Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:56 AM
Kinnon Family Trip Report 2014 - Guanajuato's Mummys and More!
Today was the first day that everyone really felt 100%. We have all pretty much acclimated to the altitude although poor Cole is really suffering with the dryness. His poor lips are chapped and cracked despite our best efforts with lip balm. While Rob closed up some deals, the kids and I wandered around town and went in search of a little Japanese hole-in-the-wall that had been highly praised online. Despite being only a 10 minute walk from our house, it took us 30 minutes and several sets of directions from sympathetic shop owners to get us to the tiny locale, tucked away in a narrow alley off the the Plaza de San Fernando! So glad we made the effort as it was a terrific lunch with authentic flavors, fresh ingredients and thoughtfully prepared dishes, many of which we would never see back home in Playa. These guys really know what they are doing and obviously love the food they are creating. Delica Mitsu....Highly recommended!
After bringing a bento box lunch back to Rob, we set out to one of our "must-see" destinations, el Museo de Momias de Guanajuato...the mummy museum! I was still catching some chaff about the awful Museo de Leyendas, so I had my fingers crossed that this would be as fun as our friends assured us it would be. There was certainly quite a line up of people when we arrived which is always a good sign. The museum is a narrated tour and only 30 people are allowed in at any time. Considering the dark and the cramped quarters, this is a brilliant idea and really allows visitors to view all the exhibits and hear everything the guide is explaining. The tour is conducted in Spanish only, which was obviously fine for us and many of the exhibits have signage in English so you won't too miss much if your language skills are rusty. A word of warning to parents visiting with children...If you are squeamish about talking to your kids about certain anatomical parts, beware. Two words "mummified genitalia". As ghoulish and creepy as it is, we all really enjoyed this museum and it really is a "must-see" if you are visiting Guanajuato. Highly recommended.
We cabbed back down into the historic centro and made a stop at the sprawling Mercado Hidalgo. Like most things in this city, it is not really set up for tourists although there are plenty of crappy trinkets to be found in the upstairs stalls. This is a working market with butchers, fishmongers, farmers with produce, chiles and dried beans, vendors selling plastic goods and paper products and other items that small business owners need on a daily basis. There were also some very tasty looking food counters with carnitas, ceviche, chiles rellenos and all sorts of delicious lunch items. They all seemed to be doing a pretty brisk business. If you are looking for quality handcrafts, this is definitely not the place to find them although Rob did score a bottle of tasty Macademia Nut liqueur.
After, the market, we wandered around town looking for a place to sit and relax for awhile and maybe enjoy a few cold ones. Surprisingly, we wound our way back again to the Plaza San Fernando and found a little hole-in-the-wall bar playing great music and serving up cheep beer and mescal. This was a great spot for people watching and the plaza was filled with music coming from all sides.
The spot I had scoped out for dinner was quaint little spot off of the Plaza el Baratillo called Los Campos. Rumor told that they had a small but thoughtful menu with some nice vegetarian options. I had also heard that they might not have a liquor license but after 5 mezcals, I wasn't too concerned about booze. We met the owner, Michael, who actually met his wife on a trip to Playa del Carmen. He regaled us with his adventures in starting a business in Mexico with all the trials and tribulations that have come to be familiar to us after 10 years. We all laughed and nodded sympathetically. He seemed undaunted by the setbacks and was definitely putting his best culinary foot forward with this place. They are still struggling to get their liquor license but a work around is in place for anyone who wants to enjoy wine with dinner. ;) We tried several items on the menu and everything was really nicely done. I especially liked the tomatoes stuffed with corn, crema and farmers cheese. The restaurant itself is very cozy and romantic but too dark to get good food photos so I have borrowed these from their Facebook page. Los Campos - Highly recommended.