|A Mexico-phile from Way Back|
...a profile of food, wine & travel writer, Ed Schwartz
Ed Schwartz and his wife, Bambi, are Mexico-philes from way back, having visited Mexico over 40 times before buying a house in Sayulita in 2007. They spend about half the year in Sayulita and half at their home in Inverness, in West Marin, California.
Ed had a wine communications firm with top Napa Valley clients for years and also is a wine and spirits writer for many publications in the United States and Mexico. Now, he is refining his taste for tequila, working with local spirits expert Gabbi Villarrubia and Mark Alberto Holt, recently dubbed "The Ace of Agave", owner of the excellent, and soon-to-be-world famous SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita.
Ed and Bambi also collect various forms of Mexican art, including fine folk art, paintings and silver from the famous factory founded by William Spratling in Taxco in the 1930s. He has written extensively about Mexican silver and the great silversmiths of Taxco.
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| B E L O W T H E F O L D |
Our Wicked War with Mexico and its Repercussions
Living in Mexico half the year has motivated me to learn more about the history of the relationship between Mexico and the US. The current problems on the border further inspired my research. The book, 'A Wicked War: Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 Invasion of Mexico,' fit my interest perfectly.
Kilometer 5: Killer Views, Great Burgers ... and Pizza?
I had a pizza last night at Kilometer 5 in Higuera Blanca. It is a wonderful, funky spot with a killer view and more iterations of a pizza than one can imagine. In a nutshell, the pizza at Km 5 tastes pretty great, but the issue I have is that it isn't pizza. It is pizza-like. Let me explain.
Artist Jim Starkey Captures Sayulita's Vivid Spirit
When I first saw the artwork Jim Starkey proposed for this year's Pro Sayulita Fiesta poster, I was elated! 'Wow!' was my first impression. His colorful and energetic painting was unanimously chosen by the fiesta committee for its grand fund raising event on March 16th.
Ed Schwartz: 'I Stole a Book'
I stole a book. It was the only thing I ever stole in my life and it happened over 20 years ago. And I didn't steal this book lightly. I felt very guilty about it. Please don't condemn me as a thief until you read the reason why I had to commit this literary crime.
Rosa Mexicano - Dining That Delights All Senses
Recently, we had a thoroughly delightful dinner at Rosa Mexicano in Punta da Mita and it wasn't just the food, although the food alone would have been worth several visits. The view is unforgettable, the restaurant is romantic, and the service is warm and friendly.
Some Inexpensive Wines Surprise, Others Disappoint
Sayulita resident Ed Schwartz, who has been involved in many aspects of fine wine for 30 years and has worked with top wineries in California, Italy and France, gives us the results of a recent tasting of inexpensive wines that are all available at the Alas Blancas store in Sayulita, Mexico.
Enrique Flores Exhibition Coming to Colecktia Gallery
Enrique Flores, a prolific painter and lithographer, will have a one-man show of his work at Gallery Colectika in downtown Puerto Vallarta, with a public opening on Wednesday, March 18 from 6-10 pm, as part of the weekly Centro Historico ArtWalk.
Hoping to Lessen Obesity, Mexico to Impose a Fat Tax
For many years, the United States bore the heavy honor of being the most obese nation on the planet. However, according to a new United Nations study, this dubious distinction now belongs to Mexico. But if all goes according to plan, Mexico will soon impose a so called 'fat tax.'
Sayulita Artist Dianne Neuman Opens California Gallery
Arte de Sayulita owner Dianne Neuman has opened a fine arts gallery in Mendocino County, California. According to Neuman, who lives in Gualala and Sayulita, her new gallery will feature a wide array of artistic styles, ranging from representational works to pure abstraction.
Ed Schwartz: Just Horsing Around
As you likely know, if you read the New York Times, there is a dreadful scandal in the European Common Market. It's all about horse meat found in meatballs purchased at an Ikea store. Soon the various countries were crying 'foal' and pointing fingers at the guilty parties.
Sayulita Postcard: Saturday at the Beach
There generally isn't much hard news emanating from Sayulita, so one has to dig for feature stories. Like today. A quiet Saturday. We were at the beach on this fair day. Our youngest grand daughter, Stella, made the mistake of petting a rather large dog so the dog stuck around our chairs...
Sayulita Postcard: Writer's News & Views
Sayulita, the charming surfing and fishing village 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, has a lot going for it as a vacation destination. With a great beach, some very decent restaurants and, of course, great weather, this charming Mexican beach town has become a darling of travel writers.
Four Loko is a New Drink - and a Disturbing One at That
Four Loko, which hit the market a few years ago, tastes like soda, but it hits like a hammer, thanks to its 11% alcohol level. It also contains lot of sugar, caffeine, and two energy supplements that are causing the worst kind of drunkenness, especially among teen age kids.
Parking Tickets: Here and There
There are two kinds of parking tickets. The ones that the cops give out in San Francisco, California and the ones they give out in Sayulita, Mexico. In San Francisco, parking tickets are high priced and high tech. In Sayulita, in lieu of a ticket, they take your license plate away.
Sayulita Bird Watching - A Bit of Irony
Here in Sayulita, my wife wants to turn me into a bird watcher. To tell the truth, I don't care much about watching birds, but, I confess, I like taking photos of birds. The problem was at that distance it was hard for me to zoom in to get a really tight shot. Therein hangs a tale.
Mexican Glue Causes Sticky Problems
From the time I was about five years old, I have been building ship and airplane models. I learned several major points along the way, the most important being that the wrong glue can wreck your project - and finding the right one in Mexico can be difficult, at best...
A Trio of 'Bandas' in Sayulita Plaza
We went down to the Sayulita Plaza a couple of nights ago, where several 'bandas' were going at it. One banda playing is very exciting. Two bandas playing at the same time are a bit disturbing. But three bandas playing at the same time is mind blowing - and not just metaphorically.
Wine Express Even Drinks It For You
I am amazed at the proliferation of wine websites. And, because I am considered a wine writer by some and a wine buyer by others, I get several emails a day. No samples, but a lot of words. I have mixed feeling about all this virtual stuff. But, one can teach an old dog new tricks.
Two Sayulitans Win Honors in the World of Tequila
Sayulitans sure know their Tequila! Mark Alberto Holt's SFT Tequila Bar is rated one of the 'Top Tequila Bars in Mexico and Beyond' by Tequila.net and Gabbi Villarrubia's informative and entertaining website has just been voted one of the 'Top 10 Tequila Websites' by TasteTequila.com.
Signature Dishes in Sayulita
In my mind, or stomach, to be more precise, when I think of excellent restaurants, I think of notable dishes for which the restaurant is famous. And, there are several restaurants in Sayulita that make that list.
I Want a Job Naming Cars
Writing is a not a bad living. You get a little fame and you get a little pay and so it goes. No complaints. But, next time around, I want to go into a business where I get to name cars. I will make a lot of money. I'll submit a lot of really stupid car names and someone will pay me big bucks.
To Surf, or Not to Surf, That is The Question
And here is the answer: don’t. Not when the waves are like the ones that have been pounding the beach at Sayulita the last few days. For the past three days I have seen huge waves, undertows, a big trough near the beach and rocks strewn all over the shoreline.
Wake Up and Smell The Plastic - It’s Time To Stop Burning Garbage
Something I didn’t realize when we bought a house in Sayulita; that burning garbage is some kind of rite (or right). Or, maybe it’s just a hobby. Now that we have garbage collection, you'd think this burning basura business might have stopped, but, no, it seems to have become worse...
Food For Sport - If You Have The Stomach For It
With all the attention focused on the Super Bowl, it is easy to overlook a 'sporting event' that will take place on July 4 at Coney Island. The event is called: The International Federation Of Competitive Eating - Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
Ortega Show at Corazon Gallery Fine Folk Art in San Pancho Jan 30
Corazón, San Pancho’s fine folk art gallery, will present a special, one-night only showing of the works of the famous Ortega family, with a wine and cheese reception for Gerardo Ortega, present head of the family, from 6 pm to 8 pm, Saturday, January 30th.
A Fine Day at Los Muertos Beach in Sayulita
Natural beaches, lush jungles and a taste of rural Mexico draw people to the picturesque fishing village of Sayulita, Nayarit. Ed Schwartz tells us about a wonderful day he spent at Los Muertos Beach, a beautiful spot that's a world away from nearby Puerto Vallarta and its huge resorts.
Wine Tasting to be an Olympic Event
Scoff, if you wish, but if two Yoga experts in Los Angeles (of course) have their way, Yoga soon will be an Olympic event. If so, I think we should start right now to agitate for wine as well. More people drink wine than do Yoga, so what is fair, is fair.
The Best Soups Du Jours in Nayarit
Today, I, sing a song of soup; two songs, in fact. The two soups were two of the best I’ve ever slurped in my entire life and that goes back a looooong way. The first soup was the fish soup at El Coral in Punta de Mita and the second was the corn chowder at Sandrina's in Bucerias.
Sounding Off: Restaurant Gripes
By way of introducing the topic, I am an ardent restaurant lover. Some of the best times in my life have been dining out in dining places all over the world — about 5000 dinners and counting. Diners, waiters and restaurant owners, please take note of my top ten gripes about restaurants...
San Pancho's Galeria Corazon is Moving to New Location
Galeria Corazon owners Judi and John Levens have teamed up with Judith Anderson's Galeria Serendipidty to share a new space at the corner of Avenida Tercer Mundo and Calle Cuba, one block from the beach in San Pancho. A formal opening and reception will take place at 6 pm on December 20.
Soused of the Border
I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy task and it wasn’t. I had some basic directions, but it was at night and I was in a new town and might get lost. The thought kept coming back to me — what will I do when I get there? Will I blow it and come back empty handed?
Finally - A High End Vodka Taste Off
This wasn’t easy — especially for a wine writer — I decided to do a taste off of 10 well known vodkas. I slightly chilled all of the bottles and tested each brand blind so as not to be swayed by the bottle, the name, or its advertising.
After 40 Years in Wine Here is All I Know
I had my first glass of wine when I was six. It was at my Grandfather’s Passover Seder and I fell asleep. That was wine for me until, at age 24, I began working for the 21 Club. Now, after all these years, I can distill all I know about wine into one tidy feature and share it with you.
SFT Tequila Bar Re-Opens October 5th in Very High Spirits
Those who love tequila will be happy to note that the SFT Tequila Bar in Sayulita, Mexico will re-open for the season on October 5th - and owner Mark Alberto Holt has lots planned - from special events, special tastings and celebrations to new and tasty brands.
Tequila - The Town and The Tastes
Tequila lover Ed Schwartz can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about Tequila. Read on to learn what it is - and isn't, how it's made, some of the best brands to try, and where you can taste 220 tempting tequilas right here in the Banderas Bay area.