Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Feature-Relax at Jax by Sister #3


Regulars to Isla Mujeres will be very familiar with Jax, a place considered a cornerstone of the community. Located at the tip of Medina and Lopes Mateo, across from the round-about, facing the lovely fisherman memorial statue, it has long been, (22 years to be exact), a gathering place. You may find yourself at Jax for Island Worship on a Sunday morning or enjoying a sporting event on their big screens. Stopping for snacks after a fishing tournament or taking advantage of Hump day happy hour, followed by live music every Wednesday. Spend any time on the island and you’re likely to visit Jax. But I would highly recommend also making it a dinner destination, on a less busy day and enjoying the great food and service, taking in the lovely view and ambiance. 

The evening we visited, Sister #1 had just arrived to the island on a late day ferry. We literally dropped her cases at her apartment and were off to see our friend Jackie, the owner of Jax. To say that Jackie is overflowing with southern hospitality would be an understatement. 

We settled into a table on the second floor, to enjoy the view of the palms and a cool breeze. After a cocktail to toast our time on the island, we decided it was chilly enough to have soup for our first course.

The soup was a bit of comfort, after a long travel day. The seafood soup was incredible! The fish broth with onion, tomato and peppers, was so tasty and it was chuck-full of conch and octopus with plenty of plump shrimp. Each bowl of soup is made to order so the seafood is fresh and delicious. We especially enjoyed crumbling our tortillas into it, as they do with most soups here in Mexico. This in itself is a meal, but it had been a long day with not much to eat, so we moved on to the mains. 

A dish of three Baja style fish tacos featured tender fresh grouper in a light tempura batter along with sopero cheese, cabbage and crema. The fish at Jax is always excellent. For their fish and chips, fish tacos, etc. they only use grouper or mahi-mahi and work with local fisherman who will fish a bit further a field when necessary to bring home the catch. On the rare occasion that this caliber of fish isn’t available, they will just pull it from the menu for the day rather than serve an inferior product. 

Jax also offers ahi grade tuna. We had the pepper grilled version that was served with rice and fresh vegetables, accompanied by wasabi, soy, and pickled ginger. 

Talk about a cheeseburger in paradise, we indulged in the Original Jax Burger piled high with all the fixings. Ours had onion, tomato, lettuce, fried mushrooms, jalapeños, avocado, pickles, and American cheese! Served with piping hot French fries, this half pound ground sirloin burger is all meat-cooked on the grill with pepper and a particular seasoning blend.  This seasoning is a testament to Jackie’s commitment to good ingredients. When this spice mix was nowhere to be found on the island she made a trip to Texas to purchase it, along with a couple of other impossible to find items. She tells us that her apartment now looks like a bodega. 

The avocado shrimp salad was lovely and refreshing. Chopped greens with slices of perfect avocado were topped with giant poached shrimp (8 of them!) and served with a remoulade sauce, whose flavour brought out the sweetness of the shrimp perfectly. It’s easy to understand why this is a crowd favourite. 

Jackie is proud of the drinks and food they have created at Jax, but she shared that the thing she is most proud of is her incredible staff. Many have been with her since shortly after opening. A testament to the fine and generous soul she is. 

Kath’s quote: “You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food“.-Kurt Vonnegut

Love never fails.

Day 15 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-with a visit to Pizza Mikes


As I mentioned, I hadn’t slept well that first night so on this morning, I got up, took a glance of the sky just before sunrise, and went back to bed.

The pool and area surrounding the pool was quite lovely. With turquoise every where, I knew we had come to the right place.

The view from the pool was perfection.

By the end of our stay, we got to know many of our neighbours really well and are keeping in touch now that we are all home. But that first day. we whispered to each other because one couple didn’t speak at all and the other pairs, just amongst themselves. We wondered that day, if this would always be the case.

We enjoyed our sunset and then walked down the street to Pizza Mikes. Since we had not seen our friends IRL for a number of months, the day was filled in with a shop at Chedraui and catching up on each others lives.

This pic was another of my favs from the trip. Being a lover of everything Italian and especially Italian food, it is a glimpse of what heaven looks like to me.

Speaking of heaven, Mike’s garlic knots were divine!

We love mussels and order them often when dining. Mike’s were supposedly from Chile so we definitely had to check them out. Steamed in white wine and more garlic, they were sensational! I could see walking to Mike’s for another bucket in our future. The mussel meat was plump and juicy and the spinach and parmesan the perfect garnishes. We were off to a great start.

We read on the menu that Mike’s stuffed crust pizza was award winning, so trying one was a must.

The pie was absolutely amazing. Stuffed with so many good tastes, it was surprisingly light and crispy! Having never experienced Mike’s except for his pizza delivery, we were absolutely smitten with his offerings.

A stroll home, took the edge of our consumption before heading to our books and sleep. We were grateful anew for our good friends and the great blessings of being together again.

Kath’s quote: “I want to live in a world where the need for pizza belittles that of war.” Jason Barnett

Love never fails.

Day 14 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Moving up island


My last sunrise from the Malecon in Centro. It was moving day!

I had intentionally been secretive about where we were staying while we were still on the island. That was because, Punta Piedra is so popular and we hadn’t received confirmation that we could return to the property in 2024. Sorry, not sorry. The 2 bedroom second floor unit was so perfect for D and I, and our best friends from Toronto that were arriving that evening, we didn’t want to take any chances about not securing it for the 2024 season.

The primary bedroom had a fold out couch, to sleep an extra person or have some privacy while reading or scrolling your phone.

There was a King Sized bed in the primary bedroom with a walk in closet and en suite. We wanted our friends to enjoy the space.

We brought our hammock from home and it stayed almost permanently in this location. When the sun was high, it was a lovely place to catch the shade.

There was basic wooden furniture that was reasonably comfortable. The view from here was so mesmerizing that we really think about our butts.

Looking in from the balcony, there were two loveseats in the living room.

We ate many breakfasts and a couple of restaurant delivery meals in the dining area.

From the living room to the balcony.

Our room was spacious too with lots of storage in the hutch. It was right next door to the second bathroom. The first night we left our window wide open but I couldn’t sleep because of the crashing of the waves. The next evening, we left it open an inch or so and I slept like a baby.

In the kitchen was a hotplate corner to cook omelets, a microwave, coffee maker and fridge. The toaster needed replacing but that was our only suggestion. The fridge was full sized and that was a good thing as we kept it well stocked. In my mind it was made perfect with the window over the sink to catch a breeze when we did the dishes.

D cracking his first beer and enjoying the hammock.

Around the corner from the main balcony was a whole other stretch of space which caught the sun, all day long as well as being the perfect spot for sunsets.

The view from our bedroom window.

We put out a snack and waited for our friends. My BIL M was in Centro with his golf cart, so he agreed to meet and deliver them, which meant no one had to pay for cab rides. They were a long time in coming due to the busyness of the airport and being met by the shuttle. A fellow passenger barfed in the via en route. Needless to say they didn’t use CARM, which is our favourite transfer company.

The extra time meant that D and I could kind of decompress from our stay in Centro. It was like being on a totally different island at our new digs.

We caught the changing colour of the sky and knew that sunset was imminent.

While looking west across the island, we would sometimes see what appeared to be a moving telephone pole-it was the mast of yacht on the other side of the island!

Over the course of the next 2 weeks, there were many glasses of wine enjoyed while watching the setting sun.

And then the little crescent of the moon came out.

Once our friends arrived, they dropped their luggage and we walked to Green Verde for a late supper. There are pics and descriptions of the evening in the link.

As the last half of our vacation began, we were blessed anew by the pleasures of Punta Piedra.

Kath’s quote: There are some people you meet where it’s never awkward, no matter how much time has passed. The friendship is so deep that time makes no difference. Authour unknown

Love never fails.

Day 13 Trip Report Including Lunch at Alexa & Giovanni’s


Another sunrise when I couldn’t pick my favourite photo. I loved this one because when the sun peeked from behind a solid line of cloud it made a reflection in a solid line.

I always love to capture what my kids (when they were little) called God clouds.

Speaking of God and miracles (see how I just snuck that in there?) This was a grand niece we had never met. We were in love instantaneously! The miracle of her conception had taken place via a fertility clinic in Cancun although a second miracle occurred, when she was born early in Canada. Her parents and grandparents (D’s oldest Brother’s family) were holidaying in Cancun but wanted to come and check out Isla, fascinated by what we loved about the island.

After waiting for them at them at the ferry dock, they texted us to say that they had just disembarked. How could that be, since we were at the gate? Turns out they took the car ferry over!

By the time we fetched them it was nearly lunch. Where would we take them for an authentic taste of the island? We headed to Alexa & Giovani’s Loncheria. They were very impressed. In fact, we were all blown away by the food quality, presentation and affordable prices!

Sorry about the pink tinge. All of my pics from the Loncheria turned out this way. This was the gorgeous shrimp ceviche,

the coconut shrimp

and the shrimp tostadas ordered by the female side of the table.


and fajitas were selected by the males. All were proficiently prepared and delicious!

From there we headed to Hortencia’s to introduce family to family. By this time it was time to cool off for a swim. The water was the perfect temperature and we enjoyed dipping in and out, sometimes with the baby in tow.

After a brief visit at our apartment to change out of suits, we headed to El Patio for Happy Hour. The drinks were flowing along with some great snacks of

more coconut shrimp,


and nachos.

We were having a grand old time. This was caught of me, loving the generous wine pours at Happy Hour.

But all good things have to end, including this wonderful visit. We walked them back to the car ferry, with the hope that they will join us on Isla in 2024. Just as we paused to enjoy this sunset, my side of the family pulled up in their golf cart. The guys got out and the girls hopped in and D and I joined them for a night cap at Lola Valentina where they were headed for dinner.

I didn’t get a chance for many pictures but I couldn’t pass on a shot of this gorgeous burger. Lola Valentina’s does a great many dishes, very well.

As I struggled to sleep that night (yes Carnival was still going strong), I couldn’t get the image of our beautiful niece out of my mind’s eye.

Kath’s quote: “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” — Margaret Thatcher

Love never fails.

Day 12 Isla Mujeres Trip Report


Somehow it was Sunday again, but this Sunday I didn’t sleep through the sunrise AND I had company as D wasn’t playing tennis, that made it extra sweet.

We had so enjoyed Beach Church with Ken Wanovich the previous Sunday, that we were back for more. Jackie, the owner of Jax was the gracious host.

Gathering together in such a beautiful setting, does the ole heart good.

Once back home in our little apartment, I took some left over shrimp ceviche and made this beautiful shrimp omelet, using the recipe that I remembered from Rueben’s restaurant.

It was a low key day in Centro and when Sister #3 was looking to have a visitor at lunch, I was happy to tag along.

Everyone has their favourite Loncheria (we typical visit Alexa & Giovani’s) and even though I had been to Tumbras before, I didn’t remember being so impressed with the food!

The Mom of this little one worked at the Loncheria. She was such a sweetheart and so good at entertaining herself. As the fresh market was right next door, the kitchen often ran out to pick up a fresh item, as was the case when I placed my order. The Momma would scoop up her little one to run these errands, and you could tell that the latter was pleased with a change of scene.

When Sister #3’s choice of breaded pork cutlets arrived we were blown away by the portion-enough for at least two meals and at such an affordable price! They were reportedly delicious.

My order of French Fries came along quite a while after Sister #3 had eaten to content, but that was because they ran to purchase the potatoes, peeled, cut them on the spot and shallow fried them (I know because it was an open kitchen). With a squeeze of lime and lightly salted, they were sensational! Boy the locals know how to make perfect fries.

Upon our return to the apartment, we understood that one of the Carnaval dance troops was coming to entertain on our block. We joined other neighbours and enjoyed their performance immensely but I was particularly delighted, when they all hopped onto their motorcycles, and made their way to their next engagement.

We had met Donna, on our second day on the island. She was our neighbour in the apartments and a fellow Canadian. D and I immediately bonded with her. D taught her how to make margaritas that afternoon and they are seen here, enjoying the fruits of the tutorial.

As I stated earlier, we had no real balcony at our second floor apartment but there was common space on the main floor. One day the main floor ladies worked together to get the space tidied up and D pitched in on another day to haul away garbage and paint cans. Sure enough, when we returned a couple of days after we checked out, more discarded paint cans how found their way back to the space.

Our tradition of meeting new arrivals continued that afternoon. “Doona” as we call her on the island is another Islaholic and has travelled with our family for many years, so we consider her one of our brood

and tease her that she is Bro K’s “Mexican Girlfriend”.

With no one having a rental in Centro big enough for us all to visit, we got her settled in and then met up on the Malecon for welcome libations.

That evening we were excited to have dinner at El Patio. I have mentioned previously, that it is our go to spot for happy hour appetizers and drinks. Full dinners are beautifully prepared and delicious too. Click the link above to read more.

After dinner, we walked through Centro, stopping briefly to check out the carnival stage. Our apartment was very close to the Zocalo and we heard all the festivities late into to the night. Note to self: check out Carnival dates before booking for 2024.

The food carts around the square are always tempting, and during carnival an even greater selection, is brought in.

In repect for the locals, I never take a picture without their permission, these beauties were happy to comply.

Kath’s quotes: “Dance like no one’s watching.”-Authour unknown

Love never fails.

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