Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Patio Crawl Series - The Dreaded Olas Altas

And don't get me wrong - it's only dreaded because where do you pick to go out of so many great places?  And remember, we're going to many places so we're looking for a shared appetizer and a drink, not a full meal.

So while there are numerous new places that I would like to stop and try, the best bet is probably just taking you on my trek from last year.  I really wanted the full experience so we took the Sabalo Centro bus all the way to the end and started at Mariscos Puntilla.  I had the crab on a tostada with mayonnaise.  What a great dish!  So many great things to eat here but I had to pace myself cuz we have lots of stops ahead.

We then walked the hill - MUCH less daunting that I thought.  We made it quick and easy, no problem.  Now that Water's Edge is no longer at Casa Lucila we haven't been there but I'm hoping they improve their menu cuz I would love to stop there again.  Used to have the best Eggs Benny ever - and Rob Lamonica on the piano - perfect!

So our next stop was Puerto Viejo.  Now sit down and hold on to your seats but this was actually my first visit to this amazing institution.  Why hadn't I been hear before?  No real good answer, especially after sharing the tempura shrimp and a bucket of beers.  Food, drink and ambiance was great.  I won't make the mistake of missing this place again.

We continued down the row of restaurants around Olas Altas,  Not hungry enough for a meal but stopped at each place for a drink.

From here, there's so many places to go and so many options to enjoy.  Some times from here we head into Centro and enjoy it's many offerings.  Sometimes we keep going and have some of the best shrimp I've ever had at El Shrimp Bucket.  Their beer battered shrimp just can't be beat!  And for a really tasty and expensive treat, I absolutely love stopping by El Fish Market for REAL Alaskan King Crab.  Not cheap but where else can you get that in Mazatlán?  And eating it in the afternoon, in the sunshine overlooking the water - just a really decadent experience - if you're into that thing (clearly I am!). This year I would also clearly add 101 Clausen to the list and try out their offerings.

Like I said, we could have turned, explored, dined in many other places.  So just go out and find what you like amongst the many great options.  The food scene in Mazatlán is really just amazing!

But I couldn't stop without a Basil Martini at Angelina's - the best!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Patio Crawl Series - The Golden Zone

So many places to go, so many dishes to try!  But a Patio Crawl in The Golden Zone (at least for me) has to start at The Aztec Inn for their Blended White Russians.  A ridiculously good, cheap (and strong!) drink that is blended all day long in a slurpee like machine so it is ready whenever you want one!  The bar at the Aztec Inn is a little hole in the wall often frequented by a group of regulars.  They will put your drink in a plastic cup if you want to go outside and sit by the pool.

Next up is The Saloon.  Despite the fact that this place is owned by Canadians, it usually isn't my favorite spot - but only because it is always extremely Smokey.  However, they do have one little dish that I discovered last year that is worth trying to get there during non-busy times to try.  I forget the name of it but is basically a potato roll that is stuffed with mashed potatoes, cheese and bacon wrapped in some type of wrapper (I already had two Blended White Russians by the time I was here) and topped with sour cream and chives.  Absolutely delicious!  I had to share it but it was very good.  Free calls to the US and Canada are offered with a purchase.

Now off to The Golden Star.  Great little spot for a snack and a drink.  Here I like the Oysters Rockefeller - or were they clams?  I'm pretty sure they were clams(I have now added a glass of wine at The Saloon to the two White Russians).

The next place that you HAVE to visit just opened up last year.  It has a difficult Spanish name so I just call it "The Volleyball Bar".  If you head towards the beach from The Golden Star you will find it to the right overlooking the beach and a bunch of volleyball nets.  Great place to people watch and watch a few games.  They have a Happy Hour during the afternoon but I forget the specific details (are you sensing a theme here?)

Now, of course, there are many more great restaurants in this area of The Golden Zone that deliver great meals.  Some of my favorites are Pancho's, Lucky B's, Vittore's and Margarita's but those deliver such great (and big meals) that I reserve these for dinner, not just for a patio crawl snack and drink.

Do you have others you would add to this list?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Patio Crawl Series - Stone Island

Where should we head to next on this Patio Crawl of ours?  Well, I guess the title of my post gave it away, but it was a hard choice.  If I pick the Golden Zone there's so many places to go.  If I choose Olas Altas, arguably even more.  Centro?  Well, that's an area that I'm not even close to being an expert in and yet so many great places to visit.  So, instead, I take the easy way out and pick Stone Island. 

Stone Island is such a great place to go for the day.  You don't even need a Patio Crawl to find great spots because you really can't go wrong with any of the tasty restaurants on Stone Island.  Walk down the beach, stop for a drink and an appy and then move along to the next great spot offering yet another abundant selection of fresh seafood, Mexican food, whatever you might fancy that day.  Easy, peasy.  You can keep going to your heart's content.  The restaurants provide loungers on the beach so you can enjoy the sun, the sand and the amazing expansive beach line - and lots of ice cold cerveza and nice, fruity, slushy cocktails.

For newcomers to Mazatlán, I can't express enough do not take a tour to Stone Island.  You won't get the same experience.  You will be stuck in a crowded restaurant right at the front of the beach jam packed with hundreds of other people eating substandard mass produced food.  It's super easy to get there and you can still enjoy all the activities on the beach - horse back riding, banana boats, ATV's - there's lots to do.  And, yes, the vendors are there too willing to sell you their wares.

I always take the bus and then the water taxi to Stone Island.  Take the Sabalo Centro bus.  It will go into town and past the market and then it will swing around to the ferry area.  You get off right at the end of the line (just ask the bus driver, he will help you) and then take the water taxi across and it's a short walk down the beach.  I believe the water taxi is 25 or 30 pesos per person round trip. 

I usually start off my day at Lety's - it's very popular on the "island" although Victor's and Carmelita's are repeat stops as well and I will hit all three during the day so I start wherever my mood strikes me.  No favorite meal, depends on what I feel like during the day but you can bet it's seafood!
On the way back, we will often stop at La Puntilla.  It's a great seafood restaurant on the other side of the water back near the water taxis.  They have an excellent menu with excellent food and plenty of excellent seafood selections so I usually stop because otherwise I don't often make it out this far unless I'm going to Stone Island so stop and enjoy before you head back.  Enjoy!

Patio Crawl Series - Heading to Cerritos

This is one of my favorite Patio Crawls because I love a long beach walk.  You can always choose to shorten it to suit your needs.

From our condo, we head out on the beach towards the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán to maximize our time on the beach.  At the PBM we take the stairs up on the north side of the building and get on the street which we carry on to the left until we reach the El CID Marina.  Here we stop for our first beverage and appy.  This is such a beautiful resort and the restaurant is lovely with great food.  They have a great patio where you can sit outside overlooking the Marina and the beautiful boats while watching the birds and, if your lucky, an iguana sunning himself on the roof.  Here I like to sample their cheese soup which is just excellent along with a nice crisp glass of cold Pinot Grigio.  An alternative to this would be to cross the street and start your crawl at the fairly new Mariscos la Corona for a huge selection of seafood for reasonable prices but no water view.

Having started with our first bit of sustenance, we head out down to the Marina and down to the boat dock where we can take a little water ferry across to the beach.  This is free but we always tip and it just adds to much fun to our “adventure” for the day.  Walking down the Cerritos beach we used to be able to stop at the Blue Bay Hacienda for a nice cold Pacifico because we have friends that used to live there but they have moved so we have to keep trekking down the beach before our next stop.
So off we head to the great drink specials at La Fonda at Villas El Rancho.  They have a big banner on the beach side advertising their food specials throughout the week as well as their daily 2 for 1 drink specials.  I believe they changed the name but you won’t be able to miss it.  I will update this section with more information when I find it.

Next stop is La Palapa at the Torres Mazatlán Resort.  They serve breakfast until noon with reasonable prices.  Otherwise I find their Lunch/Dinner menu a little pricey but it is a restaurant in a resort so somewhat expected.  I came last year and they didn’t have the item that I wanted to try so I will return, despite the prices, because I definitely want to try the Shrimp Carbonara.

Okay, here is where it gets interesting as there are options.  Great options!  Depending on what time it is now, you may choose to bypass Mr. Lionso’s in favour of hitting the Last Drop and Roy’s for Happy Hour which at least at one spot begins at 3:00 pm.  If you choose this option, walk up the stairs to the right of Mr. Lionso’s.  Don’t get distracted by the great ambiance of Mr. Lionso’s, you’ll be coming back – don’t worry.  Turn right and hit the street and then you will hit a “strip mall” on the left with little shops and businesses.  You will easily find Roy’s and the Last Drop – both with great ambiance, service and food.  The Last Drop offers a free tequila and I am intent on having their Lobster Pizza on my next visit.

And then, if you still have energy left – and room, return to Mr. Lionso’s for a great evening.  They have amazing food, a great view, live music most evenings AND two for 1 drinks every night after 5:00 pm!  The seafood here is great.  Many rave about the Tequila Shrimp made tableside but I think Pancho beats this one out at the beach location of Pancho’s.

Depending on how many stops you have hit and how much food you have enjoyed, you may or may not have room for one more stop.  At the corner of the strip mall get back on the bus heading to the Golden Zone.  Look for the Mayan Palace or ask the driver to let you off at Tacos Escorpios by Henry.  This is one of the best pop up taco stands I have ever tried.  At night it comes alive in the parking lot of the little grocery store with the Corona sign directly across the street from the Mayan Palace (so if you drive by during the day to find it you won’t!). Dinner comes with complimentary black bean soup and is delicious.  They offer great tacos and other such fair as well as Papas Locos.  It’s super cheap and well worth the stop when in Cerritos.

Stay Tuned for the next instalment in our Patio Crawl Series!

With the Winter Season Upon Us . . .

I thought I would share my favorite “patio crawl” routes with restaurant suggestions.  There are so many great restaurants in Mazatlán.  One of my favorite things to do is to grab a few friends and hit five or six restaurants in an afternoon.  We enjoy a libation and share an appy at each place thereby not filling up to much making it possible to enjoy a special dish at each place.

For the first instalment of my “Patio Crawl” series, let’s go to La Marina to enjoy all the great restaurants in this often missed by tourists location.

To start this great day from the Golden Zone, hop on a bus that goes to Home Depot.  Get off at Home Depot and go right down the street behind Home Depot.  This is La Marina.  If you follow this street all the way down you will hit many great treasures for an appy and some drinks
First stop, El Montalayo.  This is a great little spot, super cheap, authentic food, largely unknown by tourists.  Everything is great here but I love the Papas Loco’s.  On the table you are provided with every condiment you would want to load up your potato.  Super good!  I can never finish a whole one.  The other big hit is the rice pudding.  I had never had it before but couldn’t help but help my friend finish hers when she offered me “a bite”.

Next (I think because I don’t know the exact location cuz I haven’t been to this newly opened location yet) is El Memin.  This is the first food memory that I have from my first visit to Mazatlán 10 years ago.  It is awesome!  Shrimp made in every different way you could imagine and for reasonable prices.  Believe it or not, I remember that 10 years ago I had the Camarones Charly.  I love cheese and cream sauces and this is covered in a cheesy sauce.  This will be the first dish I try when I return and then I will make my way through the menu on future visits!

Somewhere in this area, another must not miss stop (at least for me because I haven’t been there yet) is Todos Santos.  Can’t wait to try this place and the Camarones Caramelo – looks delicious!

Next on our stop is Barracruda’s.  This is a highly popular restaurant that has been packed every time I have visited.  It has a great beachy feel with an extensive menu.  They have a pink lemonade that they serve in a big frosty mug that is just delicious.  (I clearly was hung over the day I last visited and was very thirsty!). And oddly enough I think the item on the menu that I want to try on my next visit is a hot dog!

Next stop El Guamachilito’s.  The menu is in Spanish.  The Staff don’t speak much English but I think I can make my way around the menu.  They have Shrimp Pate for 60 pesos which is the lowest I’ve seen so far and Lobster Thermidor for just 225 pesos.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

A New Blog Is In The Works!

Hello!  I haven't forgotten about you I promise.  And I still do plan to write a final write up to my great extended stay in Mazatlan this year. 

But, now that I'm home and back into the swing of things, my husband and I have returned to hitting all the excellent restaurants in Edmonton.  So I got thinking and the next thing I knew, the next blog was created!  It's entitled "Curb Your Appetite With Sunseeker" and it will detail all my culinary adventures, wherever I am.

The first installment should be posted by Sunday, hopefully.  It will be entitled "10 Restaurants in 10 Days" and will detail the places we've gone and the food we've experienced since I've been back from Mazatlan.  Unless of course we hit 11 by Sunday . . .

You can join me at sunseeker37food.blogspot.ca.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Okay I Found A Few More Pictures

And they are great!

The Sandcastle in Emerald Bay:

Hard At Work:

View From Our Condo to the North:

Banda Banda!

We Were Supposed To Get On A Catamaran This Time!

Our Deck (Well, Suzanne's Deck):

More Views From the Deck:

And Some Pics of Centro: