There was an unsettling emptiness to the night. Really very little sound except the palms blowing. It's a rare thing staring into a foreign land, certainly when that land is forbidden in parts. Gone are the folks crossing over in droves for an evening in old Mexico. Downtowns are dead or dying...
So the next day, incapable of fetching lunch across the international bridge, we stopped into a recommended spot just off the square called El Meson de San Agustin. On first pass we didn't notice the restaurant... and we were actually looking for it. Second pass, same thing. No sign, low-slung building, and not actually at the address as advertised.
At last we entered through a cloudy shuttered door and into a full house and all trepidation fell by the wayside. Outside it was hot, convection oven hot, wind swirling the 104-degree afternoon, and on a day like this I was grateful that El Meson takes the time to make its own Jamaica - 32oz hibiscus tea with high ice and sweetened within an inch of being labeled Kool-Aid.
For eats I had the Carne de Puerco en Chile Rojo, which was essentially carne guisada with pork not beef. It was fatty, and tender, and stewed in guajillo chiles and tomatillos and spices and perfect when nestled inside a thin flour tortilla with a little lime and a little salt; quite suddenly we didn't need to be in Mexico... though it'll sure be nice to go back when we can.
EL MESON DE SAN AGUSTIN
908 Grant Street
Laredo, TX 78040