Isla Mujeres Restaurants- Blogged in 2022

January5

We are getting ready for our annual Isla eating adventure, in one month’s time. I was nostalgic reliving the amazing food that we sampled last year. Links to the Blog Posts are in the picture captions. Now don’t go salivate all over your phone…..

Blue Bally Hoo
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Dulzara-Argentinian Bakery
Geisha Valentina
Green Verde
Grill Garden
La Freida en Rosa
Mar Abismo-Delivery Only
Neal’s Irish Pub
Oceans Isla
Rinconcito Kahlo
Sabores by Posada Del Mar
Sardinian Smile
Tiny Gecco

Kath’s quote: “I’m on a seafood diet – I see food, I eat it.” ~ Dolly Parton

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres Restaurant-Mar Abismo from 2022 by Sister #3

December23

During the pandemic a number of folks on Isla Mujeres started cooking at home and delivering food to people’s homes and hotels. On our spring 2022 trip to the island we decided it was time to take advantage of this new trend and tried out a few of these.

My favourite by far is Mar Abismo.

You could not meet a more personable man than owner Ponce. We had a nice chat when he delivered our lunch. He told me about his wife Irene’s love of cooking and that love shone so brightly as soon as I tasted her food.

When dining in Mexico I often order enchiladas. I love them and enjoy that everyone’s version, while similar, are just a bit different from the next. I have taken a few cooking classes in Mexico in an effort to improve my skills cooking this cuisine. I learned to cook molé in Puerto Morelos and enchilada Suiza in Isla Mujeres. Since then I have tried to reproduce them at home with limited success. Part of the problem is I can’t get the exact same ingredients in Canada as I can in Isla. And even when I am able to locate things like fresh tomatillos, they have traveled a long way to my grocery and don’t have the same beautiful freshness. Also, I believe that these slow cooked sauces take years of practice to perfect. They seem so easy to the masters that were showing me how to make them.

On this day we ordered chicken enchiladas from Mar Abismo. One in molé sauce, a smoky, dark, rich gravy featuring dark chocolate and roasted chilies. The other prepared Suiza style in a green tomatillo sauce with Swiss cheese and Mexican crema topping. These were by far the best versions of these dishes I have ever had. I think about them all the time and can’t wait to return to the island to order them again and have a little visit with Ponce.

Mar Abismo is only available by deliver only on Wednesday to Saturday mornings. Their menu changes from day to day and often features chiliquilles, omelettes, and a variety of egg dishes.

Kath’s quote: “He walked funny, like every step hurt him, but don’t let that fool you. You should’ve seen him run when it was enchilada day in the cafeteria.”― Rick Riordan

Love never fails.

Christmas Letter 2022

December22

Although I am still trying to get some cards mailed out (consider it a Epiphany card if you are on the list to receive one), it may or may not include this Christmas letter. So here is what we have been up to this year:

January was a lovely and quiet month. We celebrated D’s birthday and I got to spend some special time with my besties.

We are rarely home in February and this is the reason why. The snow banks were so high that D was throwing it way over his head. Sometimes we ask “Why do we live in this God-forsaken place”?

Here’s why. We are 10 minutes away from each of the kids and spend a lot of the time with the grandbabies in winter. We celebrated a Wee One’s birthday as well as the Frenchman’s in February.

By the end of February, we had had it with winter and travelled to our special place. Some people wonder why we go to the same place every year and these are the reasons why. Above is Hortencia and her four daughters. We have made so many dear friends on Isla Mujeres with both the islanders and fellow travelers.

We are staying for a month in 2023! We think Isla brings out the best in us. People that know us especially well, would agree. But all good things have to end.

The snow took eons to melt at the lake but our house was rented in the city, so we moved there in April.

We drove back and forth a lot in the spring, celebrating special get togethers like our niece’s wedding.

May is typically a whirlwind, celebrating the birthdays of our youngest daughter, a Wee One, my little bear, my DIL and lastly my own. To make things even more joyous, we will be celebrating a new day of birth in 2023!

By this time, the gang joins us for extended weekends at the lake and we are into the wonderful days of summer.

I was scheduled to have my second knee replaced in June. While I was recovering D accumulated a gang to expand our deck.

This is the after picture. Since the water was so high on the lake this year, there was no beach and as a result we spent almost every day luxuriating on the deck. It was the perfect year to do so.

There was more back and forth though, like celebrating our eldest daughter’s birthday on their rooftop and the eldest Wee One’s, also in July.

We also got away for our yearly sojourn to join dear friends at Willard lake.

With the expanded deck, we hosted countless Happy Hours and extended family suppers.

The other lovely modification, since there was no beach, was visiting the pool in the forest built by Sister #2’s gang of capable guys. J and J are seen enjoying it here.

We celebrated J’s birthday in September, but the pool was used even on Thanksgiving weekend! Here’s one of four tables where we enjoyed dinner.

We stayed deep into the fall and then it was off to a trip of a lifetime!

If you follow this space, you will know that the three sisters travelled to Prague, Malaga and Dublin this fall. It was memorable in so many ways.

In November we took all four grandkids to Disney on Ice, as well as hosting them all at the same time for a sleepover!

And here it is Christmas. It is bitterly cold and snows almost daily, so it will not be long before that snowbank from earlier this year will be just as high. It is supposed to warm up soon though, which will be lovely when we spend some time at the lake for New Year’s.

D and I have been blessed with good health (I have yet to get Covid) and much joy this year and hope that the same is true for you, your family and your loved ones.

Kath’s quote: “To prepare our hearts for Christmas, we must cultivate the spirit of expectancy.” As in “I can’t wait”!

Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres Restaurants- Oceans Isla, by Sister #3 April 2022

December21

Lots of things have changed along Hidalgo, the main restaurant street in Isla Mujeres’ Centro area, in the two years since I last visited. Some restaurants have changed locations, some have closed and some new ones have opened. One of the new places I was excited to try was Oceans Isla. The restaurant opened in October 2020 and seems to be fairly busy. Not surprising considering it’s popular location. A great place to people watch over brunch.

We started our brunch with their Classic Frappe. We ordered the sugar syrup on the side which allowed us to control the sweetness level. This resulted in my favourite iced coffee of my entire trip, and I had tried a few.

The first dish we savoured was the Eggs Benedict with arugula and Gouda cheese. Those who know me know I am a bit of a hollandaise snob. I really dislike the taste of packaged hollandaise and a fresh made version with just the right amount of butter, egg yolk and lemon can’t be beat. Their sauce was just perfect. As were the skillet potatoes that were crispy and well seasoned. This dish came with a side of fresh cantaloupe, papaya, and berries. The perfect balance to the richness of the dish.

The Chef suggested we try the Ocean’s quesadilla. Scrambled egg, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, spinach, and bacon on a flour tortilla. Served with guacamole and morita chilli mayo. Morita peppers are jalapeños that are allowed to vine ripen to a bright red and once picked they are smoked like a chipotle. This made for a yummy mayo that would be tasty in just about anything.

We couldn’t resist sampling the French toast so we ordered a half portion. Still a huge serving. We had version served with cinnamon roll icing. It was melt in the mouth tender and full of cinnamon toast flavour and not cloyingly sweet. I think I might prefer it for dessert rather than brunch.

The restaurant is nicely decorated and our server Renee was very attentive and had perfect English. Turns out she had attended university in the US. The portions were generous and provided us with left overs for another breakfast the next day.

Kath’s quote: “Elvis is in the kitchen and he is making eggs benedict”!

Love never fails

Dublin-Boxty

December14

Sister #3 is a “Somebody Feed Phil” fan and researched what restaurants in the central area had been featured on his show. She knew that Gallagher’s Boxty House was included in Phil’s Dublin Itinerary so we had a reservation for later that day. Turns out though, that after our bus tour, we were hungry, cold and getting weary from our weeks of travel so we showed up on their door step a couple of hours early. And were welcomed with open arms.

What is Boxty, you might ask?

Traditional Irish boxty are the epitome of pancakes for potato lovers! Combining mashed and raw potato with buttermilk they are as versatile as a tortilla or crepe.

But first things first. This was our last meal in Dublin so of course beer was our amuse bouche.

Our meals had not been vegetable rich in Dublin so Sister #2 started with a salad of pear, pecans and blue cheese salad.

Boxty dates back to the 1700s in Irish households where potatoes were relied upon to survive. There are actually three types of boxty: boil, baked and pan boxty. The word “boxty” comes from the Irish phrase “aran bocht ti” meaning poorhouse bread. One of the sisters had a boxty filled with chicken in a leek cream sauce

and the other steak and a mushroom pepper sauce.

Since this was my last holiday meal, I opted (again) for fish and double fried chips. I just couldn’t get my head around around a potato pancake even though I love Jewish Latkes and Norwegian Lefse. The sisters offered me tastes and I was pleasantly surprised but then I tasted one of the most delectable things ever….

Boxty fries are made when they slice the pancakes into strips, season them and fry them to a crispy, crunchy golden brown!

But the other hit that afternoon was our waiter Giorgio. He was efficient and so sociable. I felt bad when I didn’t order what he recommended! He had so many stories to tell of his life back home in Croatia and his Irish life trying to put his son through university. We were fascinated.

And of course, he had met Phil Rosenthal so Sister #3 had to rub shoulders with him! She thought that she might post this photo on Phil’s website. It was so wonderful to see her so happy and a fun place to end our European eating adventure.

Kath’s quote: “Well, did you ever take potato cake and boxty to the school. Tucked underneath your oxter with your books, your slate, your rule?”

Love never fails.

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