Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Marea at Selina/Poc Na -Isla Mujeres 2023 Restaurant Features


We were on the island for Superbowl Sunday in 2023 and with exception of Jax and Snappers, you wouldn’t have known it on the island. I hadn’t planned ahead and both the spots above were sold out. We tried getting a channel on the little TV in our room. Oh no! We didn’t have a place to watch the Superbowl.

The pre-game had commenced and so we decided to console ourselves with a walk to visit our Mexican family at Hortencia’s. On the way home, we decided to poke around at the renovated Poc Na at the end of that street. We made note of many things. One was that Poc Na seems to have partnered with the Selina brand. Our son who went to Costa Rica the previous year, stayed in a Selina surfing hostel. He loved the vibe and had many great things to say. It appeared to us that the Isla Mujure’s Selina property catered to snorkelers and scuba divers.

We were impressed that there was a fabulous work share centre where you could work remotely in a bright and relaxing space. We also noticed A-framed huts that we understand are for travelers who want a bit more privacy than “hostel” living typically provides. I did check out Selina’s website to see that they DID have private bedrooms with en suites. They also had a communal kitchen, which we would also make full use off. We were so excited about the facility and hope to learn more before our 2024 trip to the island!

What I was most impressed with was that they maintained much of the natural beauty of their picturesque location. The sand and palm trees and glimpses of the turquoise sea are as I remember them. The beautiful pool is surrounded with luxurious hammocks, day beds and lounge chairs. I could imagine D and I curled up for a day of reading, relaxing and visiting the other fascinating hostellers. See their website for more pics of their glorious location. Mine here, do not do the property justice.

But here’s the best part-in their restaurant called Marea Isla Beach Club (see their Facebook Page), they had a big screen TV showing the pre-game of the Superbowl! We didn’t have to jostle for clear sight lines to the screen. In fact, even though the place would be hopping by the end of the game, we had our pick of tables to nestle in, and that we did.

As it was still early, we started with a refreshing mojito and a couple of appetizers.

This exquisite creation was their Baba Ganoush. Hey wait….aren’t we dining at a hostel? We could not believe the presentation and the savoury taste! I was especially enamoured with the sundried tomatoes which had been rehydrated with sesame oil!

The seared tuna tostadas were equally eye-catching and delicious. They were served with a sauce of reduced soya, lime juice, sugar and sesame oil, topped with fried onions and sprouts. I was impressed with the chef’s understanding of sesame oil as a flavour enhancer. Spot on!

By this time, my brother in law had read our text about our viewing spot and joined us for Marea’s Superbowl food/beer specials. Apparently Marea have a number of special nights similar to this one. They were all posted at the front door of the hostel when we entered. My bro in law, needed help consuming the beer that accompanied the food items. We had a mere block to walk home after the game, so we were happy to help him out.

This was one of the features-one side of the hand-made, wood fired pie was a delectable white sauce and sauteed spinach. The second was red sauce and a mildly spiced peperoni.

This stack of wings was another and equally impressive. They were piping hot and succulent. After I shook off some of the generous lemon pepper, we enjoyed them immensely.

By now Marea was packed and we really enjoyed meeting people from around the world including the guy seated closest to us who was from one of our favourite spots in Minnesota; we have visited Duluth many times. He and a large group had been on the island for a wedding and continued in the celebration.

The game sure was a close one, but when we decided who the ultimate winner would be, we decided to beat the traffic (ha ha) and wander home. I crawled into the hammock to watch the exciting conclusion on my own as D had fallen fast asleep!

Kath’s quote: “Hostels present the perfect combination of people, privacy and affordability. It is a unique mix of relaxation, sociability and adventure!”-Authour Unknown

Love never fails.

Ocean’s – Isla Mujeres 2023 Restaurant Features


The next time you are strolling down Hidalgo on your morning walk and you see this sandwich board, make a bee-line inside (if you can get a free table). The gorgeous photos that are displayed are exactly what you get, ensuring that your breakfast will be as pretty as a picture. When we first started visiting the island in the early 2000s, there were very few options for breakfast but now there are a plethora of them all over the island and many on Hidalgo itself. I would put Oceans in the top two for breakfast and number one on Hidalgo!

The restaurant is beautifully adorned with authentic pottery and the food is served on enormous white platters that are more like serving trays to make certain that you will not lose a dribble of hollandaise sauce or the yolk from a perfectly prepared egg.

We asked Francisco to help us decide what to order. We love being surprised by what the restauranteurs consider their best tasting dishes.

Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict was a great spin an a classic. The sweetness of the meat sauce perfectly complemented the savoury tastes of eggs and hollandaise. But equally important (in my mind at least) were the fabulous breakfast potatoes. They were greaseless, sweet and lightly sauteed to help mop up the extra yolk and hollandaise. The fruit stack and freshly squeezed juices were lovely ways to start our day with some vitamins.

D and I love Huevo Rancheros and yet we rarely make them at home preferring Middle Eastern Shakshuka. Ranchero sauce is more chili based and seasoned with additional chipotle and chili flavours, whereas I make shakshuka with left over spaghetti sauce. But, when in Mexico….The combination of eggs, sauce and the corn tortilla base make for a hearty breakfast and we are new lovers of refried bean sauce to make it even more substantial.

As if we hadn’t been absolutely satiated, Francisco presented us with a pancake dessert. The flapjacks were light and fluffy. We chose between the sparkling blueberry compote and the nutty cinnamon dollops with every bite. But I shouldn’t say “every bite” because we could hardly make a dent into the stack.

Weeks later, we met family on an early morning ferry. They were visiting for the day and only on Isla for a few hours. Francisco quickly assembled tables for our large group and we got to visit in the early sun with another round of delicious food.

The Breakfast sandwich and quesadilla were both enormous and eaters had to be helped by extra recruits. Good thing we had a couple of those on hand.

Ocean’s is located on the west side of Hidalgo in the vicinity of Fredy’s. They are open daily from 8 am until midnight.

Kath’s quote: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you feed yourself what your body needs when it needs it, that’s love. So give your bod some TLC and sit down and enjoy a good, substantial breakfast.”- Kathy Freston

Love never fails.

Rancho Capricho-Isla Mujeres 2023 Restaurant Feature by Sister #3


I had heard a lot of buzz on the Isla Mujeres’ Food Facebook page and other Isla pages about Rancho Capricho. Many places on the island claim to have the best tacos and these guys claim that title as well. It’s even printed on the back of their T-shirt’s. “Best tacos on the island” and in my opinion, they really are!  A twist on the traditional, the two dishes we tried were amazing. We will certainly be back again and again! 

The portions were substantial and the service from Diego and Toño was excellent. All the staff are born and raised on Isla and are kind and attentive. 

Located on the southern Perimetral just before The Joint, this little complex has everything one could need. When we stayed at Villas Punta Sur in 2005 there was literally nowhere within walking distance to eat. The restaurant that was previously located where the Joint is now was closed every time we walked by. What a treat it would have been to have Rancho open at that time. A great taco restaurant, bar, convenience store and even stables, this place has it all. 

We started out with a piña colada and a spicy mango margarita while we considered the menu. The menu is small; they do tacos, they do tostadas, but they do them to perfection. I’m a believer that you should focus on what you do and do it well. It was tough to decide what to order as everything looked so good. I love that their menu features beautiful photos of each dish.

We ordered the “Special Steak” tacos. There are three tacos fully loaded with filling. They melt mozzarella cheese on the tortilla and top them with arrachera steak which was tender and flavourful. The addition of onions and smoked longaniza, a type of sausage similar to chorizo, made this a flavour bomb. It was taken over the top with chipotle and cilantro crema.

Our second selection was the “ Shrimp Toast”. Two crunchy tostadas with shrimp, onions, and peppers sautéed in white wine. The addition of mozzarella and their chipotle cilantro creama make this the perfect bite. There was an abundance of shrimp that were really big and totally juicy. At that time, it was the best thing I’d eaten this trip. 

Rancho Capricho was the brain child of owner Enrique and his chefs Fabio and Lizandro. Enrique wanted to do something with this piece of land so they talked half jokingly about opening a taco stand. Before they knew it recipes were being developed and the rest, as they say, is history. I’m so happy this whim of an idea became a reality as it’s a great addition to the Isla Mujeres food scene. 

Rancho Capricho is open everyday except Sundays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Enjoy the view of the passing ducks and don’t forget to go and visit the four horses. 

Kath’s quote: ” The answer is “tacos”. It doesn’t matter what the question is”.- Author unknown

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres Restaurants- Blogged in 2022


We are getting ready for our annual Isla eating adventure, in one month’s time. I was nostalgic reliving the amazing food that we sampled last year. Links to the Blog Posts are in the picture captions. Now don’t go salivate all over your phone…..

Blue Bally Hoo
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Dulzara-Argentinian Bakery
Geisha Valentina
Green Verde
Grill Garden
La Freida en Rosa
Mar Abismo-Delivery Only
Neal’s Irish Pub
Oceans Isla
Rinconcito Kahlo
Sabores by Posada Del Mar
Sardinian Smile
Tiny Gecco

Kath’s quote: “I’m on a seafood diet – I see food, I eat it.” ~ Dolly Parton

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres Restaurant-Mar Abismo from 2022 by Sister #3


During the pandemic a number of folks on Isla Mujeres started cooking at home and delivering food to people’s homes and hotels. On our spring 2022 trip to the island we decided it was time to take advantage of this new trend and tried out a few of these.

My favourite by far is Mar Abismo.

You could not meet a more personable man than owner Ponce. We had a nice chat when he delivered our lunch. He told me about his wife Irene’s love of cooking and that love shone so brightly as soon as I tasted her food.

When dining in Mexico I often order enchiladas. I love them and enjoy that everyone’s version, while similar, are just a bit different from the next. I have taken a few cooking classes in Mexico in an effort to improve my skills cooking this cuisine. I learned to cook molé in Puerto Morelos and enchilada Suiza in Isla Mujeres. Since then I have tried to reproduce them at home with limited success. Part of the problem is I can’t get the exact same ingredients in Canada as I can in Isla. And even when I am able to locate things like fresh tomatillos, they have traveled a long way to my grocery and don’t have the same beautiful freshness. Also, I believe that these slow cooked sauces take years of practice to perfect. They seem so easy to the masters that were showing me how to make them.

On this day we ordered chicken enchiladas from Mar Abismo. One in molé sauce, a smoky, dark, rich gravy featuring dark chocolate and roasted chilies. The other prepared Suiza style in a green tomatillo sauce with Swiss cheese and Mexican crema topping. These were by far the best versions of these dishes I have ever had. I think about them all the time and can’t wait to return to the island to order them again and have a little visit with Ponce.

Mar Abismo is only available by deliver only on Wednesday to Saturday mornings. Their menu changes from day to day and often features chiliquilles, omelettes, and a variety of egg dishes.

Kath’s quote: “He walked funny, like every step hurt him, but don’t let that fool you. You should’ve seen him run when it was enchilada day in the cafeteria.”― Rick Riordan

Love never fails.

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