2012 Roadtrip: Our Three Days in Torreón

The Homewood Suites by Hilton in Torreón (Calzuda Jose Vasconcelos No. 1935, Torreón, Coahuila 27272, tel. (871)222-5800, e-mail: telesforo.ferandez@hilton.com, web: www.torreon.homewoodsuites.com) is new and we had a two-room suite with a large bedroom, bathroom and shower room, as well as a kitchen, table and chairs and living room. Our view was of the swimming pool area and the mountains beyond. We loved this hotel and decided to stay 3 nights. It cost M$1222 (US$88) per day for suite #312 and we were ecstactic.
The living room of our one bedroom apartment at Homewood Suites by Hilton in Torreón
The General Manager, Telesforo Ferandez, welcomed us and was very visible during our stay. We appreciate that very much. A buffet breakfast was included in our US$88 per day room rate. It was good. We only had 2 complaints about the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Torreón and they should be easily correctable. The hotel does not provide any drinkable water for free in the room. (You ask: "What can you expect for an US$88 per day room rate?") In the room was a large bottle of water that was clearly labeled with the price. Audre really hates having to buy bottled water throughout the world. If she were World Emperor, all water out of faucets would be potable. But in hotels, typically, there is at least one bottle of water for free to start a guest off. Not in the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Torreón.

The second thing that was terrible in the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Torreón was that the gym/fitness room was 27° C (that's 80° F). We asked for it to be cooler and we know that the technician was working on it. But when Dimitri and Audre used it, it was hot as hell in there.

We parked our car in the hotel's garage (included in the US$88 per day room rate) and took taxis everywhere. This was our first big Mexican city since we stayed in Chihuahua and it took a little getting used to. Audre doesn't remember where we had dinner on our first night. Her only note was it was called "something" and its address was Raul Lopez Sanchez No. 888, Torréon, Coahuila. We spent M$351 at "something" for a un-memorable dinner.

After breakfast and using the good Internet in our apartment, we went into Torréon to be tourists in the hotel van (included in the US$88 per day room rate). We asked to be taken to the restored Casa del Cerro (House on the Hill), Calz. Industrial, tel. 716-5072). This seemed like the best tourist attraction for our tastes. Our van driver didn't want us to go that part of town but we insisted. It was not unsafe, it just wasn't the Plaza de Armas or in the central part of town. The house itself was only mildly interesting. The part of town turned out to be very interesting to us because it was near the Central Market, one of favorite places to go in each town we visit.
The Central Market in Torréon
At the hotel in Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon) the bellman broke the strap on one of our Chinese Frugality Chic tote bags. We were able to replace that bag (which carries our food) at the Central Market in Torréon for M$50.

We walked everywhere in Torréon and Dimitri was able to get a shoeshine for M$14, about US$1!
Dimitri getting a shoeshine in Torréon
 In Torréon, we first saw the Federal Police showing all and sundry who was boss. Pick up trucks with 6 guys in the back truck bed, dressed in full riot gear and carrying machine guns roamed the roads of the town. Dimitri said it made him feel safe. Audre hoped not to be caught in any cross-fire.

We did chores in Torréon too. Our car was outrageously dirty from our back road driving in Copper Canyon and in Canyon de Sinforoso. We had it completely cleaned in and out for M$120--under US$10 at the then exchange rate. We also did a laundry in the facilities of the Homewood Suites. We had lunch in Torréon at Restaurant Martins Hidalgo (Av. Hidalgo #70, Col. Centro, Torréon, Coahuila, C.P. 27000, tel. 716-3003, e-mail: hidalgo@martins.com.mx). This restaurant was listed in Lonely Planet Mexico guidebook. There was a 50% discount for ladies’ lunches that day. Audre had one ensalada mixta M$72, less 50% = M$36 with extra avocado (aguacate). Dimitri had the pescado light for M$132 and we had one café mexicano M$15 and one coffee ice cream made at the restaurant M$28. It was all good enough we spent M$231 and ate too much.

On our next night we went to dinner at Il Monasterio di San Francisco, Calle Felciano Cobian No 500, Col. Nova los Angeles, Torréon, Coahuila, Mexico. It was a nice space with separate rooms. We chose a room where the air conditioning was not too freezing. We were the only ones sitting inside. First we were brought pan pizza that was sprinkled with rosemary and served with three sauces for dipping. One sauce was a chimichuri, one was oil with spicy chiles and the last one was typical a spicy salsa. We ordered a lot of food to share. We had one entrada, one pasta, and one main. We were brought a basket of 3 kinds of bread: more pan pizza, foccacia and pan de queso. All were good. For our entrada we had “Funghi al aglio, champiñones frescos, salteados en ajo y aceite de olive extra virgin” (M$83). It was good. For our pasta we had “Spaghetti Fruiti di mare, elaborado con tinta de sepia en salsa de tomate y mariscos al vino blanco” (M$148). It was very good but we ate very little of it. Our main was “Salmone al cartoccio, salmon empapelado con camarones y vegetales al horno de leno (M$148). We had 2 glasses of Errazuriz Reserva Carmenere from Chile (M$75), one of our favorites. We had a very nice meal and ate too much by far.

Our next night's dinner was at La Alhambra, Blvd. Independencia 1798, #1798 Ote y Paseo de la Rosita 903-2, Torréon, Coahuila, tel. 871-722-2045. The meal was great success.On the table was olive oil and what they called “satra” and pita chips. We know it as Zahatar.

We ordered a Plato Libanes M$140 that was an enormous amount of food. On it were
Kibe charolla that was cooked and delicious; Kipe crudo (kibe nayeh, raw fresh meat with wheat, onions, herbs and spices (minced onions, green pepper, olive oil and pita on the side);
Hojas de parra (war a arish) stuffed grape leaves; Fatayer a pastry filled with ground meat and spicesHummos called garbonzo; Hojas de repollo which was stuffed cabbage (megshe malful)
Jocoque seco cream cheese and yogurt combination; Ensalada libanese; and Tabouleh which was like tabuli.

It was an amazing meal of Arabic-like food. We were in need of a change and it was good. For dessert we had 2 desserts (so we would really be stuffed) one baklava (called graibe for M$25) and one white cookie (M$25). We recommend that you try this restaurant.

And the next day we were off to Zacatecas.

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