Browsing: Restaurant Features

Basto-Isla Mujeres 2018

April13

On this evening, my last on the island, I was solo as D had to be home before me and had left earlier that day. Friends R & M were still on the island though and they invited me to join them for dinner. We were continuing our circuit of restaurants in the Colonias when I discovered they had never tried Basto Grill.

D and I have been many times. Here are some visits from the Food Musings’ archives:

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

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I made my recommendations of favourite dishes and R decided upon the grilled shrimp which was served with fettucine, sauteed veggies and lots and lots of butter! He was very pleased although I thought that his shrimp looked a wee bit over cooked.

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M asked our server what he would recommend and without hesitation, he indicated the Enchiladas Suiza! He said that they (the family that owns and operates Basto) were very proud of the dish. M was blown away! She couldn’t get over the composition of the sauce indicating that the fresh and sparkling tomatillos and cilantro produced an absolutely heavenly taste. Two or three times as we were finishing our meal and saying our good-byes, she commented again on the surprise of the sauce and as a result, the entire dish.

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Since I had missed out on my traditional feed of chilies relleno at La Lomita on the trip, I absolutely had to have them before my eminent departure. Basto’s were equally good and I savoured each bite to capture the taste in my memory bank for another season.

We also shared a side of fries even though they did not enhance anyone’s dish. They were piping hot, not a bit greasy, with a glistening of salt and then it was my turn to know what heaven will taste like.

Kath’s quote: “What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents.”-Michael Chiarello

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Love never fails.

Breakfast at Seso Loco-Isla Mujeres 2018

April12

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Sister #3 had such high praise for Seso Loco that I wanted to see for myself. We didn’t have any more supper slots left open but we did need a place for the 4 of us to have our last meal together (my husband left the island later that evening).

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The open walled space was full of morning sunshine and we had our pick of tables.

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The breakfast menu had so many delectable options to choose from.

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D selected the Isla Omelet which was chock full of mushrooms, cheese, ham and bacon. What do the islanders do to make their omelets taste so good? Is it the local eggs? Is it the abundance of fillings? Do they cook in butter? Whatever the case, D was well pleased.

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We were surprised when R didn’t order the stuffed poblano chile because he had done so at various breakfast spots in the colonias. On this morning he had his eye on the breakfast Burrito. Upon finishing the wrap of cheese, bacon and re-fried beans he declared it to be the best burrito he had enjoyed on the island.

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M wanted something on the lighter side and settled upon the banana coconut French toast. The choice was light but pretty sweet, more like having dessert for breakfast.

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I was delighted with my decision of Chilaquiles with red sauce. The eggs were perfectly cooked, the tortillas beautifully crispy and the sauce…oh that sauce, no wonder Ses Loco’s pizzas are so popular! I could have done without the raw onion but that is a personal choice. The dusting a Parmesan cheese provided enough extra flavour for me.

We learned at least two things while on the island: Seso Loco’s is a great bet for either breakfast or dinner.

Kath’s quotes: “So in our pride we ordered for breakfast, an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda.”-John Steinbeck, while traveling in Russia

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Isla Mujeres Annual Progressive Dinner

April11

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We are a family who love to give the gift of experiences rather than things. Concerts, little getaways and restaurant gift cards top our list of gifts to give and to receive. This Christmas our son gave us a note that read:

J and I would like to sponsor your progressive evening on Isla this year. We have truly come to love this tradition and want to share in the experience with you.

The note came with a six pack of Sol and a wad of Mexican Pesos.  He went on to say:

I imagine you having a practice sunset in the living room before the trip. I’d also like you to take this pen and paper in case you come up with a great life altering idea (we often do when we are on vacation and have the time to really talk something out) but the cervesas made your forget.

Merry Christmas. We cherish our friendship. Love J1 and J2

And so it was that we had been anticipating this particular dinner since December 25, 2017. In reality we don’t usually plan ahead. We usually mosey around Centro until a craving comes to us. We often have a golf cart for our dinner. But when we were on the island this year, there was some negative Facebook posts about a golf cart/taxi incident and we know that the police are pulling people over for random breathalyzers. It is not that we planned to drink in excess but we are particularly vigilant about not drinking and driving. D passed 2 breathalyzers in 2017 on Isla. One where he had to breathe in a policeman’s cupped hands and another with an actual machine. In our minds the test is so ineffectively managed, that it simply seems as if the police can decide without evidence if you have consumed too much liquor. We always go by the adage: “Better safe than sorry” So renting a golf cart was out. We strolled into town and took a cab home at the end of our wonderful evening.

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While we are on the island, we spend a great deal of time with our friend Hortencia and her family. Brother #3 and his wife entertain Hortencia’s grandchildren on the beach a couple of times each visit. It is a big treat for them. Imagine living on the island and not being able to go to the beach on a regular basis? We often invite Hortencia and her extended family over to one of our places for dinner and other years, she invites us. This year, she extended the invitation. As we waited on the beach, we saw their pick up truck making its way down Medina. They piled out with two of the boys carrying 2 wooden chairs and Bro #3 Hortencia embracing a huge pot of Hortencia’s mole. As is often the case, she made the mole version that was typical of the area of Mexico that she came from.

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We asked for a small bowl that D and I could share because of our plans for later that evening. Her expression said “who cares if you are going to eat again later on…eat now!”  Her mole was masterful-full of flavour but not too spicy. The chicken was succulent and tender. It sure would be hard to top that taste off.

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We typically commence our evening with a cocktail at sunset. We had left it too long, so we walked into the first place we came to off the beach. The beer were lovely and cold. Has anybody eaten there?

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We did manage to catch the last rays of another glorious sunset.

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We always seem to find our way to La Lomita at least once during our Isla stays. It was the first restaurant I ever ate at on the island. here are a number of posts from the Food Musings archive:

2010

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

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As it was, we were only able to share a dinner of garlic fish and their amazing French fries!

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We decided to do some more walking so that we could fit in another spot. Try as we might, we only had room left for something very light and so we shared shrimp ceviche at Rubens.

It was the last night on the island for the entourage we were a part of, so we stopped for a last cocktail at Fredy’s before heading to our favourite ice cream place (corner of Hidalgo and the square) where I was over the moon for my scoop of coconut ice cream in a chocolate waffle cone.

Even though our restaurant circuit wasn’t lengthy and we didn’t cover off any new treats, it was a wonderful evening and we are already looking forward to next year’s.

Kath’s quote: “Our countries are great friends. We have given you Lafayette and French fried potatoes”.-O. Henry, ‘Rolling Stones’ (1894)
First reference to French fried potatoes

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mala Hierba Restaurant-Isla Mujeres 2018

April10

Another new restaurant we tried on our Isla visit this year.

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As I researched the meaning of “Mala Hierba” I see that hierba could mean herb or weed and mala means bad so the words mean bad herb. But there were also references that hierba means marijuana and also that the saying can describe a bad person. I also saw a live herb wall garden and thought that they were the “herbs” being referred to. In the end I thought the restaurant name was an intriguing choice.

The restaurant might have been tricky to find had it not been for Sister #3 who was able to give the cab driver very specific instructions.

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I am not sure why I wanted this picture taken, when we were not all around the table. Two people were missing from the photo.

The seating area is quite small and is outside under an overhang. It had been raining that evening so we tucked ourselves closer together so we could all be under shelter.

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There were a group of us and I did not pay close enough attention to what others ordered but I am pretty sure that Dona selected the sauteed fish.

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I think that the two above items were chicken and they got switched when placed in front of people but both recipients were delighted so it actually turned out to be a good thing.

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I know exactly what was in Mommy’s Shrimp that I ordered as I hung on the server’s every word as he described it. Jalepeno, cream cheese and enormous tail on shrimp had been wrapped in bacon and baked. They were accompanied by a mayo dipping sauce that had been enhanced with sesame oil and cumin. The garlic mashed potatoes were stellar as well as the sauteed vegetables including my favourite local veggie-chaya.

I love the type of cook that Ziggy is. He knows that if something tastes good, it will taste even better with the addition of cream cheese and bacon! Everyone oohed and awed as they tuck into their meals, that much I know for sure.

Kath’s quote: “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”-Doug Larson

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Love never fails.

 

 

Madera Food and Art-Isla Mujeres 2018

April9

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Madera Food and Art was another new restaurant visit on our 2018 trip. There are not an abundance of restaurants on that stretch of the Caribbean road on the island. So if you have made the trek whether via golf, cart, scooter or taxi, you have likely seen it.

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The offerings are not extensive but the couple of things that we tasted were excellent. I understand that the rice bowls are top drawer.

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M & R split a burger and this gorgeous salad. She especially enjoyed the scattering of a crunchy topping and the cucumbers ribbons that had been marinated but not for long enough to pickle them.

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D and I split the burger. OMGoodness-it was sensational! A just baked pretzel bun surrounded a hand made patty. The side of potatoes was also stellar. I remember wishing that I had ordered my own burger plate.

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The dining area are mostly high tables under a palapa. We got there early hearing that they often ran out of tables (and food!). There was quite the crowd when we stood up to leave and the person who spotted our departure first, got the table.

Kath’s quote: “A Hamburger is warm and fragrant and juicy. A hamburger is soft and nonthreatening. It personifies the Great Mother herself who has nourished us from the beginning. A hamburger is an icon of layered circles, the circle being at once the most spiritual and the most sensual of shapes. A hamburger is companionable and faintly erotic. The nipple of the Goddess, the bountiful belly-ball of Eve. You are what you think you eat.”-Tom Robbins

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Love never fails.

 

 

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