Sunday, May 15, 2005

Those Memorable Nights..

The Old Favs..or where we went the REST of the time...

Rick's: Hailing from Nashville, Josie Kuhn, the house musician, is always good for a 'men done me wrong' ballad (and hence firing up all the women in the crowd) and the friday night open mic at Rick's is always a scene. Loosely referreed by Rick himself, you are apt to see anything from some off key crooner strumming "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore" to a truly stunning electric guitar performance by some talented incognito musician on holiday. All comers are treated with respect though and noone gets less than at least a bit of polite applause. Last year one of the highlights of my trip was singing with Josie on several consecutive nights.. this year I had laryngitis or at least sounded a bit like Janice Joplin for most of the trip.. sigh.. maybe next year.

Sanka Grill: Caught some excellent Guatamalan music here this year. (even bought the CD) and had a great time as the audience members who were recruited to be the percussion section. After banging away for five songs with our unfamiliar bell contraptions we gained a new appreciation for latin artists and came home with some very sore wrists.

Bandidos: Ok,ok. This became our favorite place this year. I love everything about it...the atmosphere... the dancing...the 'full of it' cocky waiter, Enrique...Enrique

the sweet, ever-smiling.Miquel...

Miguel

..the fabulous salsa band...hey...I even love Marcos! The man has GOT to win the charm award for the best host in Zih. He remembers you and sincerely seems to appreciate your business. Recognition (and the occasional rose and free drink) goes a long way with me. (and well ..uh..there is that uncanny resemblance to JohnnyDepp).




Bandidos also provides an interesting clientele served up as a customer cocktail that is equal parts Mexican locals to tourists. Gerry, who can spend five minutes in a bar and know everyone's life story within 20 feet, found this place to be a virtual treasure trove for meeting 'new friends' and practicing his broken Spanish. Now granted, one night an individual who was one of his " new friends" talked us into an iffy snorkeling excursion on his boat, (which turned out fine actually).. but all in all most nights were pleasantly memorable at Bandidos...

Except for..my night with Don Julio...

Every night we went to Bandido's I noticed trays of small shot glasses accompanied by an elaborate assortment of salt, limes, and side juices being delivered to customers. I figured it was just tequila served up a bit on the fancy schmancy side and so didn't touch it. Tequila has NEVER been a friend to me...never...nada...but then one night I received a rather unsettling call about my poor, sweet dog, Belle, who suffers with lymphoma. She apparently had taken a turn for the worse that day and was going down hill. Just as I was about to throw in the towel and sob uncontrollably in the middle of the bar, in desperation I said to our waiter, Enrique, "Bring me what THOSE people are having." What THOSE people were having was Don Julio Blanco served with a side of tomato juice, salt and fresh limes.

Grabbing the tequila, I did my best college coed impression - salt/lime/tequila ritual- followed by Bandidos little something extra, tomato juice. WOW! It cut the BURN!! And on top of that Don Julio was obviously not your ordinary hoi polloi tequila. Heck, even Paris Hilton loves Don Julio Blanco! Nope, this was no Jose Cuervo tummy churning -run from the room retching-choke it down as fast as you can-rot gut tequila. It was GREAT.. it was the most amazing Tequila created by MAN! Of course after THAT revelation I had to try it again.. and again. And with each Don Julio I felt calmer.. sexier...more Latin.. more.. more.. Zih!! WEEEEEEEEEEEE!

When Gerry and Daniel finally realized what I was up to they quickly packed me off into the warm Zih night. For as smooth as he is, Don Julio was, with the rising of the sun, just another Tequila Don Juan... love em and leave em. (sicker than a dog so to speak..)

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