The Story Behind the Fat Mermaid and the Skinny Coyote
I have been so delighted by the favorable response to my first blog post…muchas gracias! But it left people wondering about the story behind the Fat Mermaid and the Skinny Coyote.
The answer is completely straightforward: I live on the road between the Fat Mermaid (La Sirena Gorda) and the Skinny Coyote (El Flaco Coyote). Both are restaurants that serve excellent food and more than their share of adult beverages. Both reflect, in their own way, the wonderful, complex, many-layered and evolving life of San Miguel de Allende – a place where every time you walk out the door there is the possibility of an adventure.
La Sirena Gorda is a sophisticated and well-mannered bar with a wonderful history. It is in the center of San Miguel de Allende at Hernandez Macias 85 and has evolved into an excellent restaurant. It is located in what is said to be San Miguel’s original cantina.
The restaurant’s building sports its original sign: La Manantial (The Spring). It has an exuberant atmosphere with an inventive menu and serves some of the best seafood in town. Their signature drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are a vacation from cares and worries. But the real magic is the music. Overall, it’s excellent, on par with something you might hear in Los Angeles or New York City, but in a warm, relaxed and uncrowded environment.
All this in an atmosphere that screams, or perhaps more correctly, politely invites you to have fun, be at peace with yourself, do something different or do something differently!
On the other hand, El Coyote Flaco is a visit to the Mexico of old. Outdoors and near the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Atotonilco, it is outdoor dining at its best in a beautiful garden filled with boulders and cactus. It is as though you have arrived at a dear friend’s ranch for a very long comida (lunch). A delightful day trip with great BBQ eaten in a beautiful setting.
Sixteen years ago, I came to live in San Miguel. It was wonderful and magical, but you paid a price. Then, there was little I wanted to eat. Yes, you could find some good food, but nothing really great. Basic items like Worcestershire sauce were scare or very expensive. Since I have lived here, a wide range of uniquely talented people of all ages from all over the world have been drawn to San Miguel. They have collaborated with local people to build a very special dining experience that brings people to SMA from almost everywhere.
Not wholly Mexico, not the U.S., not even a colony of expats, but a different place with new combinations of things from everywhere.
For example, a Frenchman who retired from his restaurant in his country recently came to San Miguel and opened a restaurant in his home. There also is a wonderful cook from America’s South who runs a restaurant in her home only on Sundays. People come to San Miguel to find a place where they can share their gifts exactly as they wish.
Is the old saying true that a meaningful chunk of our population came here to die but then got busy having fun and forgot why they came? For very good reasons, San Miguel has one of the largest expat populations in all of Mexico. People of all ages discover its joys and pleasures every day.
If you want to know more about San Miguel de Allende, visit this site’s Cities/San Miguel de Allende section for a complete city profile.
Next time I will tell you about the many new condo complexes available and being built in San Miguel.