Food Musings

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

Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Feature-Piacere Restaurant and Beach Club


Right off the bat, don’t let the label Beach Club fool you. This is not a place where Cancun day trippers spend the day. In fact, our cab driver didn’t know the exact location, as you have to walk through Maria’s Kan Kin to find it. Once at Piacere, there is a mix of the persons staying at the hotel, a family who arrived by boat and people like us to enjoy the benefits of a day.

Coincidently, I am reading a novel set in the village of Bella Piacere. “Bella Piacere” was named in the sixteenth century, or round about then, by and Englishwoman who spoke only a couple of words in Italian. Fortunately, though not grammatically quite correct, the two words expressed her emotions on first seeing the the lovely hamlet in the Tuscan hills-Bountiful Pleasure. And, anyhow, the name sounded better than “Bel Piacere.” Piacere on Isla Mujeres is also about beautiful pleasure.

It was explained by Simone, the Chef and Manager of the facility that there are two manners to enjoy the property. You can pay for a Day Pass and order from the snack menu or order from the more formal dining room menu and sit in the dining area.

We were blessed to experience the best of both worlds. We started with cocktails under umbrellas at the beach club-vodka & cranberry, Pink Panther (rum and passionfruit juice) and a margarita.

After which we switched to water, but knowing that there were more cocktails to be had!

Shrimp Tacos were chosen from the snack menu as well as fish and chips. The fish was so fresh that it prickled my tongue.

We had been briefed that Simone had worked Milan, Thailand, Australia, London and Dubai and we hadn’t yet, tasted his fare. We had spied a pizza oven on the way into the restaurant, so we ordered a couple of those to finish our late lunch. By this time, the shade had disappeared from the beach so we moved up to the pool area which also happened to be by one section of the dining room. We had a last round of cocktails as we enjoyed the authentic Italian style pizza with its flame kissed crust, light and uncomplicated sauce and just a smattering of cheese. Had we ordered the Marguerita Pizza we would have been in the Tuscan hills again.

Our server was Adrian who we had met at Amazona last year. We really enjoyed seeing him again. If you want to check their hours of operation or their menus, check out the mapchicks app. The best money you will ever spend.

We would love to visit the restaurant at sunset one day. I predict it would be stellar.

Kaths quote:  “Tuscany is the gentle embrace of beauty in every corner.”

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurants Features-Muelle 7


As we arrived at their lovely locale right on and over the ocean, we picked a corner table where we would get an unobstructed view of the sunset.

Staff under the careful watch of Manager-Jesus, brought out a white table cloth and reset the table for our enjoyment.

From the moment that our water was served with a choice of lime, cucumber or orange, we predicted that we were in for an evening of pampering.

We started with a pina colada and mango/peach margarita. The glasses they were served in were more like bowls! Friend Karen, remarked on how much tequila was in her margarita and slowly sipped it throughout the evening.

Our first appetizer was a ceviche of fish and octopus. I loved it-especially the tender, flavourful octupus. Some people are put off by the texture of octopus, not me. Years ago when I visited Quintana Roo for the first time, I tried ceviche. But it was not ordinary ceviche, as it was made from conch (the meat that comes from those beautiful huge shells that the locals can sometime make a sound like a tuba)! At first I decided that it was like chewing elastic bands but once you got the hang of it, it was so delicious. The same is true of octopus; if not prepared correctly, it too can be chewy. But not Muelle 7’s recipe! It was beautifully “cooked” in the brine of lime resulting in tender chunks of deliciousness. The little swirl of sesame oil that finished the dish, created a perfect balance of tastes.

Next up were a lovely feed of mussels! We especially appreciated the warmed unleavened bread that they were served with so that you could lap up the broth that they were steamed in.

As we decided on our main course, our server brought over their selection of freshly caught fish. We chose a plump red snapper to share. Our next decision was to ask how we wanted the fish prepared. We decided on frying with a side of clarified butter and garlic.

In truth the fish was perfect as it came. Our server assisted us in pulling the ribbons of fish away from the skeleton. The skin of the fish was crispy and we enjoyed it like you would crackling on a roasted pig.

The plates that our fish was transferred to was heaped with a jicama salad in the lightest of dressings, as well as fresh el dente vegetables. The crown on the plate for me was the decadent mashed potatoes. A fork of potatoes and that fish created a satisfying taste and we sure needed that feed of veggies.

A dessert tray came around at the end of our evening.

We shared a chocolate cake that was less sweet than recipes from home. It may be the reason that I saw midnight for the first time on this trip.

I have been considering a subtitle for this post and I think it is-“the greatest show on Isla” that being both the flashy service of Muelle 7 and the locale for an incredible sunset.

Muelle 7 is right on Medina between the ferry and Playa Centro. If you want to view the menu and hours of operations see the mapchick map, the best money you will ever spend.

Kath’s quote: “I am on a seafood diet, I see food and I eat it.”-Dolly Parton

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Features-Pizza Rock


When I walked into Pizza Rock, I experienced two things, but I will share my second thought first: I had been there before. I truly did not recall being in the stylish well-appointed spot. But then I looked at the ceiling and remembered.

Pizza Rock has been on the island for 26 years years and was the island’s very first pizza restaurant! When I visited earlier it was more of a “pop in after the beach” feel. This sleek spot did not pull up memories of that sand on the floor feel.

After visiting the island for almost 20 years, I don’t expect to experience any firsts anymore but Pizza Rock provided me with two. I tried Mescal for my first time, albeit mixed with passionfruit which would make anything absolutely delicious. My Island Newbie had a Mango Margarita. Both drinks were beautifully garnished. I could have had mine rimmed with worm salt, had I chosen so. (ah…no thanks).

The second was that I had never had lobster pizza on Isla! In fact throughout my travels I have only ever had lagostino in the Cariibbean once before and that was in Cuba, many years ago. Being a Canadain, lobster is really something very different than the Caribbean species. I get to enjoy Nova Scotia lobster once a year at the restaurant that I consult for back home. Pizza Rock’s presentation was gorgeous with the meat pulled out and adorning the pizza and two glistening red shells crowning the dish. There was a lesser amount of cheese on the pizza so that the lobster taste would shine through, and it did. Do you know that in Italy it is a faux pas to ask for grated cheese on a seafood dish?

I miss Angelo’s on Isla Mujeres. There I have said it. If you are new to the island, Angelo’s was purchased by new orners last year. It was an annual visit for both fruitti de mare pizza and pasta. Pizza Rock’s Seafood Farfel was very different to Angelo’s but dare I say truer to an Italian recipe. Squid and octopus had been marinated for both thenderness and taste in white wine and olive oil. But it was the tomato based sauce where I tasted expertise and quality ingredients.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mentioned the appetizer that we commenced our dinner with. The spinach dip with pepper strips and toasted homemade bread (in fact everything is made from scratch) reminded me of this decadent treat back home. Their version was so rich that I had to stop myself from indulging before our decadent entrees.

The wine we chose for dinner was from their extensive list and was a healthy pour.

I mentioned two impressions when I first walked into Pizza Rock. The other was love. I met the owners who love their restaurant and their patrons-many more locals than tourists. There was a birthday party dinner at the next table. The little girl wore a tiara and was about nine or ten. Her parents were showing their love of her through food, which is obviously my “love language” too. Carlos the manager who was also our waiter, spoke of love as well. Love of his fiancé who also works there but is a dentist on the island. She is an Isleno, loving her island so much that she shares her educated skill. The restaurant itself is adorned with enormous lit up hearts (I gotta get me one for home).

Pizza Rock is on Hidalgo right next to Jenny Penny. There is a second entrance from the plaza behind, where you can have a quiet dinner away from the crowds of Hidalgo. For hours of operation and their full menu, check out the mapchicks app. The best money you will ever spend.

Kath’s quote: “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore…”

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Feature-el meraki


The restaurant name itself is perfectly chosen. It means “when you do something with love, creativity or soul, putting a piece of yourself into what you do.” Swiss born Andrea has done exactly that.

Let me tell it straight: el meraki is a vegan restaurant and if you are a vegan, I predict that you will eat here often. Very often. But don’t pass it by because it is a vegan restaurant, because their fare is so well executed and absolutely delicious. If you are not vegan, simply visit if you are a lover of tasty, healthy food. Their vision is to share a space that touches the heart, so every individual can shine even brighter! This is exactly how you feel after you have eaten there- lighter and brighter!

On this morning we enjoyed a delectable shot of beet juice. It sparkled in the sun and felt like it sparkled in us too. I love the sweet tastes of beets and it was divine!

We shared a crepe called Happy Mind. The crepe itself is made with chickpeas, producing a nutty flavour and a wee bit of crunch. It was lusciously smeared with cashew hummus. Sauteed mushrooms, spinach, cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs were lovingly packed inside.

There was a pause before the next item that we shared and that was because the artisan sough dough bread had not yet been delivered to the restaurant.

Moments later it arrived and was sliced into thick pieces. The bread itself was crunchy on the outside with a slight chew to the inside. One piece was iced with fresh avocado and lime and crowned with crunchy veggies. The second was a sweet offering of cashew spread and sauteed apples. The latter was sweet and the former savoury. Little bites exploded with flavour and were equally satisfying.

El meraki also has a common area where you are invited to sit quietly, read or work. I will remember this in the future, to dive into another writing assignment.

I hope you visit this lovely spot and meet the equally lovely Andrea and her female team. They have created a very special place for your enjoyment. In my mind it is a cherished gift.

Kath’s quote: “To care for each other and planet earth. To share our qualities and uplift each other.“-Andrea

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Feature-Dulzara Argentinian Bakery


By Sister #3

Dulzara now serves 100 Pesos breakfast!

Four years ago we meet the loveliest couple of women, Marita and Gabriela, when the Argentinian duo opened Dulzura Bakery. Located on Juarez between Abasolo and Madero.  Up a mural filled staircase you’ll come upon their courtyard and bakery.

There are a few tables where you can sit and enjoy breakfast, one of their famous empanadas, or a coffee and sweet treat. 

Before we get to breakfast, let me first rave about the baked goods. What is on offer changes every day and there is plenty to choose from. I love their brownies and banana bread. And the cakes they have baked to celebrate family birthdays have been fabulous. Earlier this trip we had their carrot cake, and a vanilla cake with strawberry cream and dolce de leche. It was incredible.

Today I decided to take home a rogel, something I had never tried. It’s a stack of thin, salted cookies with dolce de leche and topped with meringue. As delicious as it is beautiful. 

But on to the purpose of today’s visit. The ladies are now serving breakfast Monday – Saturday from 9:00 – noon-ish.  Currently they offer one menu item; eggs any style, we had ours scrambled with chopped veggies, served with beans, guacamole, tortillas.

And best of all, toasted homemade thick cut bread, served with butter and jam or honey. All of this for only 100 pesos. A great value. Team member Lydia is the breakfast cook and makes yummy food. Additional options will be added down the road as they continue to develop the menu. 

The bakery has a tiny kitchen and is always a hive of activity. There are always creations in the making. Marita and Gabriela will welcome you with open arms and walk you through that days options. It’s a one stop shop. Enjoy a great breakfast, take home some empanadas and cake, pie, or cookies. You won’t be disappointed. 

Kath’s quote: “A true friend thinks you are a good egg, even when you are a little cracked.” -unknown

Love never fails.

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »