Last Wednesday at Katana Sushi & Bar, I had a chance to talk with bartender Vicente Diaz who will be competing in a country-wide Mixology contest sponsored by Grand Marnier. This true Pata Salada (a person born in Puerto Vallarta) is also very cross-cultured having lived for years in Aspen, Colorado where he learned the fine art of mixing drinks. With luck he will win in Mexico City: first prize is a two-week vacation in France. While you are nibbling at sushi or sashimi at Katana’s, you can sample one, two, or all three of Vicente’s cocktail contest entries. My favorite called ‘Grand Romance’ is made with Grand Marnier, cognac, passion fruit, chocolate bitters (delicious!) and chili bitters. Sounds weird but tastes divine!
Just one more reason to join “Friends of Rodolfo” every Wednesday night at Katana for great cocktails, food and Rodolfo’s heavenly tenor voice. We’ll see you from 6 to 9 pm.
Have you heard everyone’s favorite bank in Vallarta – Intercam – has won ‘The Corporate Social Responsibility Prize’ -a prestigious award for the second year in a row? Their philanthropic bent is matched by their care of the environment. At least once a year, Intercam employees across Mexico head to the beaches and rivers to clean up. For the newbies in the Bay of Banderas, you will need a bank account eventually if you are going to live here so find an Intercam near you and go make friends with them. They will all speak English; their interest rates are high enough to make you pay attention and the costs for their services like paying C.F.E. and Telmex bills? Nothing!
I had a ball last Sunday at Babel Bar on the Isla Cuale for the Third Annual Cheryl’s Shoebox Summer Bash. Of the three this one was the best. It’s always fun to bump into people you don’t see often and super to meet people for the first time. I got to do both at Babel Bar! Spent time talking with Pastor Ric Lehman and his beautiful wife, Joy. Of course, the demise of the Paradise Community Center that Ric started years ago came round in our conversation as it invariably does. Four years THIS MONTH since we left there – the first and best Saturday Market EVER in Vallarta and the most comfortable church as well. How glorious would THAT resurrection be?!
The new person I met was Jenny Lopez. If you read the blow-by-blow on the Summer Bash at Babel Bar elsewhere in this issue, you will remember that Jenny gave a signed print of Hurricane Kenna smashing the Malecon to pieces in 2002 to be auctioned off. After that sold for 3,000 pesos and the commotion died down, Jenny walked across the dance floor and presented me with the same print. I couldn’t even speak. I was so surprised. She bent down and quietly said, “You are a part of Vallarta’s history, and I want you to have this. I have admired your work for a long time.”