My Favorite Restaurant in Mexico

I was a waiter for about twenty years. One thing waiters do is eat out.
A lot.
Felipe was also a waiter and when we lived in Chicago we dined at some of the finest restaurants in the U.S.

I believe the extensive time I have spent in restaurants as a guest and behind the scenes makes me a very qualified restaurant reviewer.

Most of my dining experiences in Mexico have been dismal, laughable, or on a good day, mediocre. I have allowed the standard to become: satisfied if I don’t feel I would actually be happier if I had burned the money spent. I have eaten in scores of small towns and many major metropolis including, Mexico City, Jojutla, Tepoztlan, Cuernavaca, Taxco and Tequesquetengo. And though I’ve had a few lovely meals shared with friends in some of these places, I have yet to enjoy a truly stellar dining experience.
Now that you know the range of my knowledge of dining in Morelos, I proclaim Tankes Botanera my favorite restaurant in Mexico.
Tankes is a tumbledown 24- hour kitchen on a gravel road next to a public water tank for livestock, thus the name. Its’ structure is made of sticks, tarps, scrap metal, tarpaper, chicken wire, and sundry objects stuffed into holes. Uniform feedbag siding is a recent renovation. Plastic Corona beer tables, fleeced tree posts, and various tarps comprise the dining area. For years the restroom was behind your truck. But… Continue reading

La Tourista

Felipe and I moved to Mexico with 50,000 dollars, and a dream to create a self-sustainable life. During our first three years here we: acquired 17 acres of land, erected a small comfortable house, constructed opened and sold a store, raised dairy cows and made cheese, raised steers, irrigation farmed sugar cane, planted corn and sorghum for market. We worked: as a waiter, on a road crew, ran for public office, wrote a book, and went flat broke, so we’ve been too busy or too busted to explore much of Mexico.

One unexpected perk of writing vsvevg is that we’ve made new friends, two of which live close enough that we have been able to meet in person. Larry and Viny own a day spa for men in Tepoztlan. This week we went for a two-day visit. Felipe hadn’t had a vacation in five years, we were both very excited.

Tepozspa is 15-minutes outside of Tepoztlan. It’s location couldn’t be more ideal for a weekend away; so close to a small but cosmopolitan community that has somehow managed to maintain is cultural character and have amenities, like good service, a great cup of coffee, and variety of products and services. These things are unusual to nonexistent in our area. Our first excursion into the community was to attend an Indian drum concert given by the world renown artist Charanjit Chatur Lal. Larry wisely made reservations because the room was packed, but due to his forethought we had good seats and were treated to a fascinating and informative concert.

The spa and our apartment were beyond beautiful. Larry and Viny designed and decorated the entire facility themselves, including the buildings. Viny’s refined style of lighting, and landscape are perfect backdrop for Larry’s distinguished, diverse, often whimsical art collection.

They lavishly filled our apartment with gorgeous flowers and anticipated every need we may have including a bowl of dog food for my dog Elvis, who they graciously allowed us to bring, and were even willing to come and pick us up and take us home so that he could accompany us.

Elvis enjoyed good company as well. Larry and Viny have 11 dogs the majority of whom they have rescued. They have provided extensive medical care for many, and a loving and safe home for all.

For the return trip Larry suggested a visit to the Brady Museum in Cuernavaca and the ruins of Xochicalco. He has quickly learned our tastes; I adored the Brady and Felipe values indigenous Mexican culture.

All of the luxuries, art, fine dining, shopping, and culture were a wonderful treat, but for Felipe and me the best part of the trip was realizing that we are building a friendship with two interesting, socially conscious, humane, fun, and exceptionally generous people. Gracias Amigos, we only hope you enjoyed our company as much as we did yours.