Where to Eat and Drink -- and Buy Cowboy Boots -- in Hermosillo, Sonora (Part 2)
Minerva Orduno Rincon Views from inside the Mercado Municipal and Gallina Pinta.
The problem with traveling to eat is that by 11 a.m., with terrible coffee, pastries, tortillas and seafood in my stomach, I was full to the point of wanting nothing more than a nap in an air-conditioned room. You know that sun that spreads out throughout the Valley of the Sun? That same sun focuses all its skin-searing intensity on the City of the Sun, as Hermosillo is known. Hermosillo is also known as the birthplace of Minervaland -- and I visited last month for the first time in many years.
The only thing to get me past feeling hot, full, and sluggish was the need to do some shopping and score that perfect pair of cowboy boots. Time to shop and, yes, eat.
Northern Mexicans, Norteños, really like a few things: carne asada, giant flour tortillas, and cowboy boots -- well-polished, thick-heeled, pointy-toed, stomping-on-the-sidewalk cowboy boots. If you have a few days and a specific boot design in mind, Botas Old West will be your best bet. With an in-house factory (although there are many in town), this shop can outfit you and your fit with a boot in almost any animal leather, any toe design, and any embroidery pattern and color you wish. If custom is not for you, as it wasn't for me, browse the huge selection, with basic boots starting around MEX$900 ($75), but most are priced around MEX$2,000 ($165). Sadly I didn't find my dream boots in this shop, so I headed to the shopping corridor in the center of Hermosillo, concentrated in a few blocks of Calle Mariano Matamoros. But not without a root beer stop first.
Root beer is not available bottled in Mexico, and though many Mexicans do not actually like root beer, comparing it to the taste of soap, Hermosillo is studded with stands with a walk-up bar and barstools, selling cold refreshing root beer. When I was a kid, this was creamy draught root beer served in frosty glass mugs, and thinking back, trips to these root beer shacks may explain my love for beers of the stout variety. Sadly, it is now your garden variety root beer in Styrofoam cups, but it is still refreshing.
And now it was time to hit Matamoros. The stretch between Boulevard Luis Encinas Johnson and its end at Aquiles Serdán is densely packed with traffic and crowds, as well as clothing and shoe shops, a few electronics, music, and book shops, and the occasional ice cream and snack bars mixed in. Actually, a lot of snack shops packed in at the walk 30 feet and pick up a new snack pace. Only in Mexico can I imagine there being a quick-service sushi roll place with both a sidewalk outpost and a motorcycle delivery guy.