Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
We went to Guanajuato,
Mexico on this trip specifically to try the different cuisines in the city.
Some of the little
avant-garde restaurants and rooftop bars that we had wanted to visit had closed,
but there was still no shortage from which to choose.
Casa Valadez was a stone's
throw from our hotel in the heart of the city. In business for over 70 years,
this restaurant had been nominated as one of the 50 best restaurants in Mexico,
and Trip Advisor gave it an excellent rating for "Flavors with Passion."
We thought we would give it
Entrance to Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez borders Union Square and the
famous Teatro of Guanajuato. It was easy to find.
Upon entering the restaurant, we had a bit of
a wrinkly start.
We wiped our feet on some shoe cleaner at the
doorway, and the maitre d' took our temperatures. After squirting gel into our
hands he took us to our table. That's when we found out there were no paper
We have gotten used to this, but Casa Valadez'
online QR menu was difficult to navigate. It easily took the three of us a full
7 minutes or more to find out what was being offered, and our tech engineer
friend who joined us for lunch had no better luck!
We figured that this restaurant - even with
all their history - wasn't ready for prime time.
Beautiful traditional dining room
Casa Valadez had a beautiful traditional
dining room with wallpaper, recessed ovals on the ceiling and chandeliers
As we were negotiating the QR code menu, our
waiter came up to ask what we might like to drink with our meal. Our companion
ordered a beer, and Billy wanted a glass of wine.
Except this restaurant didn't serve wine by
Full bottles were offered but Billy wanted a
glass or two and I didn't want any. So he had the choice of ordering an
expensive bottle and taking it home... or settling for beer or having water or a
soda with his seafood lunch.
When was the last time you went to a
restaurant and couldn't purchase a glass or half-liter of wine with your meal?
Even a cheapie House option.
Our feathers were getting ruffled and truly,
this is not how we wanted to begin our meal.
Various fresh breads and dips
As I mentioned we were still trying to
navigate the online menu. Each of us had a cell phone, and one of us would get
the appetizers (!! progress !!) and another one would get seafood plates.
Even when we were able to read the menu, it
would simply say: Salmon Lucas or Vacio Steak.
So does it come with grilled vegetables?
French fries? A small salad? A side of pasta?
Meanwhile, this lovely plate of fresh breads
with various dips was brought to our table.
Once we dug into the bread, we felt committed
to eat lunch here... but our frustrations were mounting.
Looking towards the entrance
The place was filling up with happy friends
and families. Maybe everyone already knew the menu. Some people had ordered
verbally, not referring to their cell phones, so it's possible that these were
long standing customers who knew Casa Valadez' specialties.
Meanwhile we and our techie friend were
making slow progress just trying to find something listed to eat.
Twice we lost the menu all together and had
to start over with taking the photo of the QR code and start at the beginning.
Then, we just took the attitude of "I'll have
the steak. Yeah, and I'll have the salmon."
However it came is how we would eat it.
Billy and I chose two different names of
salmon so we could try the flavors of each.
Salmon Lucas Aleman
The waiter took our orders and he asked us
all how we would like our main course to be prepared.
That made sense to us with the steak, but the
waiter recommended that we order our salmons "medium" so we did.
My plate was beautifully displayed in an
artistic manner on a plate made of black slate. This plate must have weighed 5
or 6 pounds!
My salmon was prepared perfectly.
There was a unique carrot sauce on the side
which was delicious. The “raspberry mayonnaise” was really just pink mayonnaise.
This extra dab of flavor and color could have been a knockout, but it wasn't
nearly as exceptional as it pretended to be.
Here you can see the same
black slate plate that our meals were served on. Billy's Siciliano Salmon was on
a bed of roasted vegetables with drizzled balsamic vinegar surrounding it.
Curiously, "vacio" means empty.
Different from flank steak, the vacio is a
cow's tummy muscle. Tender and flavorful, in Argentina, it's a favorite cut of
We see vacio steak listed in Mexico at beef
houses and traditional restaurants.
Chocolate dessert with strawberries
We ordered a chocolate display piece for
dessert, promising chocolate in 3 different presentations - Mousse, ganache, and
a type of hazelnut cake in chocolate.
While this chocolate plate was good, we
didn't get the cake, the hazelnut nor the mousse.
We were a little confused.
Apple strudel, vanilla ice cream, fresh
fruit, strawberry sauce
Our companion ordered apple strudel with
vanilla ice cream and this delicious presentation arrived.
Strawberry sauce, white chocolate and fresh
Our bill for 3 people
Our bill came to 1,505Pesos which is about
$75USD. This was before our tip.
Would we return?
I figured I might return,
but Billy was too bent by the experience and said he wouldn’t.
Seriously, there were
tastier and better priced restaurant options in town which would supersede this
Garden of the Union 3
Downtown, 36000 Guanajuato,
Reservations: call call 01
473 732 0311
Open Breakfast, Lunch and
For more stories and
photos of Mexico,
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha