Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Bimbo Dogs (I didn’t name them)-Isla Mujeres

June22

We go on our annual sojourn to Isla with a list.  A packing list?  No-I am happy to say that I’ve made the trip so often, that I know that I can pack light and spend most days in a bathing suit, pareo and flip flops.  I also come home with more clothes than I take because our friend and expert dress-maker Hortenzia whips me up a summer wardrobe each time I visit her.

The list that I refer to is a food list-restaurants that have opened on Hildalgo since our last trip, a number of places whose dishes I dream about all winter long (Fredy’s pork chops, La Brisa’s Fruite de Mare Linguine, Tino’s ribs) and undiscovered places that I’ve investigated in the Colonias.  Bimbo Dogs are always on the list too, but have never been checked off. I don’t know if this is their real name or the slang that Isla forum posters use-but this is how we know them.

The street carts are around the ferry landing and when we arrive on Isla we are so excited to head to our hotel or apartment and get settled in that we bypass them.  On other days we are heading to the beach with arms ladened with beach chairs, novels, sudukos, journals and perhaps a cooler full of Sol.

On the last day of our 2011 trip we were ticking many “must eats” off the list: we had breakfast biscuits from Barlitos, lunch at Rolandi’s, La Lomita’s Chiles Relleno for happy hour and were heading for yet another feed of fish and chips at Bally Hoo before boarding the ferry.  We were once again going to say “no gracias” as we walked past the cart but the aroma of the carmelized onions and buns steaming on the grill top was too much to resist.  And did I mention?  Bimbo Dogs are wrapped in bacon!

Kath’s quote:  “The hot dog, as the phrase runs, seems to have come to stay. Even the gastroenterologists have given up damning it…..I am informed by reliable spies that at their convention in Atlantic City last May they consumed huge quantities…..and with no apparent damages to their pylorus.”-H.L. Mencken

Third Loncheria at the local market-Isla Mujeres

May26

In keeping with the laid back nature of my favourite destination-many businesses are known for the “relational” name rather than an actual business name.  I think that this particular place has the word Taco in its official name but I simply know it as being two doors down from Alexa & Giovanni’s.  There is a row of loncherias that look like a row of garage doors when closed but bustle with people, coloured table cloths and amazing aromas when open. 

 The food is prepared and priced for the locals but the Islanders are such a friendly lot that they’ll always make room for one more.  On this day, we were with Isla friends that we see once a year while on vacation.  We were getting together for a birthday party around our hotel pool that night but because we were hosting the event, we were concerned that we might not get enough of a visit in.

Amidst the chatter I ordered Soupa de Pollo with Lima.

D dug into the platter of fresh fish.

One of the guys sampled the Mole Chicken.

J loved the pork chops and another J, the chicken enchiladas (except that the photo did not do the dish justice).  

All were plentiful portions of freshly prepared, delicious food.  I think that the le quenta including beer was about $7 each!  We love Isla Mujeres for so many reasons, not least of which is the fabulous food. 

Kath’s quote:  “Food responds to our soul’s dream as to our stomach’s appetite.”-Joseph Delteil

Frutti de Mare-Isla Mujeres

May9

All through Sicily and our sojourn up the west coast of Italy, we ordered either a mixed seafood pasta or pizza at every opportunity.  The variety of seafood was changeable depending upon what the local catch had produced and species native to the area.  The varieties would usually include: prawns, mussels, clams, calamari, conch and whitefish.

On Isla Mujeres the seafood choices are as plentiful and the chefs as expert.  I can especially commend La Brisa’s Grill right on the beach (off Medina) and Angelo’s on Hidalgo.

I actually got to sample La Brisa’s Frutti de Mare linguine twice.

First time at La Brisas

The first time we were a large table and were able to sit right in the sand on a beautiful evening.  I employed a spoon and a fork to get a perfect bite of seafood and pasta with every bite and used up all my pasta before I could consume all of the seafood-that’s how plentiful the seafood was.  I took home the prawns and got to enjoy them in a picnic lunch the next day.  When my daughter arrived on Isla and heard my ravings about La Brisa,  she requested that we go there for lunch near the end of our stay.

Lunch at La Brisas

Three of us shared the linquine again, along with an order of their Frutti de Mare pizza to compare it to Angelo’s.

La Brisa’s Pizza

Although it was my first time to La Brisa’s, I’ve enjoyed Angelo’s many times during the years of our stays on Isla.  On this night the weather was variable and we started the evening at a table on the street; but as the rain made an appearance, they were able to move us all under shelter in the open restaurant. 

 

Angelo’s Linguine

D ordered the pasta on this occaission and I the pizza.  Except for the pieces of mussel shell that surprized me a couple of times-I was as crazy for the pizza at Angelo’s as I had been for the pasta at La Brisas’s.

Angelo’s Pizza

I would say that La Brisas won the Frutti de Mare pasta round and Angelo’s the pizza one.  Two fabulous restaurants serving up Italian fare as good as is found on the Italian coast, on the little piece of land known as Isla Mujeres in Quintano Roo, Mexico.  Who woulda thunk?

Kath’s quote:  “Do not overcook this dish. Most seafoods…should be simply threatened with heat and then celebrated with joy.” –Jeff Smith

Sergio’s Playa Sol Revisited-Isla Mujeres

April25

To make the journey from my cozy bed in Winnipeg to my precious Isla Mujeres is sometimes a breeze. It all depends on what times other planes set down and whether you luck out in the correct line for immigration and customs.  On this particular day, the journey was not too onerous but we still required cold cerveza for the ferry crossing and were hungry for lunch.  So after we wheeled our suitcases to the edge of Centro, we changed into our suits and made our way to Casa el Pio where the rest of our entourage was staying.

We were ecstatic to plunk down in the sand at Sergio’s, order more cold cervezas and gaze at the sea.  To top things off, handsome men started to come over and hug and kiss us (Lionel & Roger) and welcome us back to the island!   Why do I love Isla so, you ask?

We ordered breaded fish,

Chicken Maya

and my first taste of Coconut shrimp of that trip (but not the last).

The Garlic fish was so fresh, perfectly cooked and delicious!   We are always amazed by the quality of food that is put out of the little kitchen window right on the beach.

Kath’s quote:  “How good one feels when one is full — how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained.”-Jerome K. Jerome

Bally Hoo Revisited-Isla Mujeres

April15

Previous to my arrival on Isla, I have prepared a list of restaurants that I intend to visit again or try for the first time.  The idea of going to a single Isla restaurant more than once during my stay, never ever crosses my mind.  And yet during my 2011 visit I went to La Lomita, Tino’s (the Rib Man), La Brisa’s Grill and Fredy’s twice each and Chuuk Kay and Bally Hoo three times each!

Since Bally Hoo is close to the ferry, it was our destination of choice when D and Daughter #1 arrived.

 

It also made sense to watch the sunset from there before boarding the ferry to start our journey home on departure day.  While savouring Isla for our last moments, we feasted on shrimp ceviche one more time.

Both days we went ga-ga for the fresh caught fish and chips (although I do wish that they hadn’t resorted to serving frozen fries). 

But I could eat that fish every single day and wouldn’t even use a fork,  just pick the fillets up like a chicken finger and dunk them into the tangy tartar sauce. We also sampled the fish tacos-equally good.

On one occasion we stopped to have breakfast.  The coffee was steaming hot and poured often.  The setting was gorgeous and breakfast pretty darn good too. 

To be honest: I was on Isla, surrounded by the most stunning view, with my best girlfriend (who doesn’t live in the same city as me and so we only see each other twice a year)-it wasn’t about the food that day.  

Below is a photo of a Bally Hoo which are frequently used as bait for saltwater sportsmen.  They attract tuna, sailfish, mahi mahi and dorada.  As you dine on the stilted platform of the restaurant, they swim all around you in the shallow water.

Ahh Isla-my beloved second home. 

Kath’s quote:  “The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn’t have eyeballs or fins.” –Dave Barry

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