Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Bally Hoo-Isla Mujeres 2018

April2

We have a tradition as soon as we get off of the ferry on Isla. We immediately (with suitcases in hand) head to Bally Hoo. This year it didn’t work out as I arrived late in the day and the rest of my entourage was waiting for an additional ferry to arrive. When D stepped off the ferry a week later it was late in the evening so that didn’t work out either.

Here are some previous visits from the Food Musings Archives:

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

 

The day after D’s arrival though, we were meeting a couple of old friends who were about to spend a week with us on the island. They arrived at lunch time and were hungry. When we asked them where they might like to go for lunch, they immediately said-Bally Hoo!

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It didn’t take them long to decide what to order: one of them chose the shrimp tacos and the other the fish ones so that they could trade and share. They were happy that they selected tastes that are so entrenched in why we all love the island. We had just been to Mango’s for breakfast so unfortunately we couldn’t partake. But we happily got caught up with them as we sipped ice cold cervesas.

We would share a meal with them almost every day of their trip but this first one was very special with the excitement of just arriving on the island and the reuniting of four very old friends.

Kath’s quote: “To reminisce with my old friends, a chance to share some memories, and play our songs again,”. -Ricky Nelson

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Love never fails.

 

 

Pollo’s Mango Cafe-Isla Mujeres 2018

March30

One of our many Isla restaurateur friends is Pollo. We met him years ago but only see him occasionally now as he is a hands-on Dad, a compassionate disaster fund-raiser and entrepreneur. Here are some Mango meals from the Food Musings Archives:

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

We had watched his Facebook posts over the summer to see the building of his rooftop space and outdoor patio garden. Not surprisingly, it was the first place D wanted to go when he joined me on the island.

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This beauty met us as we made our way from the restaurant to the patio. He/she simply wanted to play and we were happy to indulge him/her en route.

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We were drawn to a large live edge plank table and benches. Luckily the table was open and we comfortably settled in.

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One thing that Mango has always cleverly done is place an urn of “help yourself” coffee in their dining spaces. This way even if a server doesn’t make it over to you right away, you are content to sip coffee and imagine what beautiful culinary concoction you will select on this visit. You will notice that the patio is covered with brightly coloured tarps. I don’t know if they keep out the rain, but they certainly shield you from the sun. Strategically placed jumbo fans also get the air moving.

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There were requests for stuffed chilies all around except for one order of their amazing French toast which I have so many pictures of, I chose not to add another and…

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the Mayan scramble which I ordered. Oh my goodness, I was over the moon! This delicious mound of sauteed veggies and eggs sparkled in my mouth. The tastes were clean, fresh and absolutely addictive. I always order the stuff poblano but no more.

Service was as attentive as they could be with a full patio and restaurant. Somehow sitting on that patio, we didn’t really notice how long the food took.

Kath’s quote: “Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself”. -Delia Smith
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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abuelo-Isla Mujeres 2018

March29

I have always loved my dinner experiences at Abuelo:

This year was no exception. There were five of us and then we were joined later in the evening by Sister #3 and Dona who had been at a Isla Scholarship reception earlier.

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We were kind of boring as we all ordered coconut shrimp. That is with one exception. Rudy ordered chicken schnitzel and was very impressed but I neglected to get a good shot of his plate. I may prefer Abuelo’s coconut shrimp version to all the rest as I love their over abundance of long strands of sweet coconut. They also do a great job of grilled veggies, baguette and a vegetable rice.

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Dona has enjoyed Abuelo’s green enchiladas in the past and did so again when she and Sister #3 finally arrived for a late dinner. Do you know what makes this sauce green? It is the tomatillo which is also known as the Mexican husk tomato and is a staple in Mexican cuisine. They have a slightly herbal taste, and are somewhat fruity and tart in flavour. I tasted green enchiladas again at Basto’s the following week and was blown away.

Later that evening we stopped for ice cream and churros purchased on the square.

Kath’s quote: “The food was delicious, the wine even better, as elemental and earthy as the wild hills where the grapes grew. They finished with sips of chocolate-infused port and cinnamon churros. ” ― Susan Wiggs, The Beekeeper’s Ball

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

Qubano’s -Isla Mujeres 2018

March28

People have long told me that Vivien of Qubano makes the very best Cuban sandwiches on Isla Mujeres and that made sense to me since there are not an over abundance of Cuban restaurants on the island. My entourage had headed to Captain Dulce’s for the day. Since it was my last day staying in Centro before I moved to the airport strip, I wanted to take advantage of North Beach and eating on Hidalgo.

Just when my hungered peaked I found myself at Qubano. There was a lovely table in the shade and I snagged it.

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It was tough to make a decision from the extensive menu but as soon as I saw that Vivien makes her own French fries, I ordered something that would be accompanied by fries.

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I don’t actually expect exceptional burgers on Isla but I have been proven wrong now at Madera, Basto’s and Qubano. Look at this gorgeous patty complete with sauteed onions!

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I cut it in half since I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit it into my mouth, at which time the gorgeous creamy goat cheese that had been placed inside the patty, began to ooze out in the most delicious manner. Now this was my kind of burger! The goat cheese added moisture, richness and an amazingly complementary taste. Who knew?

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The burger was a mess to eat and I loved every moment. Since I was in my swim suit I thought that I would let the crystal blue waters at North Beach take care of that. I was so enraptured by the burger that I had completely forgotten my motivation for ordering it-the fries! There are two places I go for the fries on Isla: Basto’s, La Lomita and now a third-Vivien’s fries were fabulous.

Sometimes the best places are right there under your nose and you don’t even notice. Kudos to Qubano’s Stuffed Goat Cheese Burger and Fries!

Kath’s quote: “The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”- John Scully

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Love never fails.

 

 

North Garden Restaurant-Isla Mujeres 2018

March27

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In Portugal this January.

When I am on Isla Mujeres, D is typically at my side. This year though, he was only able to be on the island with me for one week. This was because we had already traveled to Phoenix and Portugal this winter. I don’t mind dining alone. In fact it gives me an opportunity to observe the restaurant without distraction. I watch the servers and their interactions with guests. I also observe their delight at tasting and consuming their food. In this case breakfast.

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I had been on the beach early that day but my lawn chair unexpectedly broke and so I made my way back to my hotel. I decided to stop en route to see if North Garden had a table. Every other time I had walked by, the place was jammed and there were line ups of people waiting to get in. On this day though, there was only one larger party ahead of me. Breakfast became my consolation prize for having to cut short my beach time.

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The name of the restaurant became very obvious when I was sat down in the cool shade of this beautiful tree. This variety also creates a natural umbrella at Luna D’ Miel where we often stay. In addition to offering up its shade, it drops leaves on you periodically to ensure that you are awake.

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I started with a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. I was one thirsty girl, haven finished my water bottle on the beach at least an hour before.

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Since the restaurant was busy, I had lots of time to make my selection from their extensive menu.

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Pecan Eggs Benedict was my choice and I was delighted when they appeared so beautifully in front of me. Notice the inclusion of pecans and crispy strips of side bacon as opposed to the typical back bacon.

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I always cut into my Benedict right away to ensure the desired doneness of the poached eggs. One side was perfect and the egg yolk intermingled with the hollandaise sauce. Unfortunately the other side was too hard to do the same. In spite of my personal preference, the entire dish was delicious. I was anxious to visit North Garden again for lunch but did not have the opportunity. They are already on the “must try again” list for our next visit.

Kath’s quote:“In the garden there was nothing which was not quite like themselves – nothing which did not understand the wonderfulness of what was happening to them – the immense, tender, terrible, heart-breaking beauty and solemnity of Eggs. If there had been one person in that garden who had not known through all his or her innermost being that if an Egg were taken away or hurt the whole world would whirl round and crash through space and come to an end… there could have been no happiness even in that golden springtime air.”― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

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