather haphazardly.

mc2Apparently it was not vetted by a professional curator. Nonetheless, there were some very impressive works along with a lot of questionable ones. Admission is free.


Our next stop was lunch at Villa Maria, which we had liked on both of our previous visits.

Villa Maria:

mc6mc5Again, the food was excellent, the service and atmosphere lovely. We shared a number of dishes including roasted bone marrow, two kinds of seared tuna tacos, guacamole, shrimp and octopus in garlic sauce, tongue in green sauce and a wonderful tres leches cake. The massive Margaritas were very tasty, but as in the past, contained relatively little alcohol (not a problem as we would have been unable to move afterward if they’d been more potent).

Before returning to their apartment for a nap, Paty drove us downtown, where we took a look at the murals in the Palacio de Bellas Artes (an opera house with an archtectural museum) and then, after a walk through the park known as Alameda Central, to the Museo Mural Diego Rivera.




This one-room museum was built to house a mural, salvaged from a hotel that was destroyed by fire.


Click to access -HOJA-DE-SALA-MMDR.pdf

After a short nap, we went to dinner at Hacienda de los Morales, on the western edge of Polanco. This was originally a private house, and its land encompassed what is now all of Polanco.

Hacienda de los Morales:


It’s a formal place, with a small orchestra playing during dinner. The menu is extensive, and includes both Mexican and other cuisines. We started with a lobster taco, my appetizer was a sea bass ceviche, main course was a whole pompano baked in a salt crust. It was absolutely delicious. I love this preparation because the salt seals in the moisture so the fish is tender and does not lose any flavor in cooking. For dessert we shared a souffle, a mixture of chocolate and vanilla with sauces to match. In all, it was a lovely experience.


Sunday, 11/24

We drove off in the late morning to the southern part of the city, to the Dolores Olmedo museum. We had been there in 2015, but much of the collection had been lent at the time to the Orangerie in Paris, in exchange for works from that museum. Now the full collection is back.


From a Day of the Dead sculpture exhibit. Note that it is part of the mural by Diego Rivera.



Portrait of Dolores Olmedo



The museum was once Olmedo’s  home and is absolutely beautiful, but there is a darker side to the story of how she acquired the collection, through her friendships and affairs with corrupt government officials and other shady characters.


Before lunch, we stopped at the home and studio of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.




Lunch was across the street at the San Angel Inn, a former Carmelite monastery, where we had been with Vy and Laurie on our 2013 visit.

San Angel Inn:


They make a great Margarita, so Stanley and I each had one. I had an appetizer of crepes filled with huitlacoche, topped with melted cheese and a light tomato sauce, then calf brains in green tomato sauce for my main course. Both were scrumptious. For dessert, Stanley and I shared chocolate layer cake, also very good.

Next we had planned to visit the Frida Kahlo house museum but there was a long line so we skipped it, and will try to go later in the week when we return from San Miguel.

After napping and attending to some work, we went out for a light dinner at Los Panchos.

Los Panchos:



This is a simple, brightly lit place with very tasty food. We had tacos of carnitas mixed with chicharrones, and some queso fundido. Great Margaritas (I had tangerine).

Monday morning we leave for San Miguel. Watch for Part 2.