This is Bistek al la Mexicana a common dish found many places. There are several places I get this some better than others but all real decent! Kind of a tomato based sauce with generally pretty tender pieces of beef and a fair amount of it. The rice is pretty generic but the frijoles can be something else. This also includes as many fresh made in front of you tortillas you want and brought to you with a smile. Something like this costs around 50-60 pesos or $3. The squeezed as you watch orange juice is 20 and brings the price up a bit but worth it. Nothing in the States I've ever had compares to this not even close plus it'll cost 7-10 smacks. I don't know what I'm going to eat when I return. It will be an adjustment as I do this so much that is go into Puerto Vallarta on the south side and have me a excellent lunch with "real" Mexican food not the slop I get back there. I do not plan on eating out much at all only at maybe three select places. Pricey yes but worth it because it's so good. I threw away so much money last summer eating way overpriced shitty food. Several times the food got thrown away as well. The whole of Mexico is an eating machine I tell you. I'm gonna miss this.

I feel good and and think the higher temps and humidity contributes to that. It's the same every time. After a month or two you realize and say " Hey I feel pretty damn good!"

Just as important I believe the food made fresh with wholesome fresh ingredients as well contributes to that. Get off the bus in town the food smells everywhere make me hungry just like that.


The Ongoing Chicken Saga

This is not a cooking blog but there is going to be some chicken cooked and eaten and rated. This whole story goes back decades and it's been over two years since this post on "Mushy Chicken". What's interesting here is what is actually seen. Click on the second picture and you'll understand. Too strange.

The go to person on this subject is Cosumne Gal and this post she did on conversations and comments from the post here just the other day "Did You Know This About Chickens?".

Briefly I bought a special expensive chicken to see how it tastes compared to what is remembered. There is still when I get enthused Fly's whole chicken story to come. Something like his religion story but different. To remember this chicken story you have to be older and if anyone remembers like I do they are more than likely older as well. Chicken started turning to the dark side many years ago now.

There is so much back round in Cosumne Gal's post as history and experiences from the 60's are described. It's interesting.

Here we go. Click the picture and you can see the specifics. $2.55 a lb/4.28lbs for a final number of $10.91. Most expensive bird I ever did buy by quite a margin.

Here is is completely naked. I picked the wrong one and was after a 3.5 chicken as was pretty much the size way back when. It's close enough. Nice looking bird we got here. 

Look at line on the leg. Odd for sure and a guess would be higher up closer to the back the skin has a tendency to be bit more fatty- but a line like this.

Update - I clicked on the first link and that nasty bird has the same type of line. What do I know.

OUT OF FOCUS - I took this to illustrate the size of parts. The leg was just average. I really like legs ever since a pup. You've probably seen the results on chicken you have purchased from the hooks used during processing on the legs. I find it very unappealing. I like what's on both ends of the leg - always have.

As for the breast it is a wee bit large but acceptable and no where close to what you get now. Many like huge breasts. Myself I'm more of a middle of the road fellow. This was cut into three portions and the whole chicken four portions.

What prompted this chicken attitude was that the other night I barbequed four chicken legs and no smoke came off the grill They were border line horrible. This bird produced some smoke. That's kinda like old days for sure.   

I grilled a piece of breast,the neck and the back plus the gizzard and heart those last two are already history here. Not the choicest pieces but there were reasons. Don't misunderstand I really like necks a lot!

The neck got taken off early. As a side note the vegetable cooker does a great job and cook bunches of vegetables like this. All kinds of things go in here. Really good.

The final result on da plate. The heart and gizzard were fine and I like those just as much as anything else. Never was a thigh guy until a few years ago when I was down to eating marinated chicken thighs cooked as hot the grill would go. It was the only part that I could find any flavor but even that stopped. Occasionally over the years would try chicken but it was mostly a disappointment.

So it's like this folks. This tasted pretty good all in all and I have three tries left two of which will have legs my favorite piece.

It was not mushy and there was actually decent flavor and some juices all reminiscent of times gone by. And yes I want the skin and this skin was very good. The neck was tasty the white meat moist and the back greasy and that's why I cooked that just to see what was there.  Compared to what's been this was a nice surprise b b b b b but it's very expensive so it should be half decent anyway.

I would say if what was remembered is a 10 I think this deserves 7.5 maybe 7.8. I enjoyed it and look forward to having more like tomorrow.


  1. What a beautiful header! Seems like 10.00 for two meals is not a bad deal. -- barbara

    1. Thanks Barbara.
      It's actually four portions for $11. If it tastes good and is good for you I suppose that may not be all that much.

  2. I kid you not, I saw a chicken in Safeway about five years ago and they wanted SEVENTEEN dollars for it.

    Some Free Range, Organic bullshit.

    I about choked.

    It wasn't even that big.

    You can go in and by the front door now, they have those rotisserie chickens for about seven bucks.

    Tough, dried out chicken jerky is more like it.

    I can't wait for the food prices later this year, they are already getting out of hand.

    1. I look at the prices of food in the stores and think of families. Sugar and fat that can be cheap here because that's what's eaten.

  3. One should never forget...you are what you eat. We may not be computers, but the old adage, "Garbage In, Garbage Out" still holds.

    That reminds me of the old joke.
    You are what you eat.
    I guess that's why I have curly hair.

  4. Love your header! I also like your veggie griller...where do I get one?

    This is a very interesting post, Tom. Well, done!


  5. Tom, I am "Cosumne Gal," not Consume. It's a common mistake. Cosumne is the township where I live, it was named after the Omochumne Indians. Details. The important thing is I'm wondering if the chicken of your childhood was grilled or fried? I don't recall that we even owned a barbecue until I was out of high school. We had lots of meat, my dad was a cattleman, but it was never grilled, it was breaded and fried. I see on Google that there are lots of free range chicken meat ranchers in Colorado. Maybe the prices there would be better? You'd probably have to buy live birds and butcher them yourself, though. Aside from tasteless chicken, I'm mourning the passing of decent salmon. I can sometimes get wild caught for about $20/lb. The farmed salmon, like overly-farmed chicken, is dry and tasteless. I end up giving half of it to the cats. You can't even improve it by cooking it in butter. Lots of butter.

    1. I wouldn't even give farmed raised salmon to the cats. It is loaded with antibiotics and they even have to put dye in the salmon food so that the flesh comes out pink. Otherwise it is a sickly grey.

  6. Sorry - I missed that by more than a mile and it is easy to do and I've corrected that.

    Last night I had some more of this. It's definitely acceptable compared to other choices but it doesn't stand out either. Next time I will make sure that it is "just done" no more and see what those results are. I will be looking for some local free range soon.

    We grilled when I was a kid but only in the summer and sometimes when we had company. Other than that is was fried and mostly just on Sunday. I lived for Sunday.

    When we moved to town I bought a really nice pretty big gas grille for the folks that was stationary and ran on natural gas positioned strategically located just outside the back door. It was used relentlessly.

    This was business for many years and I have bar-b-qued hundreds of birds with amazing results. That's all long gone of course but there have been exceptions and to say all chicken is basically bad is being a bit unfair. Maybe it's like Chinese joints in that for me if I see one that's new I want to give it a try but the fact of the matter is chances are very high eating there would be a disappointment.

    In the last three weeks have had sushi two times with salmon on it. After the first thought about how good it was plenty. Had a chance for some and it was just as good. Real salmon I guess because I do not like it at all. I want more. The last time thought it was going to cost 4-5 buck but it was 11. Yikes I can't have that very often. Where I may be spending the winter the best fish in the world is VERY close and costs 2-3 bucks a lb. I'm soooo hungry.

    The saga continues.

  7. It's the first time I see cactus in bloom( in your header). It's gorgeous!

    I like to use a griller on gas; It offers me the possibility of preparing a variety of fast and tasty food.

    1. Thanks Duta. I like my cactus blooms for sure. I was surprised to find these. Grilling just isn't the way it used to be but it compromises 60-75% of my cooking.

  8. I'm not much of a poultry fan; give me fresh wild-caught salmon or ahi tuna every day and I'd be a very happy eater, but the wife and daughter prefer the birds over fish, so I'll have to keep an eye open for Mary's Chickens.

    I noticed at Costco a few days ago, some free-range chicken that was priced similar to this, might be the same, I didn't pay too much attention to it.

    Used to take fishing charters and cattle boats from Davey's Locker in Newport Beach, CA. Sometimes a fisherman would offer up a bit of his/her catch to be cooked in the galley within minutes of the catch - amazing how incredibly tasty fresh fish is and how different it tastes from the stuff in stores.