Cafe Cito & Basto Grill-Day 6 on Isla Mujeres


We love everything about Cafe Cito:  1) Both the inside and exterior of the building are so lovingly detailed and maintained and their colour palette is daring but somehow everything works perfectly together.

2) They make a great cup of coffee.

3) Our server is a kook.  Perhaps he is one of the owners as he is very “proprietorish” in his service.

4) I get to gaze at my gorgeous children while our food is carefully prepared. (We left one other beauty back in Canada as she decided to travel elsewhere over the holidays).

5) With the Mexican breakfast, you get to choose between a juice and fresh fruit.

6) The Mexican eggs are scrambled with onion, tomato and peppers and are served with beans and 2 buns. 

7) They liberally season their breakfast potatoes with coarse pepper and their eggs are perfectly cooked.

8) It is their jam that gets the highest raves-a combination of pineapple, coconut and banana jam, I have been trying since I got home to get the proportions right to recreate it.

Holy, moly almost all of the photos that I took on this day are off food.  The son and our Newbie went to Jax for lunch and we ordered a Rotisserie chicken to share around the pool.  A whole chicken is $9 for 3 of us to eat our fill with 2 pieces set aside for tasters for the other two.

This is the sign of the place that we like to go on Hidalgo but we have seen other locations around the island.  Perhaps it is Isla’s version of a franchise.  Does anyone who knows the island better than I, know if this is so?  We think that we might have perfected this recipe at home too.  Let me know if you would like a copy of our rendition.

The Kids (or shall I say-“our grown children who have minds and lives of their own”) decided that they wanted a night without us old folks, so we were left to fend for ourselves.  But before we went our separate ways, D ran out to fetch banana milkshakes for us to mix with Kahlua (a huge bottle purchased at the Navy Store for $10) for a PRE-happy hour cocktail.   Our indulgences are getting down right ridiculous aren’t they?

We started the evening by crossing the street to watch the sunset at the Fisherman’s Co-op.  We were actually treated to two sunsets that day-one when the sun dipped into this bank of cloud.  Our server paused to watch this spectacle with us.  He shared that he had lived on Isla all of his life but had never tired of this glorious occurance.

When our son was little he used to call these “God” clouds because he thought that the light streaming through, was from heaven.

Many places make one of our favourite dishes on Isla but because of its location I suppose (right at dockside) we think the ceviche at the Fisherman’s Co-op might be the best.  I make this recipe at home too-imagine no fat and no carbs, just pure protein.

It is a bit of a hike to our next destination but as you can imagine we have some of the day’s calories to wear off.  I am likely going to say something grossly unpopular here-but we were unimpressed by the Soggy Pesos.  There was no breeze from the water so it was hot and sticky and the place was full of middle aged men.  I suppose if I were single, this might be an attraction but we felt like we had entered into a boys’ club where we had not been invited.  Hey, I have a very open mind, we’ll try again another time.

By this time we’ve worked up an appetite again and so we hop a cab to Basto Grill.  This is no easy fete, because we had never been there before, I didn’t have a street address, we speak kindergarten Spanish and our eager cab driver had never heard of it.  Here’s the issue: the name is not very clearly indicated on the yellow circle in the middle of this awning.  So you may want to take a Mapchick map with you to scope the place out.  But don’t let this stumbling block prevent you from making the effort, because the little place is wonderful.  PS a reader has just messaged me to say:

“Easiest way to get to ‘Bastos” is to tell the taxi driver to go to the SuperEx in the colonia, get out in front of the store, Bastos is on the street to the left of the entrance, big blue canopy.” Thanks Dana

The restraurant is built onto the front of a family home and we are guessing that the hard-working couple on the other side of the kitchen window are the Mom and Dad to the three strapping boys who are the servers.  D observed that the family must be doing okay because the guys were wearing designer jeans and have stylish haircuts.  They work their buns off to make everyone feel at home-fetching ice cold beverages from the house and moving more and more tables and chairs onto the street to accommodate arriving guests.

The meal starts with an assortment of pickled items, creme fresh and tortilla chips; a Mexican anti-pasta.

D chose the Filete de Pescado al Perejil accompanied by a pasta a la Mantequilla y Verduras al Vapor (I don’t know what on earth this all means after “fillet of fish”) but he had a far off look on his face as he savoured everything taste.

I thought that I might pick at something a little lighter or even take it home for pool side left overs and selected the Hamburuesa Especial with jamon, queso y piernam horneadade y papas fritas.  The burger was fantastic-the best I have ever eaten on the Island but I will admit that I hardly ever select foods that I can order from restaurants at home, when I am on Isla.  Why would you?  I can compare it to Jax and Basto’s is FAR superior.  Besides the burger patty, there was a layer of sauteed beef strips as well of the other accompaniments listed above.  And the fries-well they rival La Lomita’s, which as you may have already read, are my yardstick.

D would rather come to places like Basto’s (and La Bruja and Mochi’s) than go anywhere on Hidalgo and sometime soon we are going to stay right in Colonia’s and discover all that is has to offer.

But we do love to stroll Hidalgo and people watch and so we had the cab drop us off at North Beach so that we could do so.  When we got back to the hotel the rest of the gang was already home and watching a movie so we had a nightcap on the balcony and pointed out the difference in the southern sky from our northern one back home.  Boy or boy, we old folks know how to live.

Kath’s quote:“And the Quangle Wangle said
To himself on the Crumpetty Tree,–
‘Jam; and Jelly; and bread;
Are the best of food for me!”-
Edward Lear

8 Comments to

“Cafe Cito & Basto Grill-Day 6 on Isla Mujeres”

  1. Avatar January 18th, 2012 at 3:23 pm Sister #3 Says:

    Here are some translations to help with the fish dish.
    Perejil = parsley
    Mantequilla = butter
    Verduras = vegetables
    Vapor = litterally translates to vapor so I am guessing it means steamed.

    Te quiero, su muy hermana de intellegent = Love you, your very smart sister. Just kidding (about the smart part not the love you part)

  2. Avatar January 18th, 2012 at 3:54 pm Kathryne Says:

    I claim to be a loyal Islaholic but I should get around to putting my money where my mouth is and learn their language like Sister #3 has done.

  3. Avatar February 24th, 2012 at 10:28 pm marilyn Says:

    We are just back from Mexico and found Basto’s Grill. Fantastic place. 2 lobster, a filet mignon, a rib eye steak, a fillet of fish, a hamburguesa especial, cervezas and wine came to less than $100. The owner who is the chef was the chef at Villa Rollandi for 20 years I am told. Went back twice.

  4. Avatar February 24th, 2012 at 10:30 pm marilyn Says:

    We also enjoyed Cafe Cito for breakfast one day. Decent price too. So many amazing restaurants on that little island.

  5. Avatar February 25th, 2012 at 8:38 am Kathryne Says:

    So Marilyn you’ve been to Isla and returned for 2012?

  6. Avatar February 25th, 2012 at 8:41 am Kathryne Says:

    I read these in the wrong order…so you’ve been and returned. When were you there? Where did you stay? What were your other eating highlights? We loved Basto’s too and your findings are likely the reason why it was so amazing.

  7. Avatar January 4th, 2016 at 3:06 pm La Cocina de Basto-Isla Mujeres - Food Musings | Winnipeg food blog Says:

    […] have enjoyed visiting Basto’s many times that we have been on the island ( see link here, here and […]

  8. Avatar April 13th, 2018 at 9:32 am Basto-Isla Mujeres 2018 - Food Musings | Winnipeg food blog Says:

    […] 2012 […]

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