Browsing: Restaurant Features

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.

 

 

Seso Loco – Isla Mujeres 2018

April6

Sister #3 here. Kath needed to recruit my help while vacationing on Isla Mujeres recently so that we could post about as many of the island’s restaurants as possible.

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I am not sure how it happened that I never visited Seso Locos back when it was located on Hidalgo, but this year I was determined to make the effort to get out to their new location down island, just south of Chac Chi and just north of Green Verde. Anyone to whom I mentioned my plan to visit this establishment all came back with the same response, “their pizza is excellent”. And they are right, Seso Locos does a thriving pizza business, eat-in, take out, delivery, they make between 20 – 30 pizzas every day. But when I arrived and was talking to Jesus (affectionately known by his friends as Seso) he shared that he is most proud of his fish and seafood dishes (for good reason as I was about to discover).

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The sign out front claims “the best margaritas” so when the waiter offered us a Bulldog – one of those beautifully icy margs with an ice-cold Sol upended into it, who was I to refuse? What arrived at my table was so huge I had to request three additional straws and get my table mates to help me out. I can now officially say I am in love with the “bulldog” and plan to do my best to recreate one sometime this summer, when the Canadian weather finally gets warm. It will need to be a day where I don’t need to leave the comfort of my back yard.

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The decision making process of what to order from the extensive menu was tough at first. We knew we needed to try the infamous pizza; my brother had the “Isla Mujeres” a combination of bacon, salami, and mushroom. It was large enough to feed all four of us and made for great left overs.

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Friend D ordered the Parmesan fish, which was lightly breaded, melt in your mouth tender and fresh.

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The dish that impressed me most was sister-in-law L’s coconut shrimp. I have eaten a LOT of coconut shrimp on this island, and this is by far the best I have ever had. There were 7, count them, 7 huge shrimp, in crunchy coconut perfection on her plate. Thank goodness she is generous and shared one with me. The sides of mashed potatoes and lightly pan-seared zucchini and carrots that accompanied both the fish and shrimp were a nice addition.

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I asked Seso, if he could recommend one item that I should try from the menu, what it would be? This is how I came to experience the Poblano Chile Seso Loco. Wow, talk about a rich and decedent entree! This gigantic pepper was stuffed with fish, calamari, and shrimp. The pepper was then coated in a crispy batter, fried and topped with tomato sauce and cheese. I was glad I had people willing to help me out with conquering this bad boy.

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We were stuffed, but somehow found ourselves convinced to try the apple strudel for dessert. A modern take on this Eastern European classic was the perfect ending to our evening. Crispy, cinnamony (is that even a word?) pastry filled with fruit and served with ice cream.

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While the restaurant lacks a view, except for the traffic on the roadway on which it is located, the open air space is clean and quaint. The service was impeccable. Our waiter, who had studied in the US for many years had a better command of the English language that I do. Seso Locos is open daily from 8:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and opens again at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. I know I will be back for that coconut shrimp next year and I would highly recommend you trying it out. Buen Provecho!

Kath’s quote: “The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living”.-Dione Lucas

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Love never fails.

 

 

Green Verde-Isla Mujeres 2018

April5

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There are still many popular restaurants on Isla that I have never visited (and I have visited the island once or twice a year since 2005!). Maybe that is because I have so many favourites that I try to visit each trip. Case in point: I have driven by Green Verde so many times and good friends of ours claim it to be the best restaurant on the island, but 2018 marked my first visit. The space had a funky laid back feel. The entire restaurant was constructed from recycled materials.

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We started with a wonderful guacamole washed down with frosty cervesas and vino tinto.

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We needed sustenance to decide what to order from their vast menu.

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Both R and D chose the Ticin Xic (pronounced teek-ih-sheek). Years ago we used to have the authentic dish at least once per visit. The cooking style is a very typical way to serve fresh fish and dates back to the very early Maya. On Isla it used to be served more often at many beach restaurants. The fish is usually cooked on an outside wood grill. In Mexico it is typically served with the head, tail and spine intact! Both the guys loved their selection.

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M chose Chicken in red mole sauce and she too was delighted with her chocie. Did you know that there are at least six colours of mole? The following is from the Que Rica Vida blog site:

  • Black mole: Made with nuts, fruits, chiles, cinnamon, hoja santa (sacred leaf) and plenty of chocolate.
  • Red mole: Similar to black and Mole Poblano. Its colors and taste depend on the chiles used, like guajillo.
  • Green mole: Pumpkin seeds, cilantro and tomatillos are among the ingredients used.
  • Yellow mole: Soft, spicy and without chocolate.
  • Mole coloradito: Very similar to red mole, but sweeter because it’s made with plantains.
  • Mancha manteles: It’s got it all! Sweet and sour, savory and spicy hues. Ingredients include chile ancho and pineapple.

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I went out on a limb and ordered Tequila pork ribs. Sister #2 makes a Tequila chicken dish that I love, so I thought it was a safe bet. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and full of flavour. I am going to have to try to recreate the dish now that we are home.

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The evening was a lovely new experience for us and we were glad that our friends urged us to visit. The next time I dine, I want to sit here.

Kath’s quote: “Grilling, broiling, barbecuing – whatever you want to call it – is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.”-James Beard

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Love never fails.

Ruben’s-Isla Mujeres 2018

April4

Another of our must visits is Ruben’s. We were delighted to try Chilito this year and wish Ruben much success. Here are some of our previous visits from the Food Musings archive:

2016

2017

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Ruben’s is so well situated in Centro that we sometimes stop in on the way home from the beach as we did one day for his shrimp omelet. I dream about the omelet when I am not on the island.

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On another evening we were strolling Hidalgo near the end of our stay and realized that we had only had ceviche one time. It had been made with white fish not the shrimp version that we prefer. So we decided to walk over to Ruben’s for a night cap and an order of shrimp ceviche.

Kath’s quote: “Never trust a skinny cook” -Unknown

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Love never fails.

 

Fredy’s-Isla Mujeres 2018

April3

What can I say about Fredy’s and his fabulous food that I have not already said.

2010

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016,  2016 Mel & Alda’s

2017

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Once we understood his quirky sense of humour we were fast friends. More recently we have gotten to know his wife Ana and his kids as well.

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On this occasion we completely depleted Fredy’s pork chop supply (there were 8 of us). We could hear him apologizing at another table that he was completely out.

Things are changing on the island. It was most noticeable on this trip. Many of the reasons why we love the island is because of people like Fredy and that I am sure will never change.

Kath’s quote: “The more things change, the more they are the same.”- Alphonse Karr

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Love never fails.

 

 

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