Browsing: Isla Mujeres

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.

Rooster Cafe-Isla Mujeres

October14

I found these photos in a place that I didn’t expect them and realized that I had never posted about Rooster Cafe.  We had our first of many fabulous meals on Isla Mujeres on February 28, 2010.  If you you are about to give me credit for having a razor sharp memory-I’m going to stop you right there.  I am famous (in my family) for running downstairs to the pantry for something and then shouting upstairs “Does anyone know why I’m down here?”  The secret is-I keep a travel journal.  I do this not just to record details of what I’ve sampled or what the location was but so that I can relive the moment.  I travelled Europe for six weeks some 35 years ago and when I pull out that journal-I can recall my first glance of the Mediterranean and taste the beer drank from a glass boot in Heidelberg.  

I can’t recollect (without consulting them) what my Isla sistas had but it looks good doesn’t it?

I do know that I had Creme Brule French Toast crusted with granola and served with butterscotch syrup.  The toast was crunchy on the outside but smooth and creamy in the centre.  We sat in the sun on Hidalgo and watched the early birds heading for the beach. 

Friends who were on Isla after me remarked about the kindness of the Rooster Cafe owners.  When Richard was there for breakfast after going down with a horrendous flu, the owner said “Don’t order from the menu.  I will make something to make you feel better.”  I’m guessing that it was a poached egg but it didn’t really matter.  His kindness was the key point and my friends went back for breakfast virtually every day of the rest of their stay.

Kath’s quote:   “It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; through sickness we recognize the value of health; through evil, the value of good; through hunger, the value of food; through exertion, the value of rest.”-Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Rosa Mexicano-Part 1

August25

By happy coincidence we were in New York for 2010 NY Summer Restaurant Week which actually goes on for multiple weeks.  The website for the event was very helpful and we could choose our neighbourhood, our cuisine preference, get details about the specific time frame of the offeringsand then even make a reservation on line. 

We chose the haute Mexican restaurant within walking distance of our home away from home Rosa Mexicano.  We were immediately struck by the energy of the place with its high ceilings and open spaces.  The noise level might be considered a hindrance if you were there for a quiet, romantic evening but such was not the case for us (almost six in the city).  We started with their signature pomegranate margaritas and although I have had better at (Miquel’s Moonlight Madness on Isla Mujeres), they were a lovely distraction as we surveyed the menu and the menu choices of surrounding tables.

We are all self-confessed Mexican food groupies that love to discover the Mom and Pop places when we travel, but we were willing to give these swanky digs a chance.  We started with Guacamole en Molcajete made table side by a gentleman, serious about perfecting his craft.  He starts by smashing his ingredients with a pestle and then skillfully pits, cuts and scoops in the fresh avocado.  You can’t get any fresher than this.  Each order is served with warm corn tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa pasilla de Oaxaca and salsa tomatillo y habanero.

Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Let us go early to the vineyards to see… if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love.”Song of Solomon 7:12

Viva Cuba Libra Restaurant

July8

I fell in love with the Caribbean almost 35 years ago with my first trip to Varedero Cuba.  Now those were the days before all the European hotel chains started building along the most amazing beach I have yet encountered.

  

Hotels in the late 70’s were assemblies of old cottages desserted in the 50’s and refurbished, but ever so simply.  There would be a single bed and a night table and a chest of drawers and a rod with hangers.  But I didn’t care, it was an inexpensive escape and I literally spent every moment at the beach-taking my coffee down after breakfast, reading, walking and even swimming in those days.  I  would return to my cottage only in time for a quick shower before supper.  Cuban fare consisted mainly of chicken, rice and beans.  I do recall the lagostina that we paid extra for one night.  It had been split and grilled on an open fire and then just before it was served, a sizzling chile sauce was poured over it so that it came popping and sizzling to the table.  

Gang at Viva Cuba Libra

Isla Mujeres has replaced those rustic stays on the Caribbean.  There are a couple of good Cuban restaurants on Isla -this one on Hidalgo and another sometimes called Vivian’s but more aptly Qubano.  I have yet to sample the latter as it closes but once a week and sure enought that was my day to give it a try.  But Sister #3 loves it and that’s good enough for me.

The plates at Viva Cuba Libra include the staple of plaintain as pictured here and a variety of other traditional acommpaniments.

Cuban Meal
Cuban Meal

Kath’s quote: “Plain fare gives as much pleasure as a costly diet, while bread and water confer the highest possible pleasure when they are brought to hungry lips.”-Epicurus (341?-270 BC)

La Lomita

June16

This photo was taken on Hidalgo, no where near the restaurant.  But I like the shot because for me it kind of depicts the uniqueness of Isla Mujeres (check out the Sesame Street fabric on the dog).

One of my favourite restaurants on Isla is unique as well, to say the least.  A kind of haphazard decor, irregular service and one of the most basic kitchens I have snuck a peak at -BUT THE FOOD!

Chicken soup sounds pretty basic-it was divine.  The broth was bursting with flavour and the pulled chicken so fresh tasting.

This is empty lot next to the restaurant.  The first time I ate there in 2005 there were chickens living here-now that’s fresh!

Freshness continues to their papas fritas-upon ordering they peel and slice the potato and drop it into a shallow fryer.  The piece de resistance is the wedge of lime that comes with every order.  You’ll never want to eat your fries any way else.

Ophelia’s Chilies Relleno-nuff said.

On this day, my companion and I shared this lunch as we were trying to fit many food destinations into our final days.  I can’t specifically recall the price but I think we each put in the equivalent of $7. and we were stuffed.  We had to walk along the sea wall to wear it off.  Ahh Isla…..

Kath’s quote:

“Tropical the island breeze
All of nature wild and free
This is where I long to be l
a isla bonita”- Madonna


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