Monday, January 25, 2010

Patio Restaurante "Las Brisas" Pátzcuaro

We had been reading about this newish restaurant for some months. The location seems a bit odd: under the lower ramparts of the Club Deportivo Vista Del Rey, on a dead end street, for all practical purposes. The address is Calle Teresa Dávalos # 22, Centro.

It's accessed best from Pátzcuaro Centro, then ascending Calle Romero, turning left on the newly improved Calle Esperanza (formerly one of the worst streets in the city.). A right past the lower gate of the Club Deportivo, and you arrive a the outdoor expanses of Patio Las Brisas. The street down from the Santa Clara highway is impassable to sane drivers. There is no lack of parking space.

It's an attractive, one story building with a paved patio, shaded by awanings and umbrellas. The restrooms are very clean.

The menu of the restaurant, printed on two sides of a laminated sheet of paper, showcases the specialties of seafood and grilled meats.

I hope that my prior skepticism about the seafood may be forgiven; the deservedly famed Mariscos La Güera is just a few blocks away, but comparison is inevitable.

We were brought a complimentary plate of "nachos" with the menus. Those were the weakest point of the meal. They were cold totopos squirted with imitation nacho cheese sauce, some sliced pickled jalapeños on them, and in my opinion, I'd rather have fresh, plain chips and a decent salsa than anything that poor.

Fortunately, from there on everything else was much better.

Besides a small selection of bottled salsas, we were brought two salsas caseras. One, a thick paste of roasted chiles, which to me tasted somewhat burnt, and a typical, cooked salsa of tomatoes and chiles.

We ordered a jarra of fresh limonada, made with agua mineral, and it was fine.

For starters, my three companions had cocteles de mariscos, at bargain prices. The mediano size were only $35 MXN, and other than an excess of catsup on top, were excellent. I had two Tostadas Campechanas, normally accompanied by rice and salad, but I requested only the tostadas. The regular price is $55. These are not snack size seafood tostadas, but piled high with deliciously fresh tasting seafood. The seasoning was light, fresh and perfect. The pulpos (octopus) segments were a bit chewier than I've had elsewhere, but still enjoyable.

Now, the comparison: Las Brisas's tostadas were piled higher than those of La Güera. (They also cost more.) The tostadas at Las Brisas tasted more of seafood than condiments.
The LBS cocteles were very good, but would be better with less catsup. At least the catsup seemed more "real" than the pale, artificially thickened stuff used in so many other marisquerías.
In conclusion; we liked Las Brisas' seafood a lot and we still love La Güera's.

Our main course choices were varied. Our friends split a Parillada Mixta for two. It was a cazuela de barro filled with grilled chicken breast, strips of carne asada, pork chops, whole shrimp, some especially tasty chorizo; nopales and cebollitas. There was a light sauce or marinade over all.

Doña Cuevas had a regional specialty, an excellent version of Enchiladas Tarascas con Pollo. It was covered with shredded lettuce, onions and a sprinkle of queso fresco. This one didn't come with the usual pieces of carrot and potato.

I selected Arrachera, accompanied by frijoles, cebollitas a grilled pad of nopal, and some very picante guacamole. A close examination of that innocent looking green stuff revealed tiny dice of chile perón. Next time, I'll order it con poco chile.

The arrachera was tender, delicious, and perfectly seasoned.
There was a small cazuela of arroz to the side. It was enough to share.

So, it was a very good meal in a pleasant setting at a very reasonable price.

Our bill averaged out to $126 MXN per person. Note that we didn't have any alcoholic beverages.

Food: 4 ****
Service: 4 ****
Price: $$
Ambiance: relaxed
Restrooms: Very clean


Bob Mrotek said...

Don Cuevas,

Over the past few months I have seen more and more Spanish vocabulary creeping into your posts. I think you are really getting a handle on it. Good for you!

Tancho said...

Well Thank you for your great review. I look at them all the time as I head up the hill, so now there will be a reason to snake around the streets to go there. Now that see the bill of fare, it will be easy to get down to business...actually it may be a great place to grab a take out for a holiday of the kitchen.
Thanks again!

Calypso said...

Those plates look familiar ;-) Hope to get there and checkout some of your restaurants first hand ;-)

Don Cuevas said...

John Calypso, be sure that you get in touch with us before you come here. We'll have a Blogger's Brunch or something.

I'm betting that, overall, the restaurants in your area are better than those in ours.

Don Cuevas

Anonymous said...

For me, this is the best restaurant in Pátzcuaro. Great service, will make anything to order, and a great place for parties.


Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

A little on the pricey side, but I would pay the price for the presentation. Everything looks wonderful. I want it all. We are plannning on a Patzcuaro visit late summer and Las Brisas is now added to the to do list. Thank-you. LL