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Taking advantage of proximity and the Tijuana airport, I took a quick trip to Oaxaca right after our recent Mexico in a Bottle event in San Diego. The semi new border crossing (CBX) that takes you from the US side of the border directly into the Tijuana airport is terrific and seamless and enables US travelers to take advantage of far less expensive flights within Mexico. Even paying the cost of the border crossing ($30 roundtrip) and the visa ($25 which is included in the international flight) makes it worthwhile. Between my roundtrip flight to San Diego from Oakland, and then the direct flight from Tijuana to Oaxaca meant a total cost of $350 round trip, far less than the usual $650 ticket price. I envy you SoCal people for having this so close at hand.

[caption id="attachment_5616" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Mexican craft beers abound[/caption]

In sum, three things that are definitely on top of trend watch in Oaxaca and a fourth that is still trending-craft beer, pulque, cocktails, and bed and breakfast/airbnb/palenque stays. I am taking <overpriced> tasting menus off the trend list because sadly, it seems this trend is no longer a trend but a thing here to stay. Or as I like to say, consistently the most inconsistent meal option in Oaxaca.

This is a cross post from one of our frequent collaborators, Ferron Salniker. You can read her excellent blog Ferronlandia here. This piece was originally published on 4/9/16. You can read the original here.  For those who don't know, José Luis Diaz is an amazing chef who has come up with stunning combinations at pop ups and now, Chilhuacle Rojo, so definitely visit on your next trip to Oaxaca.

I met José Luis Diaz at his restaurant, Chilhuacle Rojo, in the Oaxaca centro. He has a deep voice, two chile pepper tattoos on his forearm, and uses yadadayadayada to finish out many of his sentences, but never— as I noticed during our breakfast tasting menu— when describing a dish. Breakfast here was one of my best meals in Oaxaca. It was thoughtful with the pacing, our palates, and especially in the selection of ingredients.

This is a cross post from one of our frequent collaborators, Ferron Salniker. You can read her excellent blog Ferronlandia here. This piece was originally published on 4/3/16. You can read the original here.

IMG_0345The days of the week in Oaxaca are told by market days. Sunday is Tlacolula, Friday is Ocotlán, Thursday is Zaachila, and Wednesday is Etla. These are the days when there is tiangis, meaning people from the area come to surround the permanent market and sell anything from turkey eggs to cell phone cases. Usually you can find stuff to do afterwards in each town (artisans or murals to visit for instance). But usually there isn’t a textile mill turned arts center and a paper factory on top of the hill. Etla is 30 minutes from Oaxaca, and well worth the colectivo ride.

This is a cross post from one of our frequent collaborators, Ferron Salniker. You can read her excellent blog Ferronlandia here. This piece was originally published on 4/1/16. You can read the original here.

IMG_0640 The morning in Latuvi smelled like fire and smoke, and purple shadows draped over the curves of the Sierra Norte as I looked out from the balcony. At night the trumpet-shaped brugmansia flower was so fragrant it wandered down the stairs towards the cabin. It would be more romantic if the roosters crowed in the morning, but they crowed all the time.

This is a cross post from one of our frequent collaborators, Ferron Salniker. You can read her excellent blog Ferronlandia here. --

DSC05287 I’m pretty sure I learned the magic of eating garlic shrimp, down to the shells and heads, when I was six on our first family trip to Mexico, in Puerto Angel, which happens to be just a few towns down from where I stayed this trip. I’ve come full circle, because when stuck on what to order last week I remembered how difficult it is to fuck up garlic shrimp (camarones al ajo). It’s just butter, garlic, shrimp. I had it two days in a row. After eating and drinking in Oaxaca city for five days, coming to the coast was a welcome relief from eating meat and cheese at almost every meal. But like in many beach towns across Mexico I didn’t find a lot of variety. Up and down the Oaxacan coast you’ll find restaurants catering to the western ex-pats and traveling flowy-pant wearers with hodgepodge menus of wraps and fried things, and a lot of tiny establishments offering much of the same staples: grilled fish and other simple seafood dishes or tlayudas (like Oaxacan pizzas).

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