food

Eat & Drink: Blue Eyes & Deano Burgers.

Dean_Martin.jpg

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.

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.

 

Phosphorescent and a Beach by Where We Live

In front of La Luna hotel in Tulum

Matthew Houck creates some pretty fine music under the name Phosphorescent. If you haven't heard him before, this song from his upcoming album is a good place to start, although not necessarily an indication of the sounds you'll hear on his others. It's calmer in a way. Not that his other songs are in the soundtrack to Girls Gone Wild, this one just has a certain kind of calmness to it. Maybe it's the repetitive background sounds and echoed vocals. I don't really know so much about the thesaurus researched music writing you get elsewhere. I'm a simple man.

If you too can appreciate simplicity, you'll appreciate Song for Zula.

It sounds really cheesy, but I went down there with a guitar and got a little hut on the beach in Tulum, on the Yucatan Peninsula.

I don't know if Song for Zula was one of the ones written down here, but I can see this one going perfectly with late afternoons and evenings on the calm beaches of Tulum. If you haven't visited yourself, it's hard to get a grasp on how special of a place Tulum is right now.

The beach, the sea, the independent hotels and restaurants are all part of a small community with a perfect balance between rustic and refined. Restaurants have a relaxed, homemade feel, with a quality of food and drink you'd expect from accomplished chefs or bartenders in big cities. The beaches aren't busy like the towns to the north and the main street that runs parallel to the beach is barely lit, or not at all. Food is cooked in stone ovens and on charcoal grills. Alcohol is served all day long and the sun is almost always out. Even when it's not, the rain is still refreshing as everyone grabs their drinks and food to run under the nearest palapa, or out into the ocean where rain doesn't matter.

Whatever Houck got up to while down in Tulum was undoubtedly a good process for being productve, since it's stocked in abundance down there, and this song shows it.

Quote above was taken from Free People.

 

Cuteness vs. Tastiness: An Infographic

It doesn't matter how it came up in conversation, but it did. Why is it that we set standards of cute and cookable for different animals? Shouldn't it just be one way or the other? "Stay away" or, "Sure... farm it, hunt it, whatever, I'll eat it." Anyhow, my friend Gloria whipped this thing up yesterday after talking about it for your enjoyment (or disgust, discuss!).

I don't really want to get into a debate, whatever floats your boat. Try and be sustainable if you can. I eat meat, it's delicious.

Now then... See above infographic, Cuteness vs. Tastiness Cheatsheet; or: That's cute, should I eat it?

Thanks to Gloria for humouring me with this custom infographic about delicious/taboo food.