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Jan 31, 2009 07:06 PM

San Miguel de Allende Report

We're in SMdA for two weeks and will post occasional posts when we discover ... well, whatever we discover.

Got in early evening, tired and hungry and checked into our B&B (which charged us $3 for a handwritten map and a Xeroxed list of restaurant recommendations. Not a good start.

Based on recommendations here, other places and the $3 list, we walked to Bugambilia. It was attractive and had a wonderful guitar player. We ordered a tomato-based Sopa de Huaches which had little flavor until we spooned in some salsa that came with the chips. Also a mushroom in white wine appetizer that featured raw button mushrooms in sauce. Some onion garnishes were the bast part of the appetizer.

We were surprised to be served a basket of bread and butter, but it was excellent; the butter very sweet.

On recommendations, we had the chilles de nopes. Two stuffed peppers: one was ok; the second pepper was undercooked and hard. A beef stew with bananas and raisins was very disappointing and required s&p to make it even edible. Not sure what the cut of beef was, but it was not impressive.

All and all, it could have been Chile's. Disappointed, but at least not hungry any more. A street vendor we passed on the way was mobbed and we were sorry we didn't stop there instead.

As foodies, we are hoping to find authentic, wonderful food and are open to any suggestions and will continue to update on what we find that we love ... or don't love. Time to get some sleep now.

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      1. re: Anonimo

        To be fair, we learned that the map we bought was what we paid $3 for, It is not an advertising map and the list of recommended restaurants was gratis.

      2. I'd be very interested to know why you were surprised to have been served a basket of bread and butter at Bugambilia.


        2 Replies
        1. re: cristina

          Many times in Mexico, but I can't remember being served bread except at breakfast. Maybe I've forgotten. Maybe I've eaten at the "wrong" places.

          1. re: chicgail

            Chicgail, I don't think there are any "wrong" places--maybe just places that you like more than others.

            If you're looking for tortillas with your meals rather than bolillo or telares, just ask your waiter at any restaurant. White (wheat) bread is considered to be more upscale than corn tortillas, so a restaurant that wants to be thought of as higher-end is more likely to serve bread rather than tortillas with any meal.

            Corn vs wheat and the social/political implications in Mexico is worth another entire thread!


        2. My two favorites in San Miguel are Restaurante Da Andrea for fantastic upscale Italian in a beautiful old hacienda. Reservations are required and you will need to take az taxi to get there but it is a fantastic place and regarded by some as the best in San Miguel. For Mexican I really like La Posadita which is right in Centro off the Jardin. It is a wonderful rooftop dining with very good and traditional Mexican food.

          1. Found a nice Argentinian restaurant around the corner from our B & B Casa Payo. We shared a queso fundito with Argentinian sausage, a 21-oz ribeye, creamed spinach and a baked potato. Now normally steak is not a go-to thing for me and Mr. CG, but this was spot on. Steak seasoned and cooked well, everything else good. The service was a little inexplicably slow (it was late on a quiet Monday night). And the whole thing, with wine $35 US.

            But by-and-large, chow has been hard to find. Looking forward to lunching at the little stands attached to the market tomorrow where few tourists go. Will report.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chicgail

              Chow hard to find in SMA???? If you trip and fall in the street a taco cart is likely to break your fall. But I think I knwo what you mean. Try these places if you have time:

              - Tacos Don Felix (not a taco cart)
              - Cha Cha Cha
              - La Posadita
              - Las Terrazas (outside town, but worth the trip, look for the 15% off coupon in the paper)

              Alta Cousine
              - La Landeta (aka Andrea's)
              - The Restaurant at Sollano 16
              - Fellini's (also a drive but worth it)
              - Dos Casas

              all of the abovce can be found on SMAmap -

              Barba Roja

              1. re: chicgail

                I promised a full report so here goes.

                First, there is apparently no style of cooking indigenous to the region, which may explain our initial disappointment. Our first impression of chow in SMA was disappointing, but SMA is a bit of a shy flower. She has many surprises and secrets and opens her petals slowly, one at a time.

                What we enjoyed:
                The Restauant on Sollano -- (two visits) for upscale farm to table dining.
                Andreas -- a long (2-1/2 hour) leisurely three course Sunday luncheon in a beautiful setting. Superb salads and homemade pastas. About 15 minutes outside of town. Do make reservations in advance.
                Casa Payo on Zacataras -- (two visits) for good Argentinian beef.
                La Posadita on Allende -near the Jarden -- (two visits) for decent Mexican with a great view
                La Fonda Rosa on San Antonio de Abad near Canal-- a hole in the wall; friendly; good casual Mexican lunch
                La Capilla -- across the street from La Posadita. Another great view; more expensive. We had drinks and tapas only, but they were excellent.
                Nirvana on Mesones -- excellent soups (especially the Thai) got our hopes up, but the fish entrees were overcooked, dry and smothered in sauce.
                San Augustin Cafe on San Francisco -- delightful churros and hot chocolate for an afternoon snack.
                El Correo on Correo -- good tortilla soup.

                La Bubambilia on Hildalgo came well-recommended and we understand it is fairly representative of food in the region, but we didn't care for it.
                Harry's American Bar on Hildago -- Cajun/Creole/American/not-so-great
                Tio Lucas on Mesones -- just ok. The owner, Max is a character and the music was ... well also just ok.

                Can't wait to go back, hopefully next year. SMA is now in my heart.