Ahh, the one and only San Miguel de Allende: classic cobblestone streets (that, admittedly, start to lose their charm after jostling us around in a taxi for 20 minutes), bright colors, great views, a well-preserved downtown, and the famous wedding-cake church.
With absolutely zero ulterior motive, I wholly unselfishly planned a two-day trip for D’s birthday to this lovely colonial town. I chose Case Naré as our base, and we ended up with the Pasión room. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it minimalist, the room was sparsely decorated, in a very good way.
I cannot begin to convey how cool the vaulted brick ceilings were. Unfortunately, neither could my camera. And it wasn’t just the ceilings; the choice of furnishings, especially light fixtures, was on point.
After settling in, we headed to what is colloquially known as Bellas Artes but is technically the Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante.” It’s been an important workshop and learning space for creative types for many years. Apparently it enjoyed a surge in popularity when a number of American World War II veterans decided to use their GI bill to study art. Famous Mexican painter Siquieros had a large presence here as a teacher.
Before I get ahead of myself, I mustn’t forget to talk about our barbacoa stop outside of Querétaro en route to our destination. The place was already chock-full of people by 9:00 am, which was explained by its convenient location and delicious food.
On many occasions, I’ve used the word “animal-ish” to describe certain foods that taste gamey or smell like a petting zoo (looking at you, menudo). Barbacoa doesn’t quite cross that line, but it certainly toes it.
Returning to our afternoon in San Miguel: We were so full from breakfast that I had to scratch churros con chocolate and ceviche off the agenda, with a heavy heart. We did, however, explore the (very busy) downtown. The main highlight was the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. In person, it looks much more pink!
We then had drinks at La Azotea, a rooftop bar recommended by my sister-in-law and the innkeeper at Casa Naré.
At that point, we found out that one of D’s friends and his family were in town and met up with them at the most perfect little stoneware/ceramics shop, Trinitate. I bought two little planters with the intention of expanding my collection of succulents.
The family then generously invited us to dinner at their home outside of the city, where we feasted like kings and queens: red wine, San Miguel de Allende beer, ribs, steak, ceviche, aguachile, the most perfect flour tortillas, two types of desserts, plus coffee.
After a fun evening, day two rolled around but got cut short due to the onset of food poisoning that likely came from the salad I’d had two days prior in Mexico City. Maybe it’s a sign that I should stop eating healthy and continue to stuff my face with more sopes, huaraches and tortas?