Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres-Tiende by the Paper Mache Store

February2

I have 22 more sleeps before my winter get-away and I am in “eager anticipation” mode.  I am yearning for warmth (it was -43 here yesterday), for the sand between my toes, to wear flip flops and pareos all day long, to walk by the water, to travel with my beloved entourage and to see all my Isla friends again.  But truth be told-I can’t stop thinking about the food!  Lime wedges to squeeze over everything, creamy “just-made” guacamole, salsa that tastes so fresh- it dances in your mouth, ceviche and fresh fish, fish and more fish.

I am not an “all-inclusive” kinda girl.  For me, part of the pleasure of a meal-is the hunt to obtain it.  I won’t even be able to direct you to my favourite little “fast food” tiende on Isla Mujeres because I do not think that it has a name and I didn’t even get to check to make sure that it was still there on my last visit.  But right now I have this insatiable craving for their fish tacos!

The person ahead of me ordered a fruit platter and so the process began to peel each of his fruit requests, then pull up a chair to sit while lovingly slice each one and then assemble them on the plastic plate-and voila (20 minutes later) a feast for the eyes and the taste-buds.

My tacos could not be started until the fruit plate preparations were completed and cleaned away.  Worth the wait? OMGoodness-yes. Fresh….perfectly cooked…crunchy toppings…messy….and cheap!  Less than $5 for a feast that I took down to the beach to share with my gang.

Kath’s quote: “Ruling a large kingdom, is like cooking a small fish.” (Handle gently and never overdo it)-Lao-tse, Chinese philosopher (6th century BC)

it is well, it is well with my soul

Lorena’s-Isla Mujeres

January12

If D and I were ever to open a restaurant together it would resemble the concept of Lorena’s on Isla Mujeres and Le Beaujena’s in Winnipeg.  We would choose a relaxed atmosphere where the diners would feel as if they had been invited into our home.   

Such it is a Lorena’s in Colonia on Isla Mujeres.  The front of her home is a bakery and food shop and the back has guest rooms.

This is her kitchen

She typically sets up her communal table in the garden but on this night it was too windy to dine outside so we assembled in the storefront.  There are a limited number of entrees to choose from and the rest of the courses are decided by the host.   This is different from Le Beaujena’s in Winnipeg where all the items are pre-determined for the month.  On this particular evening we dined on a cured meat appetizer and then goat cheese salad. I choose a seafood casserole as my main course.

I recall that Lorena sets her table for approximately 16 and our entourage took up half of the space but it was lovely to meet other Islaholics who were at the square table configuration as well. Lorena invites you to bring your own wine which the staff is happy to pour for you.

We finished with ice cream and chocolate mousse for dessert.  By this time, the breeze had died down and it was a beautiful night for stroll, so Melinda and I meandered back to our little apartment on the ocean.  It was a lovely way to work off the calories. 

Kath’s quote:  “Being set at the table, scratch not thyself, and take thou heed as much as thou canst not to spit, cough and blow at thy nose; but if it be needful, do it dexterously, without much noise, turning thy face sidelong.”
Francis Hawkins

somebody wants to talk to you

Bally Hoo-Isla Mujeres

December16

 

If freshness is measured by distance to the original product, our favourite fish and chip spot on Isla Mujeres has the freshest food that you will ever eat.    To enter, one must walk across a dock to a platform on the water.  If your dining table is on the west edge of the restaurant, you can watch the filleting process take place.  If fishermen and women pick Bally Hoo as a favourite dining spot-how could the fish not be the best? 

We have enjoyed Bally Hoo many times since our first visit in 2006.  One New Year’s we sat and enjoyed their killer mango margaritas  as we waited for family to return from a tour on the mainland; another year we met half of our gang arriving on Isla and shared lunch even before their suitcases were put away.  One year to celebrate D’s birthday, we made Bally Hoo a stop on a progressive dinner. 

The fish tacos and fish and chips are always made to order and carefully prepared for just the right combination of crispy batter and tender, piping hot fish inside.

The restaurant is perfectly located to catch the breeze off the water or to enjoy the sunset.  The sign over the open kitchen reads “Slow Food”-why would I want to rush?  I am in paradise.

Kath’s quote: “Fish should smell like the ocean. If they smell like fish, it’s too late.”-Unknown

love your neighbours as yourself

Poc Chuc-Isla Mujeres

November23

Even though I have been to Isla Mujeres seven times, there are still little places that I have not had an opportunity to try (and this is a tiny island).  I almost always stay in Centro which is the town at the north end of the island where the ferry from Cancun deposits you.   This way you can walk to the beach, for groceries, to restaurants and local shopping in less than 10 minutes.  Poc Chuc is on the corner of a couple of Centro’s main streets and I have walked past it oodles of times.  On the last afternoon of my last trip to Isla, I finally got the opportunity to sample their offerings and was absolutely delighted. 

The decor is a happy collection of Caribbean colours and motifs.  The furniture seemed to have been freshly painted and you could see right into their cozy kitchen.

I ordered the Chicken Mole not having enjoyed it for 15 years since a trip to Cozumel.  Sister #3 says that there are over 40 ingredients in a good mole and my first taste would confirm that.  Cocoa and peppery tastes were prominent in the sauce poured over a tender leg and thigh that was served with rice and tortillas.  All this for 70 pesos or the equivalent of $7 CDN and get this-the cerveza was cheaper than a coke.   Someone else ordered Chilies Relleno and shared tastes with me so I was doubly content. 

Not the Mole

Kath’s quote:  “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”-Benjamin Franklin

Don’t worry be happy…..

Sergio’s-Isla Mujeres

November3

We are a family that loves to plan in advance.  The one exception is our free-spirited son who likes it when last minute plans come together.  We typically plan Christmas dinner while we are still sitting on Lester Beach and we already know what we are doing the 2011 May Long weekend!  So it would come as no surprize that we have already booked our annual winter get away to Isla Mujeres.

Our leisurely days on Isla revolve around the beach conditions and who of our many Isla friends we will meet up with that day.  We often accumulate at Sergio’s on Playa Sol.  The use of beach chairs and umbrellas is free, the hard-working waiters are a delight and the fresh local fare-delicious.

Of the many items sampled,  a special favourite is the Parmesan Fish which reminds me of Parmesan chicken wings that we have been making for years.  If you want in on that family secret, you’ll have to request the recipe in my comment box.

One New Year’s Eve before hosting 16 for dinner on our apartment rooftop, we lingered with our extended family at Sergio’s for sunset.  There was a wedding taking place and the couple happened to be from our home city.  It is a moment forever etched into my memory.

Kath’s quote:  Tropical the island, all of nature wild and free, this is where I long to be, Isla Bonita.– Madonna

Let love be multiplied.

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