Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jalisco Gringo Vegan

You may have noticed that I have not been around that much. I have a lot of things to blame, as I refuse to take personal responsibility for that. It would be easy to blame work, but I recall when I spent over 2 months in Milwaukee last summer, I still managed to blog quite a few times. So maybe I didn't really have much interesting to say. I try not to take life too serious, and I try to keep my blogs somewhat light, so when I didn't have anything funny to say, I elected to just say nothing and not blog. Maybe those were the blogs I should have written, so I'll try a new tactic, even if I have nothing chippy to say, I'll just write a boring blog about some random event and we'll see if it really matters. Hows that for PMA?

I've been travelling quite a bit (pretty much every week), and most of the time I've been getting by. This past week I spent in Guadalajara Mexico. My company had a trade show there, and they thought it might be fun to send me there. It was fun, in some respects, but eating was a special challenge. Lets just say that while I was trying to find food that did not contain "Carne, Leche, Huevos, Queso, etc", I was always greeted with wide eyes, and then a disbelieving smile. It didn't take me long to learn that vegetarians, let alone vegans were not very common in these parts. Well I wouldn't let that stop me, I'd starve before I exhausted all of my resources. Wait, I just may.

So a few weeks before when I was in Dallas, I traveled with Clif Bars, Pistachio's, PB, crackers (like I was worried about Texas being a third world country). Did I bother to pack one thing to take to Mexico? Nope not a one. I remembered before boarding that I would probably want something to eat, so I managed to find a decent burrito and brought it on the plane with me.

So I've heard endless warnings and horror stores about the dangers of what I was walking into, and I really haven't done any foreign travel in over a year, so I was a bit apprehensive. That, on top with the language thing (No habla espanol), I was half expecting to see militia at every exit of the airport, and and smoking hulls of Toyota pickups that had encounters with IED's. I was pleased to see neither of those, nor any real obvious issues. The neighborhood looked decent enough. Guadalajara is a big city, but not oppressive, by the time the cab got me to my hotel (20 mins), I already felt comfortable enough to head out on my own.

Upon just arriving I managed to get unpacked and changed, throw a pair of flip flops on (that I haven't worn since last summer, another brilliant idea), grab a map from the front desk and hop in the cab for the city center. After walking around for a while, I got the bright idea to find this vegetarian restaurant I sort of remember seeing online. The phone works, I'll just call my wife and she can look it up for me. Ok that was easier said than done. The next several hours were spent walking and walking in search of this phantom restaurant. After it started turning dusk, I managed to find a 7-11, where I grabbed some (cant confirm its vegan-ness) rolls, and a mexican-coke, or as they call it in Mexico, "Coke". So it was back to the hotel for me, and room service. A very un-Mexican Pasta-Pomodoro.

The next few days at the trade show were unremarkable. No real breakfast served, but there were veggies and fruit juices out every day. As I noted, the veggies were to be eating with salt, lime, and chile powder. This became my daily breakfast routine. Especially cucumber. It was an especially good combo with them. Lunch's were formal, no buffet, all sit down. Soup (cream of something), Main course (meat and veggies), and dessert. Having explained my "situation" to my colleagues, they took to explaining to the wait staff my restrictions. So my vegetarian meal was basically the main course, with a few more veggies, and no meat. I will admit, I was pretty sure that butter was involved in my meal, but the alternative was to eat nothing each day. I opted for survival (go easy on me).

Going out with some colleagues, led me to my most Mexican meal of the week, cheese-less nacho's (they added mushrooms for some reason), guac/chips, beer (Sol) and Tequila (Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia). Which in and of itself was funny. If they saved this stuff for the family, how does a gringo like myself get served it?

We drank what the referred to as a "Mexican Flag", but I think the colors were off a bit. You sip the tequila (middle), then some spicy tomato juice, and finally some lemon juice. Its an odd combination, but I liked the pomp and circumstance, so I was all over this combo.

On to the next few days, more spicy cukes, chips and salsa (botanera), veggies probably made with butter, glass after glass of horchata (where has this amazing drink been all my life?), and room service pasta, I was left to my last evening where some folks took me out to a nice restaurant, which turned out to be Italian. Yep, I'm getting pasta for dinner again. So to make a long story short, for a week I thought I would be up to my eyeballs in rice and beans, I've pretty much eaten taters, veggies, and sketti's for a week.

Interestingly enough, my best meal of the week was at the GDL airport. I managed to find the vegtarian dish at this restaurant, and although it was light (I ate this in about 4 bites), it was quite tasty.

Its no wonder that when I got home late Friday night, I was oddly craving burrito's.

On to my next adventure


  1. It does look quite tasty!
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  2. Glad to hear about your adventures!

  3. Hahahaha! I loved the bit about the Mexican Coke. You make me chuckle, Brian. And, I am glad you made it home safe and sound :)

  4. If I'd known you'd never had horchata, I would've taken you out for Mexican or Tex-Mex (your preference) here. Horchata is probably my second favorite drink. Surprisingly, I had it more in Utah than here in Texas - it's definitely not a Tex-Mex thing.