Guadalajara - Vegetarian Dishes in Non-Vegetarian Restaurants
I am going to be spending six months in Guadalajara, starting early next year. I've also been a vegetarian for years. I'm familiar with all the websites that identify specifically vegetarian restaurants, and I've also read pretty much every post on this site about Guadalajara, but I wanted to throw this one out there...
... can you think of any exceptional meat-free dishes you've had a otherwise meaty restaurants? Or do you know of a great restaurant that has a couple good meat-free options on the menu? If the menu doesn't show anything vegetarian, can your average restuarant whip something up?
I'm not a hardcore vegetarian and I'm not vegetarian for moral reasons; I just really don't like meat. So... I'm not too picky about my food being prepared alongside meat or having a bit of say, chicken broth in it.
Gracias! (Pretty much the only Spanish word I know so far...)
Ma Come No, a marvelous Italian restaurant at the corner of Av. las Américas and Manuel Acuña in Guadalajara, has the best salad bar I've tried in Mexico. You can order the salad bar either alone or with an entrée. There are also several vegetarian options in the entrée selection.
If you haven't yet read the blog http://www.crispy.com, you might give it a try. Crispy is a vegetarian who lives in Guadalajara. He has some good advice on where to eat.
Are you a student? If so I would plan to stay at a Pension (same literal meaning as in English... refers to Emptynesters that rent out bedrooms to College students and usually provide meals, laundry etc.,)... just let them know your preferences. The average person in Mexico eats a lot less meat than in the U.S.... and the food is all about using a little bit of meat to fool the soup, sauce, tortilla etc.,.
For example... a typically home cooked meal would be to poach a chicken... use the broth to make a moderately spicy thick sauce (a simple Mole or Calidillo etc.,).... then the sauce is used to simmer a bunch of vegetables.... while the chicken is browned.... the plated dish would typically consist of a bunch of vegetables, a single piece of chicken, a side dish of beans, tortillas & other garnishes.
If you can't stay in a Pension... than find yourself some reliable neighborhood Fondas or Cocinas Economicas. They typically offer several price fixed, 3 course Comida Corridas that change on a daily basis.... with a really inexpensive one that has very little meat.... and then a more expensive one. The food is similar to home cooking but a little more rich & elaborate. Some typical meatless dishes are a rotating variety of vegetables Capeados... basically egg battered vegetables (kind of like Tempura)... this will include things like Poblano Chiles (Chile Relleno) as well as Cauliflour, Brocoli, Huazontle, Romeritos & Chard.
The whole program now seems up in the air, but if I do go (and I really, really, really want to!) I think I will have a kitchen. I learned lots of little cooking tricks from the locals when I lived in Italy (even the tiny old lady next door helped me look after my little herb garden) so hopefully I'll make some nice Mexican friends who will teach me a thing or two!