Sunday, February 19, 2012

Going Coastal In Zihuatanejo Part 2

Mariscos Chendo's

Some restaurants are so enjoyable that they deserve a return visit. We ate at Carmelita's Cafe 4 times in 6 days. But others also got multiple visits, among them were Mariscos Chendo's and Fonda Doña Licha.

I learned of Mariscos Chendo's through enthusiastic TripAdvisor reviews, but I'd also found it on my own when I walked the several blocks of Calle Adelita townward from our hotel. Much of Adelita is torn up for repaving, yet it's still accessible.

Mariscos Chendo's lies near the far end of the street, but worth the dusty walk. I'd looked over the menu and found some dishes which indicated a creative but tasteful talent in the kitchen. Notably, "Cevichendo", an appealing treatment of ceviche* of mixed seafood that included orange juice. There was also a Chile Relleno de Mariscos, a dish that hitherto I'd only imagined. Of course, the menu included the two signature Zihua dishes, Coconut Shrimp and Tiritas de Pescado. Coconut does not thrill me in all its applications, but I can understand the appeal of this dish.

*I love tiritas and some ceviches, but considering that we'd recently had some other health issues, we decided to be prudent and not test the waters, so to speak.

We went for an evening dinner on both visits. The atmosphere is very casual. We were attended by friendly, motherly waitresses who spoke some English. There's a hammock in the dining room, near the family table, which various people spent time swinging between attending to the guests and their own well behaved children. Jazz played quietly over the sound system. Ceiling fans beat the balmy air.

Doña Cuevas ordered a Filete de Pescado Relleno de Mariscos, sin queso. The frying was deft and the seafood impeccably fresh.

Filete de Pescado Relleno de Mariscos
Inevitably, I had the Chile Relleno de Mariscos, with the queso. It was an imposing presence on the plate, bathed in a light, creamy pink sauce. I liked the mild chile and the seafood but the cheese was a bit rubbery. Nevertheless, I had no trouble cleaning my plate of every scrap and drop of sauce.

Chile Relleno de Mariscos
Both dinners were accompanied by fresh mixed vegetables, cooked to just this side of al dente. Even the little mounds of rice were good.

We splurged and had Nutella crepes from the short dessert list. La Señora C. had hers with fresh strawberries and mine with banana slices. Nice, but not really my kind of dessert.

Crepa de Nutella
With agua mineral to drink, our bill came to $325 pesos.

A few nights later we returned. It was like coming home.
Same friendly, motherly waitresses, same scene, a few more tables with diners.

 On this occasion, Doña Cuevas had camarones al mojo de ajo, which were small but sweet, still in their shells. You have to eat them with your fingers, which can be fun.

I had filete de dorado con espaguettis con salsa de pimento. The dorado was prepared with only salt and black pepper and I think a touch of butter. It was wonderful. The spaghetti had a clingy cream and cheese sauce and small squares of colorful sweet peppers. It was good, but the dorado was magnífico. We like this kind of cooking which just enhances the fresh ingredients but doesn't overwhelm them with elaborate seasonings.

Our motherly waitress also brought us a complimentary plate of Machaca de Pescado, vaguely similar to Bacalao a la Vizcaina, but sweet from the dried fruits with which it was cooked, plus some tomato, onion, and chile. Interesting, but I wouldn't order it if I had the opportunity.

Ratings for Mariscos Chendos

Food: ****
Service: *****
Price: $-$$
Ambience: Castaways
Rest rooms: Clean and in good order

I see that my time and space are used up. Doña Licha's will have to wait for Part 3.


Felipe Zapata said...

When my wife and I are in Zihua, we can rarely tear ourselves away from Doña Licha.

Don Cuevas said...

It's understandable, Felipe. The food is good and the menu varied. The service is efficient, and the prices are low.

Hey! I just wrote my review of Doña Licha's. Thanks.

Don Cuevas