Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 Aug 21 - Alebrijes

2012 Aug 21 - Alebrijes Mexican Bistro  
Lodi, CA

Today there are five (5) of Gobo's Lunch Bunch eating in Lodi, CA.  Miles, Ken and I will share one table while Elsa and Ora will discuss their upcoming 50 Year High School Class Reunion of Lodi High School Class of 1962.
The entrance at 10 W. Oak Street is just a block from the center of downtown Lodi.

This is the Tequila Bar at the front of the kitchen.

Another view of the bar

Ora and Elsa

Reuben, the owner/chef with the ingredients for fresh guacamole

Here he is making it up right at your table.

Miles and me tasting the finished product.

Miles taking a dip.

The girls decided to both order Chimichangas (this is as bad as last time at Brenda's French Soul Food where the girls both ordered the same thing).
Elsa getting ready to cut hers for a photo.

At least they ordered a steak -

And a chicken chimichanga.


The guys were a bit more adventuresome.
Miles has the Gaviotas Yucatecas -
Flour tortilla enchiladas filled with prawns sautéed with garlic, tomatoes and onion, then topped green sauce and jack cheese.

I have the Tapado de pato con Mole Negro Oaxaqueño -
Tender, slightly pink duck served with our Mole Negro Oaxaqueño

Ken has the Costillas de cordero con salsa de tamarindo y pico de Gallo de Manzana -
Lamb chops with Tamarind chipotle glaze and green apple pico de gallo

We are also given a house salad for Ken and me.

This is the aftermath of the guy's table.

All of the food was excellent.  My usual Mexican restaurants I can get the normal stuff for between $8 to $12 for a meal.  At Alebrijes expect to pay twice that since the menu includes selected Regional dishes from Mexico as well as some specialties like the lamb and duck dishes.  But the food is well worth the cost and is a bargain in my opinion.

Here is a link to their menu - the prices have increased a bit since the web site was last updated:
      Alebrijes Menu

There is even a menu section for Vegetarian/Vegan Menu – CHIP® Certified Program.

The last photo.
There is also outdoor seating when the weather cools down a bit more or for the evenings.


The Alebrijes are imaginary creatures that have elements from different animals such as dragon bodies, bat wings, wolf teeth and dog eyes. Colorfully painted, they were originally made with papier mache but can also be found carved in wood.


The Alebrije was created by Pedro Linares Lopez in the 1930's. Pedro was a cartonero (papier mache crafter) from La Merced a popular barrio in Mexico City, he made a living by doing pinatas and judas like his father did before him.
The story says that while very ill Pedro had a feverish dream where he saw mythical creatures and heard them say the name alebrije. After that Pedro began to represent in papier mache the strange creatures he had dreamed of.
A far more reliable version explains that Linares was appointed by painter Jose Antonio Gomez Rosas aka El Hotentote to make some "alebrijes" to decorate the annual masquerade party in the Academia de San Carlos. The painter was in charge of the decoration of that event and many others in the art academy. Linares asked Gomez Rosas how to make such things, to which he replied "just grab a judas and give him a tail and bat wings". In Gomez Rosas paintings there were often zoomorphic and fantastic figures that combine reptile, bird, insect and mammal parts as well as different eras and painting styles.

Pedro Linares' work sold locally for many years counting customers like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, until 1975 when a documentary film made by Judith Bronowski made him internationally famous.In 1990 he received the National Prize for Popular Arts and Traditions. Linares passed away in 1992.

Making Process

The alebrije has a reed or wire structure that is covered with several layers of papier mache and then painted with bold colors. Today Linares progeny makes the now iconic alebrije figurines in the same barrio in Mexico City and artists all around the country craft these fierce creatures in different materials.

The Oaxacan Alebrije

Some wood carvers from Oaxaca adopted Linares' creatures and successfully created the wooden alebrije figurines from Oaxaca. Although some people called the whole style alebrijes de Oaxaca this is a misname, Alebrije name should only refer to the mythical creatures created by Linares.


No comments:

Post a Comment