Savoring Sunday Evening in Skippack, at La Villa Mexican Grille
Hold tight. I am about to commit what is surely a great sin for a man who calls himself the Skippack Blogger. It is a day before August First Friday and I am not going to write about First Fridays.
Instead, I will write about the Sunday after First Friday. I miss my mark by only two days.
Waking Up in the Garden of Eden
Savoring the summer weekend in Skippack Village is akin to taking an afternoon nap and waking up to an evening stroll in the Garden of Eden. The days are long, the rest I take is deep, and precious is the opportunity to linger in town and enjoy a glass of wine and a conversation with a shop owner or neighbor as the sun leisurely sets on Skippack Pike.
These precious weekends, however, make the transition to the work week more difficult. The contrast is startling, even brutal. Going from the quiet leisure of Sunday evening to the harsh aggravation of Monday morning tasks and deadlines is like reliving, again and again, the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
The Good Book tells us that when our forefather Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden, he learned he would now have to work for a living. “By the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground.” One wonders if, when he heard that decree, Adam experienced a vision of his modern descendant waking up on Monday morning, driving to a corporate cubicle with beige fabric walls, and hacking away relentlessly at a computer keyboard.
Gaining Mental Clarity with a Margarita
That is why savoring Sunday evenings in Skippack is so important. It is a time to prepare myself mentally for the work week ahead. Last Sunday, for example, Debby and I took a stroll up our main street to La Villa Mexican Grille, to enjoy some margaritas, free to all the restaurant’s customers, and the company of executive chef and owner Rene Zepeda.
Sitting under the covered porch at La Villa, I look out to the gravel field where the Farmer’s Market of Skippack takes place each Sunday morning. Across the way is the Italian market. All is green and lush. Old Man Sun turns down his lamplight. The sky changes shades, from an illuminating brightness to an elegant gray.
Rene Zepeda is eager to extend the hospitality offered to Debby and myself to the readers of I Love Skippack. “When people think of Mexican food, they often think it’s like Tex Mex. Tex Mex uses a lot of tomatoes, sour cream, lettuce. But Mexican food is totally different. The food in Mexico is very natural, all fresh ingredients, fresh vegetables, and fresh meat.
“At La Villa, people will find something, more delicate, more sophisticated. If you want, you can call it fusion,” continues Rene. “It’s the way we eat in Mexico, very traditional.”
Popular dishes include:
- ceviche — seafood marinated with peppers, onions, avocado, lime juice and cilantro
- enchiladas — corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and covered with mole sauce
- chiles rellenos — poblano peppers stuffed with cheese and boneless short ribs served with a tomato sauce
- flank steak.
Talking about the dishes at La Villa and their vegetable ingredients strengthens the feeling I am enveloped in a rich, verdant garden. However, more than anything, it is Rene’s calm and centered personality, and his easy conversation, which creates for Debby and myself an evening of peace and contentment.
New Skippack Event: Second Sundays
Sitting in the shade of the La Villa porch, sipping my margarita, I am thinking of declaring a new Skippack event. Instead of First Fridays, my event will be called Second Sundays. People will be encouraged to visit our many wonderful outdoor dining and drinking spots. In addition to La Villa, there is Basta Pasta, the Cabana Bar, Mal’s American Diner, the Parc Bistro, and Justin’s Carriage House. And instead of showcasing local musical acts or the works of artists and craftspeople, we will showcase the magnificence of the setting sun.
What was the most important lesson I learned from this experience? How to make guacamole. Watch the video below.