Eat & Drink: Blue Eyes & Deano Burgers.

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Here's a weekend grilling recipe for you, signed, sealed and delivered according to how Dean Martin and Blue Eyes himself enjoyed their patties.

While the original recipe here doesn't call for a grilling these burgers over a hot flame, and I don't want to insult "The King of Cool" here, but cooking a burger on a kitchen frying pan? What are we, savages? 

Martin Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1lb. ground beef
  • 2 oz. bourbon — chilled

Instructions

Preheat a heavy frying pan and sprinkle bottom lightly with table salt. Mix meat, handle lightly, just enough to form into four patties. Grill over medium-high heat about 4 minutes on each side.

Pour chilled bourbon in chilled shot glass and serve meat and bourbon on a TV tray.

Sinatra Burgers

  1. Call for Deano.
  2. Tell him to make you a fuckin' burger.
  3. Drink his bourbon.

And there you have it. The original recipes are below and so is a 43 minute performance by Dean Martin that you can listen to while chugging burgers and cooking bourbon this weekend.

On the Road With Lifetime Collective: Holbox, Mexico Part Two

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While swimming on a trip off the Caribbean coast, I asked myself, “Do I mention the two, large, shiny grey sharks directly below me in case chaos ensues… or keep it to myself so I don’t ruin the moment for the mothers and children swimming around us? Nah, don’t say anything. We’re fine.”

But that's another story, click here for the rest of that Holbox story on Medium.

Below is a quick recap of some of the other highlights and the rest of some of the images that didn't make it into the Medium post. 

Where We Stayed, What We Ate, Things We Did

Hotel Puerto Holbox — There are plenty of boutique hotels on the island that sit with beachfront access. We found staying to the west of town was quieter since the central area and east of it has more main streets, which means more pedestrian and diesel golf cart action. It seems slightly more peaceful on this side of town. Plus, Freddy's your boy when you stay here. He'll take care of anything — including chopping up some fresh coconuts for your rum.

Check them out on Trip Advisor here or their own site here

Los Peleones — This second storey spot is currently #1 on Trip Advisor for restaurants in Holbox, with a certificate of excellence for 2013. While it's not the cheapest place to find food on the island, it's by no means expensive for the service and food you get. Our plates were somewhere between $120-150pesos each. Beers are $30 while mix drinks are the standard $60-80pesos. We had some quality, homemade pasta and as attentive service as you'd ever want.

Follow them on Twitter or Facebook (personal page, not a brand page).

Cariocas Pizza — This was the first dinner we had on Isla Holbox. The place was packed, but they seemed to manage the rush well, even after a misstep with our order. The owner is from Napoli and must've brought over his mama's Italian recipes, because what they were serving on those pies was a damned fine marinara sauce. If you like pizza, which you do, go here.

Raices — We ate here two lunches in a row. It's a small palapa bar on a quiet part of the beach just out of town. Their fish ceviche could just be the best ceviche I've ever had. I'm not going to pretend I'm some kind of culinary expert or anything, but I eat a lot of ceviche. A lot. You get huge chunks of freshly caught fish, a great mix of lime, onions and peppers. Ask for the fresh chopped habanero for an added bonus.

I'd go back to the island just to eat here, but don't expect anything fancy, just good ceviche, a run-down palapa, cold beer and a view of the ocean.

The view at Raices Restaurant and Bar. Holbox, Mexico.

Golf Cart Rentals —  We rented ours from a spot next to Hotel Casa Barbara. The owners were mellow, just hanging outside with their friends on some plastic chairs. We didn't have ID and only half of what we needed to rent up front. When we suggested we'd go to a bank machine first to get the balance, they waved us off and just said, "See you in four hours. It's okay."

So basically, without ID, any proof of having funds or even so much as taking our names, we got to roll out for about $8 an hour. Not like you can really take off anywhere with their cart on this mini island. Good people, there are dozens of places to get carts, but go on and rent from them.

Vroom, Vroom. Golf Cart rentals on Holbox, heading out to Punta Mosquito.

 Pedro Rodriguez — This guy was the only person who ripped us off over the whole trip. At first he explained it was because we were late at night taking a taxi "after 11pm" that caused this higher-than-normal tariff. Taxis are about $30 pesos anywhere on the island unless you roll with our boy Pedro. Expect to pay more.

The next day he was the taxi that showed up at our hotel to take us to town and didn't even recognize us. This made for a good laugh when he again overcharged us, making up a different excuse that this side of the island is more expensive. Watch out for the sharply dressed, older cabbie with a moustache and gentleman's fedora. He's anything but. Pedro Rodriguez, we will meet again in this life or the next!

Punta Mosquito —  This is about as far east on the island you can go without getting wet first. There's a river that connects to another part of the island that's easy to cross by a short swim. Head out here on bike or with your golf cart. Bring a blanket and some cold drinks, it's a beauty for sunset — but bring some repellent too, once the witching hour hits you're going to be dealing with insects. 

 Tortas, Tacos and Late Night Gambling — I don't know how frequently the evening fair happens around Holbox, but it was on every night we were there. We grabbed street food to walk around with that was pesos on the dollar and delicious.

 


There was an arcade set up, foosball tournament and your other typical fair games: Test your pitching aim, shoot at targets with a wildly inaccurate bb gun, attempt to pop under-inflated balloons with dull darts. You know the scam, but you pay to play anyhow, because maybe tonight is your night for that big pink bunny. It's not.

However, there's one glimmer of hope within the usual cash grabs. A modified version of La Loteria (Mexican bingo) that involves the dealer rolling a set of oversized dice with Loteria symbols on each side. You place your bets on Loteria cards laid on the table, much like roulette. Shake, and read. If your symbol is called, it pays 6:1.

We took our first roll and we won big. $60 pesos big. Katy and I rode that high until the devil played us out. It was a hell of a ride, and there are two valuable lessons I learned that night: Never bet on the devil and always bring more change.

 

Take a look below at some more pictures and hit us up through the contact page if you have any questions or are thinking of heading to Holbox. If I remember some more items, or feel so inclined, I may update this page as a little Holbox resource.

More Photos of Holbox

The Cockfight. It's a Cultural Thing

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By Eric Greene

Sumbawa, Indonesia. There have been a few days of torrential rain and the brakes on my motorcycle are fucked. A new local friend offers to take my bike to his mechanic buddy to get a brake job. "Sounds good," I say as I toss him the key. He returns the following day with the cracked and corroded discs of the old, and plastic wrap and receipt of the new. The cost? Four dollars. Plus, an invite to attend the local cockfights that evening with the mechanic and his pals. They pick me up at 6 p.m.

We convoy on our bikes for a while and end up in someone's backyard on the outskirts of the village. There are at least 50 people there, all yelling and crowding each other around a little ring. Yes, like a boxing ring, only smaller. Little men swarm me. They're all holding roosters in front of my face and yelling at me. I want to be polite and put some money down. I came to play. But I don't understand the process and get the impression that we need to buy our own rooster in order to participate. All of a sudden my friend is holding a haggard looking white rooster in his hands and telling me we need to pool our money together, buy the bird and throw him in the ring. We try to make the purchase, but figure out we only need to choose a rooster to bet on. We don't actually need to own our own fighter. 

There are at least a dozen birds of choice. Their respective owners are each holding them, fluffing feathers and craning necks in effort to show us their value. I remember the only advice I've ever heard about a cockfight: Bet on the smaller one.

Odds are against us. We bet large because we don't really know what we're doing. Everyone else bets on the big bird. There must be fifty guys betting against us. The roosters go three rounds in aggressive attack. The crowd roars, they argue, they increase their bets, they turn away, and they turn back. We're all into it. Late in round three, the big bird tires. One leg drops, and then the other. Next, his head starts to droop to his chest. Our little man circles and takes a final jab and the big body sulks to the ground. The little hero turns his back on his defeated opponent in honour, triumph, pride and respect. Fifty pairs of eyes burn into us from around the ring as we hug each other and praise our little rooster. Aside from us, it's silent. We cash in and as the daylight recedes, the crowd disperses.

We take our dirty money and head back to town for a drink. Indonesian cockfights… It's violent. It's savage. It's a testosterone fest with no women allowed. I don't even eat chicken. But the cockfight is a cultural thing. It's about the working man coming together and celebrating sport through their faith in a rooster. Sure, it's a little weird and even primitive, but it's pretty cool. You may even win some cash.

A Visit to Valladolid, Colonial Yucatán: Parte Uno

 One of the many coloured walls and courtyards in Valladolid, Yucatan.

The elusive Valladolid. A trip here had been put off for various reasons. Guests, work, this, that. Dammit, we'll make it if we have to bring every excuse with us. Finally, the snap decision came and we took a four day trip over last weekend to Valladolid. The room at Hotel Aurora was booked and the bus left at 6:30pm.

6:10pm — Still at my desk. Work is holding me up. Something had to get done and I couldn't and wouldn't have wanted to be off the radar during the 2hr40min bus ride from Playa del Carmen to Valladolid. "Sorry, we're going to have to postpone, even if just another day."

6:12pm — Flying V! Miracles do happen. I could abandon station at my desk. Katy's a girl scout and was at the ready with everything, organized and sitting at the door, waiting. Waiting. I shouted, "We're making moves!" slammed the laptop shut, tossed it in the bag, jumped into my shoes and headed to the front door, "Wait! Beer." 

We threw five Tecates into a cooler bag, hastily over supplied it with ice and ran. 

6:16pm — Waiting near our place for a cab, tapping our feet. There are always cabs, always. There were cabs, but they were all full. Call it dinner rush, high season or just shit luck. Every cab that went by had heads in seats. Four minutes is an eternity when you're this determined to make ground and get out of Dodge on a timer.

6:20pm — A cab! He argues about the rate. We don't care. Take the money you son of a bitch, just drive!

6:26pm — We pull into the ADO bus station and Katy hauls ahead to get the tickets while I pull behind with bags in tow. Run you fool! Despite what ADO's listing said online, the bus to Valladolid is leaving from the other station some 10+ zig-zag blocks away. Mother F—

6:27pm — "Taxi, taxi. Vámonos! Rapido!"

6:31pm — Pulling in, she asks, "Have we missed it?"

"There's a good chance of that," I said, "But go, run, I'll deal with this guy and the bags. Get the tickets."

I can see Katy's at the ticket counter behind a family making sense of some map. I run past the ticket guy, using my pale skin to throw him off with the scent of touristic confusion. Now past security (a loose term), I'm able to stop the driver from getting on the bus and closing the door.

6:32pm — Thank whichever Saint it is that makes this place consistently behind schedule, even if sometimes only slightly. The bus was loaded and the driver was eager to get going, but accommodating. The two of us take our seats, look at each other and without having to say it, she knows I mean, "Beer!"

That's the best a can of cold Tecate will ever taste, if such a thing could be said about Tecate. Five empty and a bus ride down, Valladolid, arrived.

 Arriving at Hotel Aurora, Valladolid, Yucatan

What is this place?

Founded in 1543, this little gem of a colonial city is relatively small with a population of roughly 46,000. However, the area included in the population count is 945km², which is far larger than the fifteen square blocks in size that the town feels like.

When you walk around Valladolid you feel like you're in a small town. Some intersections are busy with traffic directors signalling lines of cars left and right, but, others are quiet cobblestone streets. Streets that let you stumble around in the middle without risking the strike of a car, give or take. 

Mercado Municipal

The Municipal Market. An authentic Mexican meat market run by men in butcher aprons, cowboy hats and moustaches. A vegetable market with elderly Mayan women as the main proprietors. Possibly husband and wife on either side of the meat/produce division, tending to their respective talents.

The women organize their vegetables, fruits and spices. Watching as you pass by, pointing out their colourful displays. The men work with cleavers and their hands. Behind them, signs identifying their specialty and name. "Ask for Tony, ask for Luis."

Ruben and Manuel looked to not only be the most applied in their work, but had the best cuts and variety. Luis seems to be your man if you're interested in poultry and abandonment.

Each sign is hand painted and appears to hold sponsorship by Zapaterias Ivan, a shoe store in town. Ivan the entrepreneur, or: Ivan the conglomerate.

Outside of the market is a strip of other small shops, shoemakers and a couple of dated, mini arcades. The market is not a polished star on a map, it's where locals come to get their fixings. This isn't a tourist attraction, although we're clearly tourists and attracted to the sight of butchers and organized chaos. That's the thing about Valladolid at this point in its history. It isn't a tourist attraction. The entire town functions on an economy outside of tourism unlike that of nearby Tulum, Playa del Carmen or Cancun, none of which would likely exist without.

It's a real piece of Mexico, only a short distance inland from the Caribbean coast. A collection of businesses and families otherwise unspoiled by price hikes, taking tourists for what they're worth, hawking wares at passersby and all of the other trappings.

How long can a magical little world like this exist without the tourbus of a visitor's economy finding it? It may not be long. Looks like local tour group and makeshift Disneyland, Xcaret, has already got its sights set. Included in their tours around to local ruins, cenotes and other archeological sites is a lunch stop in Valladolid. The tourbus stops midday out front of a restaurant that, aside from it being a little too polished, you'd otherwise expect to be local. It's an Xcaret manufactured colonial courtyard, and it's the only place like it in a town of authenticity and beauty. Out come the fanny packs and Birkenstocks.

Not that we can say much, we're not locals. We're tourists, just the same as the Tommy Bahamas walking around. Although, something about group travel, timed stops and planted attractions takes the heart out of a place, you know?

Aside from that, at the moment, the rest of the town is yours to wander and feel lost in a different world, even a different time in a way.

More to come...

To shorten the length of each post, I'll end this one here. We have at least one or two more worth of content about dining, drinking, antiquing and general wandering.

 

On the Road in Mexico with Herschel Supply Co.

 Herschel Supply Co. backpacks are pretty much perfect for the beach.

Our pals over at Herschel Supply Co. are good folks. They stocked us up with some bags, which we use for anything from packing books and bottles for a beach day to everything we need for road trips to the south.

This red canvas Little America bag is our most used and retails for about $140. That price seems fair considering the thing is going to go along with you on all your adventures for the next few years. Treat yourself!

You can see it's a pretty simple, classic design, which is what you want to aim for in your go-to bag. The thing will stand the test of time in style and durability. It feels nice and sturdy, has a deep main pocket with plenty of room for rum, limes, a few books, accessories, camera and whatever else you're bringing around with you. It also comes with a padded laptop sleeve so you can still check Facebook from the beach.

Since this bag can fit lots, they've outfitted it with padded straps for those long walks on the beach you always talk so much about.

Most recently we loaded up our bags and hit up Mahahual. Tomorrow? Tulum! Check out some photos below.