My second-class bus pulls into Chapala. Dusty, empty streets; sad, deserted plaza, widows of the siesta. The solitary figure of the man selling chicharrones, assorted fried pork parts. North of the Border mentality screams: Beware! Tourist-guidebook-advice be damned! "Media-kilo de chicharrones, tio" (a pound of chicharrones, my good man). Steaming bits of fried pork fat and meat folded into a brown-paper cone.
The machinery of the tortilleria has grown quiet, but the tortillas are still warm. "No, solamente una docena, por favor." I don't have 10 kids, I just need a few tortillas.
The solitary benches of the plaza and the strumming of a half-hearted improvisation beckon. A cold Coca and my own tacos de chicharron. Yeah, I could get used to this.
If you're not "going for a walk in Mexico" ala Morrisey any time soon, go to Benny's (7th and Grant). This is a neighborhood institution where you can go very wrong, very easily. Or find Chapala. Try this, and then thank me: 1 side of chicharrones; 1 order of corn tortillas; 1 side of guacamole; 1 Dos Equis Amber (this one you'll repeat).
Yeah, I hear the howls of derision from the wanna-be-Mexican-food-puritans. But I challenge you, find me better chicharrones in this Queen City of ours! Always just-fried, perfect balance of fat vs. meat; bien padres!