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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

The spectre of pyramid schemes and the ‘multi-level marketing’ faith-based circus as concocted by P.T.Barnum and his contemporary salemen of  opium-based remedies has spent two days in Antigua.

Lose Weight Now...gimme your wallet

Lose Weight Now...gimme your wallet

 Saturday, the prominantly parked shrink-wrapped car with the logo, then the ‘teams’ of leaders in logo jackets herding the ‘member’s, all wearing their laminated ID’s with the lanyard around their  necks…that shoulda been a clue: if it looks like a leash and feels like a leash, then you know….it might just be one. These folks should have turned up the “Brightness” knob on their televisions. Today, they’ve taken over the auditorium at Santo Domingo, promoting the latest ‘anti-oxidant.'( I recommend Brasso)

 

As with a few other Amway-style shell games, these originated in the state whose symbol is a bee hive and their slogan is ‘Industry’…those of you strung out on the latest Acai Wonder Berry trip might want to read the small print.  So…Herbalife, started in 1980 and the subject of numerous fines and complaints almost immediately, rears its ugly head in Gautemala. Mark, the founder, died of a drug overdose in ’84…get out at the top, they say.

Change of Pace: Chocolate

Chocol’arte,on  upper 5ta, is the outlet for the secret recipes from the demised Chocotenango(now Delicioso…’never had a chocolate covered mint leaf before today…hmm, wasn’t bad….there was an aftertaste of mint, a crunchiness of leaf and a small voice saying ‘you’re eating a fucking leaf.’

The Case of Delights

The Case of Delights

A minor confession: having always been a chocolate fanatic for as long as I can recall, it has been a constant battle against the devil in the dark brown wrapper, especially here in Chocolate Land. I’ll cop to an occasional relapse when faced with one of Hector’s chocolate fondants(and I hate myself in the morning)….oh, hell, lets talk about something else.

Tastes good with Herbalife

Tastes good with Herbalife

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Following the previous theme of ‘what can we do to stimulate Antigua’s economy’, I’ve devoted several hours of precious time to this concept and I think(so to speak) that I may have some possible contenders for the Chamber of Commerce to consider.

1. Beauty Contest…Miss Antigua. 2. Dunk the Clown in the water tank…three throws for 100q…nominate your own politician for dunking. 3. Drug Lords and Hookers Ball…come as you’d like to dress/act out your fantasy. 4. Wet T-Shirt contest(Hooter’s ripoff) 5.Treasure Hunts for hidden prizes. 6. Running of the Jews(Borat-inspired). 7. Antique Car Show(there are some unusual cars in town). 8. Art Festival. 9. Lawyers Only Race/Walkathon(tomatoes for tossing provided free). 10. Gun and Knife Show(no AK’s unless they’re gold plated). 11. Chocolate Wrestling Vats. 12. Sexiest Spanish School Student. 13. BBQ, Beer and Babes Extraganza(the Gallo Girls and Ron Botran crew)…work with me here…do I have to do all the heavy lifting?  What does it take to lure the ricos from G City to come over the hill on the weekend and drop a few hundred q here and there? What memories are the tour groups going to take home to where ever they came from? Father’s Day ain’t gonna cut it…maybe if someone found the face of Jesus in their latte or their cheesecake…Condesa would be swamped…maybe fake shoot-outs in the park…narco/cowboys at high noon.

My maid quit today…I told her the vacuum cleaner sucked…

Can You Say Hoover Me?

Can You Say Hoover Me?

 A last attempt at some kind of local ‘boosterism’…does Antigua have the best decorated and painted ‘chicken buses’ or what? ….a race, an obstacle course, a demonstration of running stop signs and who can blow the most diesel smoke? perhaps even a politically themed pinata-fest, where folks could work out their frustrations…a ‘bash for cash’…fill ’em with a few q, take a few whacks at the latest candidate for extradition and go home with a smile on your face…I’m kinda leaning towards the nude chocolate wrestling exposition…dark or light? Who gets to lick the spoon?

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or is it that absinthe makes the heart grow fonder?…in lieu of same, Rexer’s mezcal and Hector’s chocolate fondue make excellent substitutes…the evening stroll was very ‘san francisco’, with a light mist, low cloud cover and empty streets gleaming in the street lights…a little more drizzle,   the distant sound of a fog horn or the clatter of cable cars would have completed the illusion.

The Tourist/Fashion Police weren’t out in force or there was fresh coffee and pastry around the corner, and it WAS mid-morning and gawd knows that the hard-working men and women that proudly wear the uniform need a blast of sugar and caffeine about that time.  I do and I assume that you do..we all do…doo doo dooby doo…Frank Sinatra, mid-days…do to is to be(Greek)to be is to do(?)…dooby dooby doo…see above.

The Ultimate Makeover

The Ultimate Makeover

Down 6ta Avenida Sur, between 4th and 5th calles, are the remains of Cafe 2000…could someone have told them that’s it not 1999 anymore? (Prince reference)What is going on? the interior is being buffed out, repainted, refloored(and none of it is cheap/barato)

The Gutted Guts

The Gutted Guts

This is some serious remodeling…implying a calculated risk/gamble on the new ambience, location and business model of the owners/leasees…’could that stretch of 6ta capture enough of that streets night life?(it doesn’t look look like a restaurant to me, but what do I know?) It might be a west side version of Bistro Cinq or any other glossy watering hole downtown. They’re rolling the dice and I hope they make it: the opening night should be fun.

Street Crime

Street Crime

 a ‘double pop’ …crime in the sense of two people on a moto and black slacks under a dress like a sack..speaking of ‘make-over’, fishnet stockings with a snag, one leg in black lingerie…hmm?

dressed to thrill?

dressed to thrill?

Leah, the new waitress at Hector’s, is fitting in/learning the ropes/getting accustomed to abuse and wierd client requests.

The leftovers get recycled

The leftovers get recycled

and so it goes…’Vonnegut’, early days…no matter where you go, there you are…Buckaroo Banzai.

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A few months ago, when the owners of Sangre(Jeff et al)left town, there was a loud gurgling noise when they pulled the plug…that sound has diminished some but if you listen carefully there is still a slight murmur of running water/money/sweat going down the drain. The employees who took over have been trying to work a miracle and it will take another miracle for the local vendors who didn’t get paid by the previous tenants. The landlord isn’t worried much…there’s a back-up in place: ah, the capricious nature of the restaurant/bar business.

I fell off my stool last night….’just toppled over backwards, in what felt like slow motion. Why? Was it a case of ‘don’t dessert me now?’

Do you do fondue?

Do you do fondue?

Once in a rare while, Hector creates these little chocolate fondue things…warm center, melts on the tongue, everything you ever wanted in a sinfully delicious dessert that makes you forget all about that diet thing. Re the fall from grace/the bar…while trying to focus, I tipped the stool.

Revenge of the Spoon

Revenge of the Spoon

 I got up…like a man, and tackled that fondue concoction forthwith. It was worth it to fall over for,either physically or metaphorically…yes, that good. Can I take decent food photos? No..

Someone’s gotta clean up…after I spill the evening’s dinner on my shirt.  

Telma cleans up

Telma cleans up

 

Located on 6ta Norte, between 4th and 5th Calles Poniente, is the best laundry in town…drycleaning, starched shirts and even sewing/repairs of minor castastrophes(I ripped the pocket on my chinese brocade smoking jacket). Telma, she of the sparkling smile, is always ready to offer excuses as  to why your shirts aren’t there but she does it in such a nice way that one really doesn’t mind(much). They even give you hand-made metal coat hangers, which come in handy for unlocking the car door when you’ve left the keys inside or serving as a suspension device for the garbage bag that hangs on the light pole outside(above the reach of the neighborhood dogs). 

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