Oasis on the Island
Don and I found the entrance to this restaurant, inside Los Cinco Soles, a large gift shop. That's usually a touristy thing... gift shops with restaurants. But this lovely place was a little piece of quiet heaven, on an October afternoon.
There were no other diners, which can also be a bad thing. But we were happy to have a pick of any table, inside or out. We chose a spot, directly in front of the father/son musicians. That again, could have been a bad thing. But they were a sweet pair, playing as many old Frank Sinatra hits as Mexican favorites.
Menu with History
Inside and Out
I loved our table, looking out on the garden. The open air interior felt cool and breezy on an October day.
We just couldn't resist having some gigantic beverages with our meal. Ferdinando, our gracious server, took this photo of us with our feast.
Don's shrimp with garlic was perfecto. My Tamales Yucatecos, was equally tasty. Steamed tamales, served on a banana leaf, with a cute mound of rice. There was a touch of sweet that made me feel like I was on vacation. Well...I was.
The Two Ferds
Ferdinando was a delight. He never made us feel awkward for being the only diners in the restaurant. He "intruded" just enough. He also seemed pretty pleased to know that Don's middle name was Ferd. Don has never loved his middle name, but Don didn't share that.
Our dining adventure ended with a very nice photo of The Two Ferds!
Lunch, Away From Tourists
White and Red
We parked in a gravel lot and walked towards the white, cement block structure. There was a sink near the wall where we could wash up before eating.
We headed for the order window and let Brenda order for us. The waiter recognized her and didn't need to be told that she wanted a Coke and a half avocado with her meal.
Open Air Dining
It was such an adventure dining in a restaurant where no tourists would think to go. There was no beach nearby. Just the sound of traffic on the road. Some would think we shouldn't have ventured away from the tourist areas. But I've always trusted Brenda. Not only was she a wonderful piano teacher to my children, but she happened to be a police officer as well.
Brenda chopped up the avocado and used a little mayo and lime. The tacos were perfect and just the right amount. Such a simple little meal and so good!
The combo of fish tacos and Coke and good conversation was wonderful. Back when Brenda taught our children piano, we always ended up lingering after lessons. The subject we talked most about was travel. Here we were in Mexico, where Brenda and her husband now has a home!
Smile For the Camera!
I tried to sneak one more photo before we left. This fun couple seemed pretty amused and gave me a big smile.
What a simple lunch with a sweet glimpse of real Mexico. Thanks Brenda!
Spanish Colonial Town
We had visited the Old City area, years ago with our kids. We had good memories of chatting with children, selling embroidered handkerchiefs the near the fountain. We'd gone inside the 16th century cathedral, San Gervasio. We'd even bought leather sandals from a shoemaker.
The Pink Hotel
But we hadn't noticed the pink hotel, that was once a colonial mansion, from the beginning of the 17th century. Luckily our friends who live in Mexico, tipped us off.
Inside the Walls
Before we even tasted the food, we were in love with the setting. The courtyard was a shady oasis. The hostess, dressed in her embroidered dress, took us to our table, past the vegetables and chiles and the tortilla maker, seated on a stool.
Open Air Dining
There were indoor dining spaces, but the tables surrounding the courtyard were too lovely to pass up. The painted chairs, white cloths and fresh flowers welcomed us... not to mention the playful artwork!
Sounds Around Us
Our table was perfect. We could hear the fountain and birds. Even the soft voices at nearby tables, were pleasing. It was a treat hearing no English at all. I loved knowing we were dining in a place enjoyed by locals.
Lunch is Served
Nestor, our waiter made us feel right at home. He brought over a stand to hold our hats. He gave us some good suggestions for beer and Yucatecan dishes. And... he graciously took our photo, with the lovely courtyard as our background.
First Time Foods
My order of Papadzules is shown above. The tortillas were filled with hard boiled eggs and topped with pumpkin seed cream and fried tomato sauce. Don went for the baby shark! Both dishes were a little out of my comfort zone. I never expect to fall in love with a new cuisine on the first try. But we finished it all and were more than pleased with the whole experience!
Nestor couldn't have been better. He let Don practice his Spanish and he helped us out with a little English. Best of all he had a good sense of humor. I can't remember what these last words were between Nestor and Don, but they had a fun time.
Yay for our first Yucatecan Dining Adventure!
Our Last Night in Cancun
I also had to grin at the words, under the name. "Since 1683" Hmmm? Is that a joke?
Built Over Water
To the left of the sign was the giant palapa restaurant, sitting over the water. Lorenzillo's brags that their palapa is the largest in the Americas. Of course they also claim a history going back to 1683. I was ready to find out.
First Things First
Martinis and Sunset
We sat at our little barrel table and watched the sun sink. The April temps were balmy, not sticky.
He even opened a furniture factory, to make the tables and chairs that fill his restaurants.
Main Dining Room
After our drinks we headed inside. The interior wasn't full, but it was still bustling and festive. The blue and white, nautical theme was inviting.
The Wine Vault
We took a moment to take it all in, before we were seated. The thick blue door leading to the wine vault, looked like something out of a James Bond movie.
Lorenzillo's has its own lobster and crab farm. They're known for their lobster, so we probably should have thought about ordering some.
But the boat filled with Lorenzillo's Girls, made me think twice. I've always been a wimp about seeing live food before eating it. So, how could I eat one of the Girls? That's like naming your pet chicken, that you plan on eventually eating.
The display case made the fresh fish tempting, even to someone who doesn't adore seafood. I loved the artistically carved veggies, making pretty designs with the seafood.
I love a theme and this place did a mighty fine job. Even the bar looked like a boat. The waiters wore blue and white shirts, accented with red lobsters. One of the men wearing a lobster shirt, welcomed us and had us follow him to our table.
There was a door nearby, that lead to the deck tables. After a couple sips of winel, I took a quick step outside to catch the sunset. There was one more giant lobster that needed to be photographed! In my picture, it looks like he's keeping an eye on Don, who can be spotted in the first window.
Then, I took a photo of the sun just before it slipped behind low clouds. If we had been vacationing during peak season, then we could have enjoyed lots of people watching, along with our sunset. The palapa and decks were mostly empty.
It was silly to order chicken at a place known for seafood, but I was in heaven with my crispy coated chicken, oozing with spinach and goat cheese. I enjoyed bites of pasta and asparagus between decadent mouthfuls of cheesy meat.
Don loves his seafood and he was more than pleased with the Veracruz-style Grouper, serves with onions, peppers and olives. He can be picky, but he raved.
We had no room for dessert, but we worked off a couple calories by hiking the stairs to the second level, for a view of the wonderful "striped" floors. I think there's a story about those floors...?
Flags and a View
The upstairs dining was closed for the evening, but our waiter invited us to go up and peek around. Instead of a window view, these tables could look down on the diners below, or up at the international flags hanging from the beams.
Best of all the upper level walls were covered with framed clippings and photos. We learned about past famous diners, like Jacques Cousteau and Omar Sharif. We learned about the two hurricanes that nearly destroyed the restaurant. I also finally learned the real age of Lorenzillo's.
It was no surprise to learn that our restaurant had not been around since 1693. Lorenzillo's really opened in 1979 and was named for a legendary pirate.
He could have just named the Lobster House after himself, since he has a pretty good name. Instead he used the legend and a little humor to create a restaurant with a reputation for delicious food, that could please a fierce and picky pirate, like Lorenzillo. Luckily all customers seemed content on the night we dined. I saw no outraged pirates or diners yelling and smashing the beautiful blue plates.
Happy Tourists and Happy Pirates!
Isla Mujeres in Mexico
This was just about the first restaurant Don and I spotted when our ferry arrived on the island. It was early morning and we were starved. Any restaurant with a lobster on the roof, had to be good!
Under the Roof
Don and I paused to check the menu on the little carved stands in front. No staff rushed to greet, because they were all under the roof, eating their own breakfasts. But we were spotted and encouraged to come in and find a seat.
Don and I headed into the shaded restaurant and noticed more creatures hanging from the ceiling. All the tables were sitting in beach sand, which was pretty fun. But we headed down the wooden walkway, towards the water.
Table on the Deck
We picked one of two wooden tables, on the deck, where we had a little shade, plus a nice view of the water and dock.
The other ferry tourists all seemed eager to get to beaches or golf cart tours. We seemed to have the place to ourselves and that was perfect.
Coffee at Last
Our waiter eventually arrived with menus. I asked if they served coffee. He answered no... and then laughed. Some diners in need of caffeine, might not have found that funny. I was just happy he was teasing.
Once I had a sip of coffee, I could enjoy the atmosphere. Our little, polished table had some character. There was a glass covered hole in the center, with a flower and shell display.
Eye on the Dock
This was the perfect little spot to start our day on the island. Don and I (and the overhead shark) kept an eye on the water and boats. Not only was the setting peaceful, but the music that played softly was quite pleasant. A nice change from some of the places that cater to young tourists!
The food part of the dining adventure was decent and priced well. Our orders of Ranchero Eggs and Mexican Eggs were pretty similar and I can't even remember which we liked better.
Lobster Next Time
Our memories of Miramar will be about the curious decor and the view and our friendly pelican. I wish we had a lobster memory. After we excited I noticed the glass window facing the street, with the lobster tank. Next time, we'll need to go at night for a real feast, with lobster memories!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.