It’s pretty easy to settle into the slow rhythm of a place like this. You develop a nice routine – get up early, breakfast on the seawall, a walk down to the point, a drive around town looking for birds. Reading the afternoon, a glass of wine for the sunset and then dinner somewhere out in town. We made our obligatory trip into Guaymas for those essentials we didn’t have and made some cursory passes over the birding hot spots, actually meeting one of the women who helped (via a group organized by a snowbird) on last year’s count. That chance encounter was out at a couple of sewage ponds at the end of a nasty track, well off the main road and into the desert. In other words, one of those special places you visit when you want to know which of your favorite feathered friends are kicking it around town.
Dinner-wise it’s been a banquet, one night of sopa de tortilla, another at our favorite Italian place, a nice fish dinner and a boat of a margarita at the purported narco-restaurant. The best night though was at our favorite little almost outdoors taco shack.
We’d gone out to try a new place down by the water. These last couple of years we’ve been trying places that are not restaurants in the traditional sense of having windows, chairs and walls. We’ve kind of fallen in love with little semi-outdoor places with plastic tables and chairs and big sides open to the elements. They’re not so great in October when you have to wipe the sweat off your face while you eat, but this time of year they’re pretty nice with a soft evening sea breeze and temperatures more conducive to enjoying your meal. There was a new one at the far end of town that fit that simple bill and so we went off to try it, only to find it was closed. Lunch only, apparently. So I turned the boat around and went back towards JJ’s, the place that was the current de classe restaurant champion.
As I pulled up, I knew instantly that serendipity was at work – it was music night – the strains of Mariachi were wafting out the front and the full parking lot confirmed my guess. We were in for a treat.
JJ is a diminutive fellow with a big smile, a classic end of the road restaurant owner who greets you like you were just in yesterday. His place is something, a giant, beautifully constructed palapa, built by some guys imported from elsewhere in the state. A small kitchen area with deep fryer and grill are off to the side next to an even smaller bar. Some plastic rope chains – added since our last visit – announce that minors may not approach the bar, perhaps an artifact from some recent legal problems. The band sets up at one end of the place and the rest is wide open, filled with while tables and chairs. There is also a small gift shop that sells curios and t-shirts, many of which are hanging on posts around the dance floor, and all of which have slogans that would prevent them from being worn in polite company. The menu is simple, five or six kinds of tacos or burros and nothing more. They come straight off the grill or out of the fryer and you load them up at a small condiment bar. Every table has at least three kinds of hot sauce.
After visiting with him for a couple of minutes we made our order, six fried fish tacos and a couple of beers. That done it was off to the dance floor for a couple of rounds of the 1-Step and a bit of people watching.
Music night brings out a lot of people from where we generically call “the country club.” Genuinely old folks, most of whom sit and watch but among whom there are always a couple of wound up grannies who dance and dance and dance, dragging their typically overweight husband out on the floor. The gents try to look comfortable, an impossible task, but it’s clear they’re enjoying being game enough for their wives to enjoy themselves. Our food showed up and it was wonderful as always, fresh, hot and tasty. The three things that every meal should be. Once done, JJ dropped by again and insisted on more beers, informing me that “the car can find its way home.” We complied and danced a few more times before heading back home.