Boulenc Pan – Oaxaca City, Mexico

Since I just enjoyed my last visit to Boulenc Pan before leaving Oaxaca, I thought I would write about my experiences here.


When you walk into this busy bakery and cafe, you are greeted by the friendly staff. If you are lucky, you might be able to sit at the counter, on one of six stools and enjoy a meal. If not, you can wait for someone to finish, or grab a coffee and some baked goods to go.

I have enjoyed a few meals here and watched the staff make your meal in front of you while others are baking. This was the first cafe I enjoyed espresso coffee in Oaxaca and my favourite. Most if not all the meals come out with freshly baked bread. 


If you are thirsty on a hot day, you can enjoy a cold coffee or a flavoured water, both are refreshing. 

This place is busy for a reason! You may have to wait for your food, but in my experience, it will be worth it?

Boulenc Pan’s details…

Address: Porfirio Diaz #222, Colonia Centro, Oaxaca City

Phone: 044 951 514 0582

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Boulenc-534647166618801/

Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am – 8:30pm, Saturday 8:30am – 4pm, Sunday closed.

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Mezcalogia – Oaxaca City, Mexico

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I’ve found that when you work at a bar, there can be occasional perks. One of those perks is knowing a network of people that work in bars worldwide. Finding recommendations can be difficult, but I asked a friend, that suggested some places to visit during my stay in Oaxaca.

Mezcalogia was suggested to me and I’m so glad it was. During my time in Oaxaca I had been to Mezcalogia a few times. I enjoyed a drink while chatting with the staff or other patrons. One night I was relaxing with a mezcal and met the author of a book I had just started reading a few weeks before that night, John McEvoy, the author of Holy Smoke! it’s Mezcal!

This is a bar for locals and tourist to enjoy. It is quite small with only 7 tables and the bar to sit at, but the atmosphere is always enjoyable… for me at least. They have the Mezcalogia range of mezcales available to buy, in 1oz, 2oz or by the bottle. This range is an extremely small batch and generally contains mezcal from rare agave.

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They also stock the full range from Agave de Cortés, El Jolgorio and Nuestra Soledad. These mezcales are also offered by one ounce, two ounce or the bottle, but sometimes they also stock half bottles of some products, to help with the decision.

Along with the mezcales, they also stock two gins made from agave, and a few artisanal beers. If these options aren’t what you are looking for, you can look out for the changing cocktail board or speak to the staff for help.
You may be lucky enough to listen to live music or a DJ if it’s the weekend. Pop in and see what you think!
Mezcalogia’s details…

Address: Calle Manuel Garcia Vigil #509, Centro, Oaxaca City

Phone: 044 951 514 2734

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Mezcalogia/485097061637194

Hours: Sun-Thur 6pm – 1am, Friday & Saturday 6pm – 2am

Mezcalillera – Oaxaca City, Mexico

Walking along the streets of Oaxaca and you can find some interesting shops. One afternoon I was walking the streets and found the doorway of Mezcalillera. From the footpath I could see many beautiful bottles of mezcal on display, so I HAD to enter! What sort of mezcal fan would I be if I just walked past?


During the day, the display looks beautifully presented, I haven’t been during the night time but I would have liked to. If anyone is interested in mezcal, I suggest coming here to find out more. They have pictures of some agaves on the wall behind the counter.


If you are a collector of miniature bottles or would like 50ml sample bottles they also have them for sale here from a few producers.

They are advertised as a bar on Facebook, having not been upstairs, I don’t know if they have more seating than the few stools at the counter. With the trading hours, I suggest they are more of a bottle shop than a bar.

Mezcalillera’s details…

Address: Murguía #403 A, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City

Phone: 044 951 514 1757

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mezcalillera

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am – 9pm, Sunday 12pm – 8pm

Mezcal made with soul

After visiting a few palenques recently, I thought I would share the process of mezcal. Mezcal prices are quite high in Australia, but I believe they are worth it and more so after my visit to Oaxaca. Mezcal is made with love, soul and skill! I’m not saying other products aren’t, but the traditional mezcal process hasn’t changed with technology in the palenques I visited. I’m sure you can find a factory mass producing mezcal, but not with the brands I visited.

Starting with the base ingredient, agave, which can take up to 40 years to grow for some varieties. You will mostly find mescal made from espadin agave because it is commonly farmed in Oaxaca and takes about 8-10 years to grow. Some agave including espadin are grown in the wild but with the increased interest globally for mezcal, the supply of wild agave is decreasing.

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Once the agave is about to die, it will grow a shoot into the air.  The producer will harvest the agave by cutting the leaves off the piña (heart) of the agave and transport them back to their palenque. They are cut (depending on the size) to be prepared for the cooking process.

They start a fire in the horno (earth oven) and put rocks on the fire to heat up. Some producers will add fibers from previous batches to protect the piñas from burning. On goes the agave and then dirt is placed on top to seal the oven. During this process it takes about six workers as it needs to seal quickly. The horno will be left to cook the agave for three to four days. This converts the starch inside the agave into fermentable sugars.

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When the cooked agave arise from the oven, they are cut up into smaller pieces for crushing and transferred to the crushing pit. This stone pit contains a tahona wheel (stone wheel) that rolls around crushing the agave into fibers. The wheel is heavy and normally powered with a horse, which will turn the wheel around for about three hours per day.

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With the fibers crushed, they are moved into a one hundred litre wooden fermentation tank along with water. The tanks are left to naturally ferment with wild yeast for about four days.

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The tank is emptied with each distillation. They add the fibers and liquid of the tank into the stills. During my visits all the stills have been made from copper but I have heard some producers use clay pot stills. The two fifty to three hundred stills will run for around four hours and are heated by fire, creating a distillate that will be around forty to fifty percent. When the still heats to seventy eight degrees, the alcohol vapours will rise up the still and along the pipe, into a condenser. The condenser, will convert the vapour into liquid again. Then it will go through another distillation and come out somewhere between seventy to ninety percent.

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The new spirit is then stored in tanks until it is tested and ready to be bottled. It can be rested in large glass bottles and surprisingly mature and round out the mezcal. Some producers will age their mezcal in wooden barrels before bottling.

La Mezcalerita – Oaxaca City, Mexico

I was walking around Oaxaca this afternoon and noticed this funky bar/ mezcaleria. They have a good range of mezcales and artisanal beers available. I was looking through the menu and a peanut butter porter took my interest. I sat in the courtyard with seven other people enjoy the afternoon with cervesa (beer). I was excited to try this beer, but with the aroma and taste of this beer, became quickly disappointed! Going back to the bar, I would gladly enjoy a different drink in the courtyard again! The bar was inviting and had a lot of drink options, the prices were average.

La Mezcalerita’s bar.

La Mezcalerita’s details…

Address: Macedonio Alcalá #706, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City

Phone: 044 951 106 4432

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lamezcalerita

Hours:  Mon-Sat 12:30pm – 1am, Sunday 12pm – 1am

Why blog?

 

I have started this blog to share my passion. I have been working in bars since 2003 and I love it. I’m not saying I don’t have bad days at work, but the good days make up for the bad. I love creating drinks for people that walk into the venue I work at, giving them a new experience and creating a new memory. Now I am planning to explore the world drop by drop and share my experiences with like minded people.