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Guanajuato: A New Restaurant In Town

Guanajuato: A New Restaurant In Town

For the past three and a half years, I’ve been waiting for a restaurant to come along that would prove, once and for all, that Guanajuato, Mexico, does not lack fine cuisine. Guidebooks say Guanajuato does not have any good restaurants. Now, I can put a stop to this nonsense once and for all—I hope.

Frascati, conveniently located in Guanajuato’s El Jardin de Union, is a wonderful place for birthday celebration or for any special occasion. That’s why we were there—the wife’s birthday. The décor is modern Mexican with just a touch of tradition. There is an indoor waterfall over the stairs, which adds to the restaurant’s uniqueness. This restaurant will appeal to those accustomed to paying a little more for their meals to eat in a location with ambience. The dining room is on the second floor of Hotel San Diego and is accessible from the hotel’s lobby by stairs in the front or by the elevator at the back of the lobby. The premium tables overlook Guanajuato’s main and most popular plaza, El Jardin de Union, through large open doors that lead to the balcony.

Frascati is a prestigious restaurant chain in Mexico and serves an Italian menu of deliciously delightful choices. The manager of the Guanajuato facility, a graduate of Penn State University, seemed to be the only bilingual employee. The rest of the staff has been trained in basic English. They can describe the items on the menu and take your order, but that is about the extent of their English abilities. This is a new twist in Guanajuato. The manager told me that speaking English is not a requirement for employment.

Since all the window seats were taken, we sat across from the middle window. We still had a good view and were able to feel the lovely breeze that naturally cooled the dining area. Our orders of Lasagna and Cannelloni, taken by immaculately dressed and poised young Mexican waiters, came quickly. The bread served was not the usual bolillos—traditionally served in Guanajuato—but was fresh and satisfying.

The meal was the entrée and nothing else. This surprised us. At one of our favorite restaurants in Guanajuato, Casa Valadez, the meals come with succulent side dishes of rice and vegetables. This meal consisted of a sufficiently filling Italian dish and bread and nothing more. A salad would have cost us nearly as much as the entree.

Prices were high considering what you get for your money. In Casa Valadez, you get comparably tasting food and service equal to Frascati’s but more for your money. Valadez lacks the décor but what the heck when what you want is a good meal for a good price. The prices at Frascati’s make this establishment one for upper income bracket tourists or locals. However, it is great for a special occasion meal for the rest of us. Our lunch, with soft drinks, coffee and dessert, set us back about thirty dollars.

The most unique menu item at Frascati’s, worth a trip to this central Mexican town to sample, is their megalithic brownie and ice-cream dessert. It was a meal all by itself. I’m not making this up! Trust me when I tell you that it is worth whatever you have to do to get here and try it.