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Dinner in Zihuatanejo


shelora
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Hi,

Mr. Shelora and I will be spending a good five days in Zihuatanejo soon and would like any recommendations for good restaurants in the evening.

We usually spend more of our meal times in the market in the morning, beach in the afternoon and the stellar pozole joint in the centro at night.

But we are looking for a place for a special meal that would showcase the specialites of the region, maybe somewhere on the beach and hopefully not Ixtapa - unless it just cannot be missed.

Thanks,

S

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The restaurant @ the foot of the stairs leading up to Brisas Del Mar Hotel on La Madera is consistently good-often excellent.

However I haven't been to Zihua for a while-tired of catching Sailfish-so have no current info.

A beach side table @ sunset in that restaurant-as the fiery sun turns to copper and drops over the hills and velvet darkness spills up from the water to cloak the bay-is one of the most romantic spots in all of Zihua.

Who needs food? :wub:

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Five days...where are you staying? I can't think of anything in Ixtapa that's worth driving over there for.

How about La Casa Que Canta. Last time I was there, they did take non-hotel-guest limited reservations for dinner. Hard to imagine a more romantic setting.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks, I will check out both and I don't really want to go to Ixtapa anyway. I have heard a few good to excellent comments about Brisas food and sunset view.

And Jaymes, have you eaten at La Casa Canta? We've only shuffled around the lobby feeling out of place. I would like to hear about their food - their website is not offereing much.

Our first night is at the Sotovento and depending on how we feel about the place, we may stay or move on to another hotel.Where do you stay?

Thanks,

Shelora

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And Jaymes, have you eaten at La Casa Canta?

Where do you stay?

I've been to Zihua/Ixtapa quite a number of times, but always on business, either escorting large groups, or doing site inspections in preparation for escorting large groups. So, sadly, when you're with a group of 90 or more folks, you have to stay somewhere big -- the Westin and El Presidente in Ixtapa always gave me the best rates. So I've never stayed in Zihua.

And the times I've eaten at Casa Que Canta, it's been at private parties, so am not familiar with the menu. I can say that the food was fabulous. Ditto Villa del Sol.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks, Jaymes. I will check out both places.

After searching and researching on google, I'm rather appaled at the lack of interest in the food of Zihua, no listings or cheesy photos of couples watching the sunset with a giant lobster on a platter in front of them. Good God! Is this still 1975?!

Besides, there are no lobsters in Zihuatanejo!

s

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The cheesy couples are all over at Ixtapa. To me, anyway, Zihua is more the sort of "poking through markets and discovering small out-of-the-way restaurants" kind of place. I think of it as being like PV before PV became "PV." When I manage to sneak away from my groups over in Ixtapa, Zihua is where I run to get away from them.

But I would suggest you try out both Casa Que Canta and Villa del Sol. You've seen Casa Que Canta, so you know how beautiful it is.

And Villa del Sol was built and run by a German couple, so the grounds are impeccable. They have two restaurants there and I've been to each, for lunch and dinner, and remember them as excellent, although it's been a couple of years.

Here are some photos, although sadly, no sunset and no cheesy couple: La Cantina Bar & Grill at Villa del Sol

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Even though I'm supposed to be taking a vacation, I see a self-directed project coming on.

We need useful information about this wonderful place and other places in Mexico. There are a lot of zihua posting forums, but all of them leave me wanting for more - nothing is directed to food focussed individuals.

s

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We tried to eat at La Casa Que Canta last time we were there, in 2001. We sat unacknowledged for a half an hour, finally got up and left. We would have told someone we were leaving, but literally didn't see a soul the whole time.

The two best places we ate, I sorry but don't remember the names, both were casual local spots, one was directly across the street from the mercado, large room, open to the elements on the front side and was painted green, (sorry for not being more helpful). They have the best margaritas in Mexico. Food was good, we had Sunday lunch there and it was busy with large families of locals. The second place I liked was possibly called Mango, was two or three streets back from the beach, and again mostly local. Ate a wild mushroom taco there that I still have occasional dreams about.

We also had dinner at http://www.casakaukan.com/kaukan/ the Kau Kan. The food was good, not great, but the view and room are worth it. The cantileverd cement sofa with the view at your back makes you appear far more sophisticated than you really are while sipping a Margarita (at least for me.)

We also had an excellent lunch at a stall at Las Gatas, again not that the food was superb, but the surroundings/atmosphere ceratinly was. (For someone that hasn't been to Zihua before Las Gatas is a beach across the bay from town you take a little boat to. The beach is lined with huts that you negotiate a rental fee and lunch to sit on their chairs under their umbrellas. Very reasonable, maybe ten bucks a person, with drinks and lunch, and they take very nice care of you. The beach has an ancient swimming pool created for an Aztec king to swim in the sea outlining the beach, so the sea bottom is nice and sandy, and there are no waves and the water is crystal clear. Probably the best beach I've ever been to. Really good for families too.)

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"We tried to eat at La Casa Que Canta last time we were there, in 2001. We sat unacknowledged for a half an hour, finally got up and left. We would have told someone we were leaving, but literally didn't see a soul the whole time."

Isn't that funny? You know, we went into their lobby once to take a look at a room, just to see what we were missing. Same thing, no one around. We will take another look in though, just to see if anything has changed.

"The two best places we ate, I sorry but don't remember the names, both were casual local spots, one was directly across the street from the mercado, large room, open to the elements on the front side and was painted green, (sorry for not being more helpful). They have the best margaritas in Mexico"

I know exactly the place you mean. They do some good pozole there along with a place around the corner in an alley way. And yes, Kau Kan, thanks for the website, I've heard good things about that restaurant as well.

Some how, I can't allow myself to go into a place called Banditos and I have been to La Sirena, and thought they overcooked the tuna. Tuna is so much like cardboard when overcooked. I will reconsider it though, as its been a few years since we've been there.

I have eaten in the market alot. There is a place I will document that became my mainstay for tortitas de papa, little potato cakes served with a tomato caldo. They also made some stinking hot salsas and unique condiments I'd never seen before - whole chile de arbol, flash fried, served whole with the local rock salt. Killer! And just perked those tortitas de papa right up. Breakfast of champins!

Yes, yes. I can hardly wait!

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Just noticed you're staying at the Sotavento, that's where we stayed too. Fifty bucks, sad puppy dog eyes and a BS story about it being your second honeymoon (or your first if you're still yound enough to pull it off) will get you the sole bungalow on the property. Big room, worlds best patio on the edge of a cliff, complete with hammocks. The only downside is the room is open to the sea, and closed on three sides, so at night the waves crashing is amplified inside the giant drum you're sleeping in to the point where it can get kinda irritating. Sleeping pills + tequila should fix it though.

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Thanks, Jaymes. I will check out both places.

After searching and researching on google, I'm rather appaled at the lack of interest in the food of Zihua, no listings or cheesy photos of couples watching the sunset with a giant lobster on a platter in front of them. Good God! Is this still 1975?!

Besides, there are no lobsters in Zihuatanejo!

s

the food isn't the reason to go to Zihua..

that said, we ate at Kau Kan and thoroughly enjoyed the view and the food.. best meal we had while we were in Zihua proper..

all the places on the beach are decent but there's nothing earth shattering there.. they all offer variations on grilled fresh fish.. in the mexican style they overcook pretty much everything..

villa del sol was fine for appetizers and drinks.. we did their beach barbecue one night, which was decent, but far from worth the money..

there IS an older egullet thread on Zihua restaurants..

the best food we had was in Troconnes.. about a 45 minute drive from the Catalina is this tiny little town right on the Pacific with a couple of small inns.. one of them, the Inn at Manzanillo Bay, has a chef from the California Culinary Institute cooking up the fresh catch and it was amazing.. best fish tacos, shrimp tacos, grilled mahi mahi, etc. i've yet had.. served up next to the beach, on the sand, but a world away from any of the Zihua hangouts..

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the best food we had was in Troconnes..  about a 45 minute drive from the Catalina is this tiny little town right on the Pacific with a couple of small inns..  one of them, the Inn at Manzanillo Bay, has a chef from the California Culinary Institute cooking up the fresh catch and it was amazing..  best fish tacos, shrimp tacos, grilled mahi mahi, etc. i've yet had..  served up next to the beach, on the sand, but a world away from any of the Zihua hangouts..

This sounds like a real find. Thanks.

:rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks Juiceman, the Inn at Manzanillo Bay does sound intriguing. Everywhere I go, I go for the food. And its going to be good. Especially when I get myself some of that INCREDIBLE sea salt they harvest on the coast.

And thanks to Mr. Talent for the heads up on the honeymoon bungalow at the Sotovento - man. that's funny! :laugh:

s

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  • 2 weeks later...

Zihuatanejo has come and gone far too quickly. After only a few hours, the hot sun reduces my speed ten fold - a most powerful sedative.I recommend staying at Zihua, the week before everyone goes on vacation - most everything was filled with only a handfull of tourists. The Sotovento was quiet and every one had a floor to themselves. And what a glorious view.

The Food.

La Perla, on Playa Ropa beach. Super super clean and efficient service. Very fresh seafood and they practice safe salad, so it is a sure bet for those craving greens. The best value is the tuna steak NOT the filet. For 95 pesos, a giant thick cut piece of tuna is brought to your table. I recommend the mojo de ajo, a healthy dose of ground fried garlic and oil or even the al ajillo, a blend of garlic and slivers of guajillo chile.

Ricomar

In an alley way around the corner from the Viva Mexico on Nicolas Bravo No.3. Here you find the best pozole and we were finally on time for Thursday`s pozole verde. A broth of tomatillos and pumpkin seeds with hominy corn. Side accompaniements are chicharones, radish, avacado, lime, chopped white onion and green chilies. A substantial meal for only 16 pesos.

El Mercado

The open market is happening in the early morning before it gets too hot to handle. Comedor Delia is place I like to frequent. Delia and her team of cooks, make the best tortitas de papas (potato cakes), giant chile rellenos, a simple fried fish or caldo de chivo (goat) or caldo de pancita (tripe).

All priced between 30 and 40 pesos, the plates are served with rice and beans and radish garnish and all the fresh made tortillas you can eat.

For those still hesitant about eating in the market, I can´t stress enough, the food prepared is absolutely fresh, bought that morning, fish caught that morning, do give it a chance.

For an elegant stop, we found the latest and greatest right beside the Sotovento.

Welcome the club/resort of Club Interwest, a drop dead gorgeous complex just opened.

The lofty bar overlooks the water, the sunset and two pools of the club that shimmer from purple, red and green. Welcome too, the menu from Vancouver`s own, Glenn Monk. Acting as executive chef of the complex, Monk has got the right attitude toward bringing Mexican food out of the '70's style of most beach resorts.

The menu gives provenance to ingredients of the area, goat cheese from neighbouring Petatlan, organic honey from Maria Aguilar, organic coffee and organic ginger from local El Corral del Diablo.

For dinner we began with the local goat cheese served with a tart salad of purslane (acelgas) further tarted up by a caper-lime tapenade and roasted chile arbol oil. Next was the hearts of romaine and butter lettuce, his take on the classic caesar with an achiote infused Caesar dressing, parmesean crisps and pickled red onion.

Then there was the Zihua coast ciopino a spiced tomato, fennel and local saffron broth with a mixture of local shellfish and seafood. Flavours balanced and sweet.

The special of the evening was a chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and topped with basil and tomatoes, wrapped in banana leaves and baked. The star accompaniement was a reduced sauce of jamaica (hybiscus) that was reminscent of cranberries.

Dessert offered a perfect cafe/Kahlua souffle finished with the pouring on of an espresso creme Anglaise. Oh yes, and a guava sorbet that refreshed the palate.

The wine list is a fitting tribute to the award winning wines of the Baja and Ensenada. The Vina de Camou Chardonnay and their Fume Blanc (both 1998) were both stellar, although we found the Fume too heavy on oak.

Most wines are priced at 200 pesos (around $20.), making this an affordable affairand chance to stretch your mind around the fact that vines have been growing in the Baja region since the 1500`s.

The restaurant is also pairing specials of the evening with wines and are priced with or without.

We visited them on only their 3rd day of opening and the service was caring and enthusiastic.

Highly recommended.

THE SALT

Last but not least, I am returning home with 10 kilos of the local sea salt. It is unbelievable in taste and can be purchased in the market for an unbelievable 3 pesos a kilo. That is like 30 cents. This is how some families make a living!!!!!

Over and out.

S

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Great report, and excellent tip about the salt!

Thanks.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Yes, Esperanza, I mistakenly wrote Acelgas instead of verdolagas. The salad at the restaurant was indeed purslane (verdolagas) and indeed makes a refreshing salad.

Cheers,

Shelora

Sounds wonderful!  And we waiting for the reports on the next legs of your trip!

Rachel

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  • 1 month later...

We're heading to Zihuatanejo at the beginning of March, and need to start planning our dining excursions! What are the latest recommendations? We tend to like more formal dinners (any places with top-notch wine lists?) and casual, light lunches.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi,

You just need to read further up the list for recommendations.

The restaurant at the new Club Intrawest is the tops. They have a solid wine program, the sommelier is a real pistol. They do wine pairings with the menu, which is pretty much unheard of in Mexico. The service is excellent and the food is stellar, utilizing locally sourced ingredients, another jewel of an idea that is almost unheard of in all the other 5 star properities in the vicinity.

Don't miss this opportunity to check out the hottest ticket in Zihua. Club Zi is open to the public for dinner and either the bar or the restaurant is stellar for sunset cocktails and/or a full on meal.

Say hi to the exec, Chef Glenn Monk and his team. They are incredible.

Have fun.

Shelora

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You just need to read further up the list for recommendations.

Thanks, Shelora - just wanted to make sure you had nothing to add. These are major decisions I'm making here! :biggrin:

Are carnitas popular in Zihua? Where should I go? I had some killer ones last year in Los Cabos, at a place WAY off the main drag. I figured either I'd die of dysentery or have one of the most memorable meals of my life. Fortunately, the latter turned out to be the outcome. :rolleyes:

And now I HAVE to try that Zihua sea salt!

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The salt is used throughout the restaurant at Club Intrawest. They use the coarse and fine on the table and in the kitchen.

There are street vendors along the walkways throughout Zihuatanejo, most of them selling wonderful braised meats nestled into a tortilla. I have never had a problem with getting dysentry or any other digestive problem in Zihua. Standards have vastly improved since the 1960's! I also eat regularly in the open market, it is a wonderful place for breakfast or early lunch. Observe the places that are the most crowded. I particularly adore tortitas de papas, chiles rellenos or a beautiful piece of fresh fish done mojo de ajo style.

You'll have a wonderful time and don't forget to post your findings when you return.

Shelora

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm getting the feeling that I-Z isn't the place to go for serious "upscale" dining, (and I don't mean overpriced places serving "continental" cuisine which isn't local). I've read the above posts, and only Club Interwest seems to hold the consensus, with Kau Kan mentioned as well. Any other recommendations? Thanks!

Edited by gmi3804 (log)
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