Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

2016 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Four







We sat with our coffees and watched the glorious sunrise and


then headed down Hidalgo for a fabulous breakfast at Lola Valentina’s (see the link for full description and lots of photos) of stuffed poblano chilies and tres leche French toast.



We spent the afternoon at the beach because we thought that it was likely Sister #3 and Dona’s last beach day.




That evening was Fredy’s 20th anniversary and we had so much fun.


When we arrived at 5 as instructed, he told us to go away and come back at 6, so we went close by to Brother #3 and L’s room for a drink.


Brother #3 is on the left (we also call him the Mayor of Isla) and husband D is on the right.


Fredy’s was festively decorated and Two on a Hammock (Marla & Javi) were playing. Jan and Bruce joined us. Fredy was serving free appetizers:


bread stuffed with cheese,


tuna stuffed jalepeno’s,


grilled shrimp, grilled veggies,


guacamole and pico de gallo.


Everyone else at the table ordered entrees but we had reservations at Mayan beach Club (formerly the Sunset Grill).


We had a couple of glasses of wine


and shared a tuna tartar


and tequila flan. We had a beautiful table in the sand on the beach but it looked like we missed a lot of fun at Fredy’s.

Kath’s quote: “I hate missing everything. That’s why I want to marry well and be a grand lady. Then I can host all the parties, all the time, and see everything that is going on always. How can you stand not knowing?”  ― Gail Carriger


Love never fails.

Fredy’s Isla Mujeres


No trip to Isla Mujeres would be complete without a visit to Fredy’s. Read here about past visits: long ago, 2011,  2013, 2014, 


We have been friends with Fredy for so long that Sister #3’s photo of them together once adorned his restaurant wall (prior to the most recent renovations that is). One year we even ate Christmas dinner at Fredy’s!

We don’t even look at the menu any more. Almost everyone knows what they will order.


Baked Chicken Fajitas for Sister-in-law #3.


Mexican Platter for Sister #3.


Double-boned pork chops for the rest of us (4 of us on this evening). My husband D had not been to Fredy’s as often as the rest of us and was absolutely blown away by his pork chop. He went on and on about the cut, the preparation, the grilling, the tenderness and the taste.


D has owned his own restaurant and was a broiler chef for years and years and he knows his stuff. He could not say enough about Fredy’s skill in the kitchen.


When we first sat down, Fredy brought out his chips with guacamole and pico de gallo. I rarely order cocktails at dinner but Fredy’s pina cooladas are stellar!

You owe it to yourself to check Fredy’s. His food and clever/dry wit will have you coming back for more.

Kath’s quote: “I have three sets of humor. One I keep in a bag of salt, because it’s the dry one.
” ― Jarod Kintz


Love, that is all.







My Favourite Restaurant Experiences of 2015


Here is a round up of my favourite restaurants for 2015 (sorry Winnipeggers only one is from here).

For Christmas last year D gifted me with a trip to White Rock and then Seattle early this past year to visit old and dear friends.

1. The Seahorse Grill, Crescent Beach, White Rock BC


D could not resist the Pan Seared Scallops in lemon grass sauce accompanied by fregola pasta and market vegetables. The taste of the enormous scallop that he shared with me as absolutely delectable-sweet and silky, just like a fresh scallop should taste.

Friend Nance ordered what she claims she cannot resist with each of her many visits to the Seahorse Grill-the Linguine Vongole. She offered me a swirl and I know that if the opportunity is afforded me in the future (and I am currently making those plans), I would certainly order her selection. The freshest of clams were poached in white wine broth, olive and plenty of garlic and then perfectly heaved together with el dente linguini.


My Smoked chicken and pasta choice was perfect with generous slices of chicken breast and a bone in cuts as well, the dish was laced with garlic and beautifully paired with a hearty pasta.

2. The Fat Hen, Seattle Washington

The morning we visited, Owner/Chef Maximo was in the tiny café kitchen where he whipped up the most decadent and rich breakfasts for D and I. His wife had baked all the pastries that were featured in the restaurant including the perfectly bubble filled baguette that I used to sop up every single bite of my delectable sauce.


Since we were in seafood territory, D chose the Benedict with wild Alaskan smoked salmon. The petite roasted new potatoes were a delectable accompaniment.


I needed help with my baked eggs alla boscaiola where two eggs had been plunged into a bubbling solea tomato sauce with sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella, to finish the cooking process. At least, this is how we guessed the dish had been prepared. The more quickly you broke into the egg, the softer the yolk was that had been poaching in the hearty sauce. By my last bite the egg was fully cooked.

We spotted Maximo as he efficiently let down a counter to cover the doorway to the kitchen to lovingly plate and complete his delicious fare. He was shy (and busy) but came out for a moment to shake our hands in greeting.

Fredy’s, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

One of our regular stops on Isla Mujeres is to our friend Fredy’s. We met Fredy many years ago when we first started visiting the island. His dry wit, love of family and fabulous food, keep us coming back, year after year. We even ate Christmas dinner there one year.


On this year’s visit at the end of February I couldn’t resist Fredy’s double boned pork chop. Perfect seasoned and grilled, sometimes I dream about them.

Da Emma, Old Montreal, Quebec

In July I visited Da Emma housed in Montreal’s first prison for women. The Restaurant’s walls were impossibly thick but contrary to what you might first expect, the ambiance was warm and inviting.


We started with bruschetta where I confirmed anew how much I love fresh garlic and tomatoes and crunchy baguette.


Next up was eggplant which featured thin layers of my favourite vegetable and a delicate tomato sauce.


For my main, I chose “Piglet” even though I felt awkward about ordering something with such a cute name. The skin was crunchy, the silky fat melted away and the meat was perfectly seasoned and prepared.

Toscano Doc, Montecatini Italy

When I read through Trip Advisor reviews of a restaurant I am interested in what fellow travellers have to say but even more so when a local goes to the trouble of commenting and recommending their favourite spots. On the very first night that we were in Tuscany in October, we went with one of these suggestions. Little did we know that first evening that we would return almost every other night of our week’s stay. One reason was our server Francesco who spoke great English as a result of spending six months in Australia. He hopes to come to Canada for an extended stay as well. One evening D went in to order a couple of pizzas to go and waited with a beer. When the pizza was ready, Franccesco wouldn’t hear of D paying for it, saying that he appreciated our business (and our company).


Everything we ate there was delectable but I want to give special accolades to a pretty non-descript menu item: fried seafood. OMG-perfectly seasoned, the lightest of coatings and a delicate plunge into the fryer produced a dish so fine that once D gave me a taste when he ordered it, I schemed to return so that I could indulge in my own plate.

Enoteca, Winnipeg

In the same manner that someone might say “I admire the work of a certain photographer or craftsperson”, I admire the work of Chef Scott Bagshaw. I have never laid my eyes on a plate that he has composed without given due respect to his artistry. Our recent visit to Enoteca Wine Bar was no exception.

When you identify yourself as a new guest at Enoteca, a server explains how to order and how the dishes will be served. One and a half to two dishes per person were recommended and each dish was served separately to the table. The intention is that every dish will be shared by dinner companions.


The first dish that arrived was Blue Swimmer Crab which had been pulled from its shell and enhanced with cucumber and apple. The delicate texture of the shellfish was offset by the caviar and especially the crunchy grains of rye. The silky crème fraiche finished our appetizer in both texture and taste.


Knowing that vegetable centred dishes are the new culinary trend, we were not surprised to see that Chef Scott was ahead of the movement. Veg-centric dishes focus on flavour. Being meatless is secondary. Proteins are still included, but they’re more of a flavour enhancer. We spotted many such dishes on Enoteca’s menu and finally decided upon the Roasted Cauliflower utilizing “cave aged” gruyere to intensify the taste. Panade added moisture, rough cut almonds provided crunch and capers the saltiness.


Our final plate was Chef Scott’s take on a meat and potato dish. Hanger steak was once referred to as “butcher’s steak” because meat cutters would set the especially flavourful cuts aside for their own use. Pan-seared oyster and morel mushrooms both added meaty tastes to the dish as well. For crunch (can you see a trend here?), crispy baby potatoes provided the crib for the dish.

2015, oh what a year for food and travel!

Kath’s quote:  “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine


Love, that is all.



Isla Mujeres 2014-Day Two-A Lazy One








We were up early as D and the Newbie were off to Chichen Itza for the day.  This left me to savour the new day all by myself.


That is until I was visited by two of our babies: our youngest daughter and our first grandbaby.


The Wee One loved watching the scooter, golf carts and red taxis whiz by.



J1, J2 and I decided to take the opportunity to go visit our dear friend Hortenzia at her shop, before the day became too warm.  It turned out the she wasn’t there that day but a couple of her family members were.  They were delighted with meeting the Wee One and wanted to hold her in her new little Mexican dress.  Hortenzia’s son described the baby as being like a sweet piece of candy.

J1 and J2 headed off to Café Cito and I had some errands to take care of in town.  When hunger struck, I was right in front of a place that I have walked by a zillion times but had never had the chance to try.


In Homage to Sister #3, I ordered lunch to go at La Susanita Home Cooking.  I sat all by myself for a very long time waiting for my lunch to be prepared.  Seemed as if they had to run out for groceries a couple of times to complete my order.  I was on Isla time so it was no biggie but I can see why this place is not very busy.

By the time I walked all the way back up the airport strip, my lunch did not look terribly appetizing so I did not capture it with a photo but boy or boy, did it taste good.  The Pescado Empanizado included rice, bean sauce, cole slaw, tomato, mayo and a stack of tortillas.  There was so much delicious fried fish that it could have fed a family.


I spent the afternoon plunked in this chair doing a whole lotta nothin.  I read a bit, wrote a bit, gazed a bit and thought a bit-exactly what I love doing a vacation.


Come happy hour, I headed over to La Brisas to be with the gang and we commenced our parade into town for supper at FREDY’S!



We once again enjoyed the beautiful sunset on our walk.


You may be getting weary of all my photos of the Wee One but to us she is the cutest creature in the whole wide world!  She looked like such a big girl sitting in her own dining chair with her arms crossed at Fredy’s.


Either Daughter #2 or J2 and their Auntie (Sister #3) loved Fredy’s Mexican Plate (the latter orders it every single time).  I’m confused as my notes actually indicate that Daughter #2 ordered the Mexican Plate AND Fredy’s Shrimp.


Dona and I both ordered Fredy’s pork chop (we order it every single time too).  We turned “Legs” onto the double boned chop too.  My portion was so huge that I had enough meat to make a delicious torte the next day for lunch.


Either J1 and J2 or both tucked into Fredy’s Shrimp.


Daughter #1 chose the Grouper.  We all loved our meals, Fredy’s knock out margaritas and his special brand of hospitality.

After dinner I volunteered to put the Wee One to bed while J1 and J2 enjoyed checking out 2 for 1s with the rest of the gang.  They included Bally Hoo on their pub crawl and ran into D and the Newbie who had just gotten off the ferry from their day trip adventure.  I spent the evening reading the house Journal’s of La Brisas-a fascinating story of the history of the home and the family that owns it.

A perfectly lazy day and I loved every sweet moment of it.

Kath’s quote:  “Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”-Milan Kundera

wall heart

Love-that is all.


Babysat Belle while the gang did 2 for 1s






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