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Author: Subject: La Fonda Restaurant in Tecate
John M
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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 10:37 AM
La Fonda Restaurant in Tecate


We've recently completed reading the four short story books by Daniel Reveles about life and living in Tecate. These stories are set from the late 1980s to as late as 2008. In many of the stories Reveles spends time in a restaurant by the name of La Fonda. From the way the stories go, this place is pretty near the plaza. Searching today for La Fonda sure enough brings up a La Fonda in Tecate but it seems way too far west and away from the "downtown" plaza area.

Most of the places mentioned in his books are not made up as far as we can tell, so - Reveles's La Fonda may be long gone, renamed, or...??

Any Tecate-ites have some ideas?





Reveles books:

Salsa & Chips;
Enchiladas, Rice, and Beans;
Tequila, Lemon, and Salt;
Guacamole Dip

John & Barb M

[Edited on 7-29-2020 by John M]
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David K
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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 11:05 AM


Wonderful post, John!

FYI: I have a supply of Daniel Reveles' Guacamole Dip book at below wholesale, at www.oldmissions.com or free if you come to my home.
They were given to me by Harry Crosby after Sunbelt dropped off cases of various Baja books at his home.



[Edited on 7-29-2020 by David K]




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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 01:55 PM


Quote: Originally posted by John M  
...From the way the stories go, this place is pretty near the plaza. Searching today for La Fonda sure enough brings up a La Fonda in Tecate but it seems way too far west and away from the "downtown" plaza area...

Any Tecate-ites have some ideas?





Reveles books:

Salsa & Chips;
Enchiladas, Rice, and Beans;

Tequila, Lemon, and Salt: This cover shows the oldest bar in town: "Bar Turistico Diana", the palm trees in the background still stand up and tall behind the bar, of course the bar is nothing like it was back in the day but its still runned by the same Mateus family, the fountain shown with the image of "Diana La Cazadora" (I guess this is where the bar's name comes from) used to be behind the bar in a small plaza but the image was stolen many years ago

Guacamole Dip: The cover on this book depicts the kiosk at the main Plaza in downtown Tecate, this was "the" gathering place for local families in Tecate during the summer fiestas (dance, food, beer and mariachis everywhere) back before the 70's

John & Barb M

[Edited on 7-29-2020 by John M]


Regarding the "La Fonda" restaurant, it may be "La Fogata" which was located on Avenida Juarez at the west end of Tecate, a block east of Hotel "El Dorado". "La Fogata was runned by Don Amador and his family; "La Fonda" could also may be the "La Fuente Drive-In" managed by the Valencia family across the street from the main plaza where "Banorte" stands today, this was the meeting place for anyone and everyone in town... fun time, fun beer and fun food...:bounce:

The "La Fonda de Simon" is a rather "new" restaurant, this area of town wasn't developed back in the early 80's, development started in the 90's, back in the day this was Rancho Gonzalez.

Seems like there was a "Fonda Lety" back in the mid 90's just next to "La Fuente Drive-In"

[Edited on 7-29-2020 by carlosg]




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paranewbi
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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 03:44 PM


I've known Daniel for over 20 years. My wife and I have shared many 'beverages' with Daniel over those years and unfortunately all of that imbibing has taken it's toll on the old man.

Daniel was a writer for the tv show 'Fantasy Island' and started drinking with Ricardo Montalban back in the heyday of that series. We spent fun times at Daniels hacienda (actually a hacienda) outside of Tecate barbecuing at a secluded part of his land set up for just that type of setting. Most of the time, Mario, the bartender at the Diana from the 80's and up to about 2008 was the cook.

Daniel had a collection of 32mm film of Fantasy Island stored in one room of his home as well as a horse drawn carriage that was nearly 100 years old. It carried his daughter to her marriage on Daniel's property the last time it was horse drawn.

Daniel struggle with writing books and often painted in another room at the hacienda. If you read of 'The Onion Man' in his book, the painting he did of the 'Onion Man' hangs in my living room...a gift given to us when Daniel toasted us at our wedding behind the Diana where 70 of our friends were joined by most of the city officials at the time to see us married in Mexico. This after being married in the Us the morning of the same day.

Daniel never gave exact locations for his named establishments other than the Diana where he mentions Mario in one of his writings. One time when I asked him of the much mentioned La Fonda, with a sparkle in his eyes he said, "When you stand at the fountain as you look to your home, a bird might land to your right from where you face". I took this to point toward D'Arce's which is across the street from the fountain and to the right. It would place a storied subject within his site from the Zocalo bench where he often dreamed up his blend of 'Mexico Spirituality meets the physical world'.

Daniel sold his hacienda several years ago and moved closer to town. The frequency of our times together diminished as his mental wellness faded. He didn't look very well the last time we saw him and although it has been several months since we have been to Tecate, the last time I asked he was still alive.

Abraham works the night shift at Diana's and is probably the best provider of information concerning Daniel's health if you should ever stop in. Carlos Mateus owns the Diana, but suffered a stroke a few years ago and has suffered more over the years from the hit. Two of his son's (who stood as witnesses at our wedding) now run the Diana and one tends bar at times. He would also know of Daniels position in life today.

About a year ago we found the 'Onion Man' positioned on the sidewalk at the foot of the steps into the Catholic Church you see when entering Tecate. Daniel did a good job of his painted rendition.



[Edited on 7-29-2020 by paranewbi]
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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 03:52 PM


As a side note... "the fountain shown with the image of "Diana La Cazadora" (I guess this is where the bar's name comes from) used to be behind the bar in a small plaza but the image was stolen many years ago"

Was replaced through a donation of the local Tecate Brewery who had a copy made for Carlos. It stands now in the center of the fountain once again.
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David K
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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 04:12 PM


What a great story, Paranewbi!

It was a pleasure to meet Daniel at the 2005 Pyramid Resort book signing.
A funny side note, his ride vanished and he had no way to get back to Tecate so Elizabeth and I volunteered. Before the event ended, however, someone who was going to Tecate took him... Kind of sorry that happened!



Daniel signing his book to me.



Daniel, Elizabeth (Baja Angel), and I.




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[*] posted on 7-29-2020 at 05:48 PM
Vaya Con Dios Daniel Reveles


With Paranewbi's heartfelt story, we had to look further.

It is our unpleasant task to post the following



John & Barbara M
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[*] posted on 7-30-2020 at 05:08 AM


John, is the number stamp at the top a dating system? What is the date of his passing that is being memorialized?

I was married at the Bar Diana in 2005 and David sat with him in 2005. It is possible that the last time I saw Daniel was in 2018 or possibly 2019...although I don't pay much attention to dating since I retired in 2014.

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[*] posted on 7-30-2020 at 05:16 AM


On further searching... it was in 2019 that he passed. My wife recollects that we saw him in early 2019 since we usually visit in our friends more often in the winter/spring cycle. It was then that we took note of Daniel's slide when he hobbled into the Diana and stared at us as he downed his drink and started for the door. I called out to him and he returned (seemingly act as if he new us) and exclaimed, "Your the people who got married here".

We knew then that Daniel's drinking/age had caught up with him.

We haven't been back to the Diana since then as Carlo's has lapsed with his stroke and the place has new younger staff.
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[*] posted on 7-30-2020 at 06:17 AM


Wedding Day at Bar Diana



Tecate Judge who married us, Carlos Mateus (owner Diana) Wife and I, Carlos' son George (witness), Mario (Bar Tender, friend, witness)



Carlos and Daniel



[Edited on 7-30-2020 by BajaNomad]
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David K
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[*] posted on 7-30-2020 at 07:20 AM


Nice photos.
Thanks for sharing them!

[Edited on 7-30-2020 by David K]




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[*] posted on 7-30-2020 at 10:18 AM


Onion man hangs in our home





[Edited on 7-30-2020 by BajaNomad]
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[*] posted on 8-5-2020 at 04:11 PM


DavidK, don't mean to boast, but I was the lucky one who drove him home from the 2005 Pyramid Resort book signing. We had a wonderful conversation (he was very insightful and full of information) on the drive. Once in Tecate, we stopped at Bar Diana for a drink before getting him home. It's a great memory.

Sorry to hear of his passing. RIP.

[Edited on 8-5-2020 by MexicoTed]




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David K
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[*] posted on 8-5-2020 at 05:15 PM


Ah, so it was you!!! Great... What a treat that was!

Here you are or were, in 2005 at the Pyramid Resort (great shirt):







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MexicoTed
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[*] posted on 8-5-2020 at 08:11 PM


That was a fun event. And it was a great shirt! Baja Talk Radio! I'm now a part of Slow Baja podcast with Michael Emery.



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David K
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[*] posted on 8-6-2020 at 06:33 AM


Quote: Originally posted by MexicoTed  
That was a fun event. And it was a great shirt! Baja Talk Radio! I'm now a part of Slow Baja podcast with Michael Emery.


Still have mine! In 2019 at the Visita de San Pablo, with Cameron Steele...







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