It took about one hour fifteen minutes to drive through the currently green and lush desert and reach our destination — the border crossing into Puerto Palomas, Mexico. Mexico has some of the most strict gun control laws anywhere on the planet (although you wouldn’t know that by the violence) . . . or perhaps you would since such laws only disarm the law-abiding). As such, you do not want to make the mistake of taking so much as a single bullet into Mexico. It’s a rather long and decidedly unpleasant stay if you do. Thus it was that I disarmed and placed my .45 SIG P220 Compact and space magazine in the trunk of the car and then triple checked my pockets and camera bag before we proceeded on foot across the border.
Before hitting Mexico you pass through the Mexico-U.S. Barrier which, in this area, is a series of huge, thick, rusty, solid-steel planks embedded in buried concrete. I posed Ursula beside the structure to give you an idea of its imposing presence as it divides the otherwise magnificent (but no longer “unspoiled”) beauty of the massive Chihuahuan Desert.
About two football field lengths past the Mexican Customs station you’ll find the famous Pink Store of Palomas — a shopping destination for everything from hand-painted designer items such as tiles and ceramic sinks to souvenirs of the more kitschy variety.
The Pink Store also has a very well-regarded dining establishment, although on this trip we were left decidedly unimpressed. The guacamole was uninspired (we made the mistake of failing to notice that you now have to request the inclusion of tomato and cilantro).
The enchilada and red sauce were also underwhelming — definitely nothing about which to write home.
The taco was rather tasty, although the shell seemed of the pre-made variety (inexcusable for a true Mexican restaurant). The bright spot, however, was the beef chimichanga (also available in chicken) — basically a crispy fried burrito. The rice was tasty, acceptably dry, and nicely flavored, and the frijoles (refried pinto beans) were not bad but a bit bland and tasteless.
The salsa was rather good and the chips were both fresh and crisp. Alas, the chili rellano was a tad on the greasy side, although otherwise a flavorful treat.
The dining experience here, however, is truly unique. They don’t call it the “Pink Store” just because of the exterior. It’s pink everywhere.
Pink positively surrounds you everywhere you look. Barbie would certainly feel at home in this establishment.
Once you’ve dined you’ll want to visit the store itself. You’ll either love it or hate it, but give it a chance for you’ll almost certainly find at least one item that you’ll love as you tour the aisles.
You may even find some interesting wall decorations, although to get the most out of your shopping you’ll have to mentally remove that brightly colored wall (some actually not even pink) on which this stuff is displayed.
Once you’ve perused the store, make your way out to the plaza on the back side of the Pink Store. There you’ll find some interesting picture opportunities, such as the one above commemorating a meeting between General John “Blackjack” Pershing and Francisco “Pancho” Villa (real name José Doroteo Arango Arámbula) before Villa’s attack on Columbus, New Mexico, made them deadly adversaries.
Fun Photo Friday will be a collection of favorite shots from both Palomas and the road trip getting there and back. See you then.