Pleasing the Palate in Puerto Peñasco

A huge part of how we acquire knowledge about new locales is by exploring their culinary fare. On our expedition to Mexico’s Puerto Peñasco we continued in that tradition.

As is often the case, we found that the typical food of an area is not what we Americans expect when we think of “ethnic” food. Italian pizza is not even remotely comparable to the Dominos version and real Mexican food ain’t no Taco Bell. In fact, “real” Mexican food varies drastically depending on the region in which the meal is prepared. In Puerto Peñasco real means …  CONTINUE READING >>

David enjoys a sunset beer in Rocky Point, Mexico

A
huge part of how we acquire knowledge about new locales is by exploring their culinary fare. On our expedition to Mexico‘s
Puerto Peñasco we continued in that tradition.

As is often the case, we found that the typical food of an
area is not what we Americans expect when we think of “ethnic”
food.

Italian pizza is not even remotely comparable to the
Dominos version and real Mexican food ain’t no Taco Bell.

In fact, “real” Mexican food varies drastically
depending on the region in which the meal is prepared. In Puerto
Peñasco
real means shrimp, shrimp and, yup, more shrimp.

Ah yes, sampling all of those tasty treats was a dirty job — but
somebody had to suffer through it!

The Point restaurant in Rocky Point, Mexico

We started
our crustacean consumption at the Point, an interesting
establishment that is not on the water as much as it’s
out in the water. At least until low tide.

Stopping in
for a late lunch/early dinner, snack ‘n cocktail/sunset watching
on the deck suspended over the Sea of Cortez to take-a-load-off-our-feet-after-walking-around-town
kind of thing didn’t suck – add
a cold Pacifico and what the menu called a Mexican shrimp
cocktail and we certainly felt like we were settling in for some true Mexico cuisine.

Chili relleno and Mexican shrimp cocktail at the Point restaurant in Rocky Point Mexico

Unlike
the dish we’re accustomed to, Mexican shrimp cocktail lacks
cocktail sauce and the shrimp is not boiled.

Marinated in
lime juice, the shrimp “cook” the same way as
ceviche — in the acid of the lime.

To properly pull off this dish, the shrimp must be exceedingly fresh,
and ours were straight out of the water.

Served fanned out like
a flower with onions and cucumbers, it looked almost as good as
it tasted… almost.

To round out our “snack,” the Point’s chili relleno, a
pablano pepper stuffed with shrimp and white cheese, was spot-on
spicy, ooey-gooey, muy, muy bueno.

The next day,
after scouting about town, we returned to the waterfront. Large
bodies of water seem to have a magnetic effect on us. As do the
delicacies that dwell there.

Click here to see Mexican cuisine in the Yucatan!

For
a quick lunch we chose Mary’s Sea Food Restaurant. As a rule
in tourist towns, locals avoid the places where travelers
congregate.

Not so at Mary’s. Located right in the thick of
the tourist traps, this eatery is just too good and too
much of a bargain for full-time denizens to resist.

Mary’s
lower level has the hustle and bustle of an active fish market
and kitchen — all happening right in front of the customers.
Talk about watching what you eat!

The upstairs is an open air picnic-style feeding
ground overlooking Cortez’s old cruising course. The day was gorgeous
and sunny so up the stairs we went.

We ordered
the Special Seafood Combo for two, a mix of breaded, grilled and
garlic shrimp with breaded, grilled and garlic fish arranged around
salad and whomped out on a gigantic platter. Each variation was
fantastic.

There’s no telling which two people could ever eat
this humongous platter — it certainly wasn’t us. Mary doesn’t
send anyone away hungry.

Scallop tacos at Mary's Sea Food Restaurant in Rocky Point, Mexico

We
stopped by Mary’s the next day for a couple scallop tacos
— at two dollars each — snarfed down quickly on the ground
floor.

If we had been wearing any socks they would have been
knocked right off.

We could have stuffed
ourselves silly trying one of everything that Mary had to offer
but we had eatin’ plans for later…

Up a rutted,
rocky, steep dirt road perched atop Whale Hill stands The Lighthouse.
Overlooking the old port, it really is a lighthouse — at least
on top. Underneath the signal lantern is a restaurant with a view
to rival any found under the sun.

The food may not quite be as
spectacular, it would be hard for any grub to be, but wait…
the best was yet to come.

Queso Frito at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Rocky Point, Mexico

We
began with a plate of Queso Frito.

Sliced Queso Chihuahua,
a mild Monterrey Jack-like cheese, lightly fried and covered
with salsa verde.

Delicious… off to a good start.

The entrées were fairly standard fare. Meat and
potatoes with a little Mexican flair and of course, shrimp.

An especially
intriguing menu item was the “Divorced Fish.”

Normally,
we would be all over a weird item like this, but somehow we didn’t
want to spoil it with explanations — the possibilities as to why
a dish would be called Divorced Fish were simply funny enough.

But the pièce
de résistance was still to come. It’s not often that coffee
is the highlight of the meal, but it is at The Lighthouse. Famous
for the flashy preparation of their Mexican Coffee, patrons are
provided with dinner AND a show.

Take
tequila, Kahlua and coffee, add a flame and viola… magic!

With skill, flair and daring our waiter / performer extraordinaire
cascaded
the blazing liquid from one silver salsera to another. Gravy
boats everywhere must be mighty jealous of these two sparkling showboats.
After a bit of grandstanding, the fiery fluid was poured into cups
with a bold double waterfall technique.

Watch: A Flaming Waterfall of Mexican Coffee

Cinnamon is added for
a light show that rivals the 4th of July. Then for a sensational
finale, fresh cream — hand whipped at our table no less — was
added before a burning cherry was lovingly placed atop the concoction.

Singed eyebrows
were a distinct possibility so we made very sure that the beverage
was extinguished before going in for a sip. Delicious!

Considering
the amount of booze involved, somewhere between a pint and a gallon,
it’s not very strong, just flavorful. The flames burn off most
of the alcohol but leave the deliciousness behind. A pleasing
potent potable if there ever was one, maybe we should have a little
music to go with it.

Enter
the strolling mariachi. Their timing could not have been better.
We asked for a lively tune in the hopes of removing “Guantanamera”
from our heads.

 

The song had been beaten into our brains —
by those evil El Pollo Loco commercials
back in the States — to the point that we were now singing “One
Ton of Mayo” on a regular basis. Damn you El Pollo Loco and
your obnoxious, catchy jingle!

The mariachi’s
marvelous mixture of guitar, vihuela, guitarrón, accordion
and, lucky for us, harp — a rare special inclusion — was more
than enough to remove the dreaded ditty… at least for a while.
Hey!

By the time
we were headed back up to the States, a chorus or two of “One
Ton of Mayo, I Don’t Need One Ton of Mayo” had reinvaded
our craniums.

We were hoping the customs agent would take away all of that mayo
as undeclared — but were content that he didn’t confiscate that
bottle of hooch we brought back as a gift for David’s father.

David & Veronica,
GypsyNester.com

See all of our adventures in Mexico!



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3 thoughts on “Pleasing the Palate in Puerto Peñasco”

  1. Thank you for the virtual trip south of the border. I love Mexico. I miss Mexico. I miss the shrimp and the cervesa (did I spell that right? Well you don't have to spell it to order it!). I have never enjoyed the flaming coffee. So want to give that a whirl here in my own kitchen, but with only a volunteer fire department in the village and my propensity to spill the coffee even when I'm pouring from old MR. Coffee's glass lip . . . probably not a good idea.

    1. You are truly a brave soul to try this… I believe they even said “don’t try this at home” when they were making it, but it was in Spanish, so I can’t be sure. 😉

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