March 20, 2006
Walking along this five-block pedestrian walkway, in the village of Tlaquepaque, puts you into a wonderland of Old Mexico's culture. The shops are filled with antiques (old and new!), amazing papier-mache, pottery, rustic furniture, jewelry of every kind, clothes, and collectibles everywhere you look. No tourist junk here—this is the real thing. And make sure to walk just one block off the pedestrian area to find many of those same items at much more negotiable rates. Have lunch at the zocalo (central square) and ask the Mariachi musicians for a song or two (This is, after all, where the Mariachi style was founded). Make sure to have a Sangrita (a luscious mix of mysterious ingredients. Some say it's part tomato, part orange, part pepper, and all magic) as a chaser for your shot of tequila. Sangrita is somewhat of a central Mexico tradition, and it is wonderful!And speaking of tequila (and who doesn't when you're in Guadalajara?), it is the home of tequila and most of the distilleries are just outside town. You won't find the $90 a bottle "Americano" tequilas in the local shops but you will find them in the restaurants, if you want. You should make a point to sample, sample, sample every brand of tequila. At three samples a day, it will take you about a year to sample everything that's available, and a year is a nice relaxed vacation period.
Be sure to stop at Sergio Bustamante's exclusive store for the best of the best! Astonishing sculpture, papier-mache, and jewelry. But don't bother to haggle over price, because ol' Sergio can't make his stuff fast enough to meet the demand.And if you want a real treat, stop by probably my favorite restaurant in the whole world; Restaurant Sin Nombre, the "no name" restaurant, because it has no name. There is no menu, just what the waiter tells you. Peacocks, parrots, and other exotics will visit your table, and (I'm not kidding here) if you are of the male persuasion, you REALLY need to check out the urinal (see picture). It is not to be be believed. On most days, there is an open Ken Edwards shop next door, for the absolute best in classic Mexican dinnerware (with the Ken Edwards logo).If the Ken Edwards stuff is too rich for your blood, stop in El Palomar (down towards the entrance to the pedestrian walkway). They have very nice dinnerware and serving pieces in the Ken Edwards style, and it is beautiful, heavy-duty, and durable. We use the Palomar plates for everyday at our house, and save the good stuff (Ken Edwards) for special occasions.And please don't hesitate to drop me a line with your own observations about this journal/review. I like to see if my advice has value. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
From journal Rick's Guide to Old Mexico in Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque and Ajijic