An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Twenty

joskes dulce mexicano

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Nineteen

Andrew Stevens, March 1912

Mr. K’s hands dance above his desk. “That Leroy Denman is no more than a marionette. George Brackenridge jerks his strings, and he plops right down into the automobile seat next to ventriloquist Tom Campbell’s dummy, Judge Ramsey.”

The Colonel agrees. “If Governor Hogg hadn’t appointed Leroy Denman to the Supreme Court, not a soul would know his name. Yet he struts around town as though he were Le Roi instead of plain old Leee-roy.”

John smiles. “His briefs from the bench were so brief, there’s scarcely a scintilla of evidence he has any sense at all.”

Mr. K grunts. “Ludicrous! Arming those old gray soldiers in Gonzales with push-brooms. Amazing the brooms did not get tangled up with the old Confederates’ canes, sending the whole decrepit lot cascading to the ground like dominos.”

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Postcard from Merida, Mexico: Sampling more traditional dishes of the Yucatan

Above, Mural by Jacobo Roa at El Catrin 47

Sopa de limon loaded with a mountain of shredded chicken; slow-cooked suckling pig flavored with sour orange, chiles and achiote – cochinita pibil; and panuchos, fried tortillas filled with black beans and topped with shredded turkey, are among the well-known traditional dishes commonly found throughout Merida. Most places offer multiple salsas. Even if you are from Texas, you need to respect them before ladling them onto your food. They range from mild to fiery habanero hot.

The stands at the markets and the stalls that pop up on the Plaza Grande on Sundays definitely are the bargain propositions for sampling these. Delivery is fast and efficient, and the food is made the way natives like it. Chefs always rave about the authenticity at the family-run El Manjar Blanco, particularly the cochinita pibil, which we found flavorful.

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Postcard from Merida, Mexico: A trio of restaurants for dining well

Above: Micaela Mar y Lena crudo de atun

Grilled seafood is the specialty at Cocina de Mar y Lena, a contemporary restaurant that seems a magnet for an upscale crowd of fashionable Mexicans arriving by the Uber-full, at least they were pre-COVID. The grilled shrimp and octopus were wonderful, and the refreshing raw tuna (above) just melted in your mouth.

Chef Sara Maria Arnaud Gomez combines the flavors of Oaxaca with those of the Yucatan at Apoala on the prime people-watching park of Santa Lucia. From ceviche and fried zucchini blossoms to dessert, everything was beautifully plated. Loved their mezcal mule cocktails with a smoky charred chunk of caramelized honeycomb riding atop the rim.

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