Saturday, December 08, 2012

Zihuatanejo Taught Me. Part 2

A bungalow, also known as self catering accommodations  is very handy. With a small but adequately equipped kitchenette, we were able to prepare simple meals and did not have to go out to eat every time we got hungry. We rented one of the Original bungalows at Bungalows Madera, known as Coconut.

Basic but serviceable kitchen
Dinette but no Rayjean.
We made some light lunches bordering on the epicurean.
Sourdough walnut bread, fresh criollo tomate, pimientos piquillos relleno de chipirones*, salami Italiano.
*The canned Spanish pimientos piquillos rellenos were not to our liking; overcooked and mushy. The rest of the meal was great. Carméneres Vino Tinto Chileno to drink.

In room breakfast was usually avocado, creole tomato, cheese and/or salami, walnut bread or Bimbo Pan Integral, tangerines, Chiapas coffee**. I fried eggs once.

** I also learned that when you are on vacation, it's not so important that the coffee be freshly ground moments before brewing. I'd ground enough while at home, and it tasted great while in Zihua.

ANOTHER LESSON was that Cocos Fríos could be really good. I'd disparaged the so called "cocos fríos" sold near home, which always tasted of lukewarm soapy water to me, if they tasted of anything. There is nothing "frío"—cold— about them.

On Calle Adelita not far from Bungalows Madera a man sits in front of his large house  waiting for cocos fríos customers. We'd seen him on earlier visits, but never succumbed to the attraction. He looks like a doctor, or a dentist, so I call him Dr. Cocos Fríos.

Dr. Cocos Fríos at work
"Dr." Cocos Fríos mezcla la medicina para mejorar tú coco
Tender, sweet coconut meat is yours to fork after drinking the agua de coco, with or without booze.
I really enjoyed the relaxed time at "Dr. Coco Frío's" and drank a refreshing "head" of coconut water with a heady dose of vodka.
$20 a coco frío, $15 for an unopened coco para llevar (to go), $50 for a coco loco (opened, chilled, anesthetic loaded, coco.)
I recommend this place for a cool, relaxing stop. It's next to Hotel Villas Miramar.

Sunday night, dinner out was in order. We easily agreed on Mariscos Chendo's, where we'd been twice on a previous visit. It's toward the far western end of Calle Adelita, now reborn with good paving, lights and flower plantings. Calle Adelita may be the Restaurant Row of Zihua, or one of several. It was an easy walk from our hotel.

The waitresses tend to be motherly types who like to take care of you. English is spoken. Muy bien.

That night, The filetes de pescado were 86'd, so my wife requested shrimp boiled in the shell, which she got, and a Coctel de Camarones.
Pure sweet fresh boiled shrimp one way, shrimp boiled and peeled in sauces and condiments the second way.

The Coctel is prepared and served in what seems to be the characteristic Zihuatanejo way; that is, in a bowl rather than in a sundae glass. It has little liquid and is dressed mostly with finely diced tomatoes, onions and chiles, plus a minimum glug of catsup. Catsup is a dominant characteristic of Zihuatanejo cocteles de mariscos, but fortunately, Chendo's applies it with restraint. Good, but I prefer the tall, sundae glass version, with an abundance of liquid.

Coctel de Camarones "Chendo's"

After some hesitation, I ordered "Cevichendo", a special ceviche of fish, shrimp and octopus in orange juice and chiles.

It was a modest looking bowl of cold, juicy seafood, with lots of flavor.
I discovered the finely cut chiles serrano in the bottom of the bowl, only after I'd dabbed on some of the salsa picante from the dish on the table. Fortunately, there were plenty of Saladitas saltines as well as crunchy tortilla chips to help quell the flames.

It was good, although I added lots of salt and more lime juice. I also would have liked it with some avocado, perhaps a little onion, and some cilantro.

I'm sure that they will prepare "regular" ceviches and aguachiles de camarones on request. They may even be on the menu.

A word about the menu offerings. There are many rich variations of seafood dishes, including the famed Coconut Shrimp, shrimp with nut sauce; cream cheese filled, bacon wrapped chipotle sauce covered shrimp. Just too rococonut for me. But if you prefer simpler, more natural treatments of fresh seafood, they're available.

Desserts are crepes. That's all. Easy for us to skip.


Food: ****

Service: *****

Ambience: Tropical relaxed.

Rest rooms: excellent

Price: $ 1/2 - $$ Depends a lot on apps, drinks.

Our cuenta
Definitely would return.

Watch this space for the next installment, a special double restaurant edition: Carmelita's Café and Restaurant El Manglar.


Tancho said...

We are loading up the car today and heading for a few weeks to visit the sunny humid beaches of the coast. The wife has never been to Acapulco, so since it is a relatively hop skip and jump from Zuhua, through the jungle, we may extend the trip.
We will for sure check out your Chendos for the Cuevas experience......

DonCuevas said...

Don't miss Carmelita's Cafe, on Heróico Colegio Militar, adjoining Super El Cacahuate on its left and Autolavado on the right. Opens 8:30 and loses at 4:30, IIRC.

I'd write more, but I'm very busy.


Don Cuevas