Sunday, January 27, 2013

Diner Shore: La Cabaña del Lago, Cuitzeo

Shore Dinners: La Cabaña del Lago
We hadn't been to La Cabaña del Lago, just south of Cuitzeo, Michoacán, in 5 years. But last Friday, while were visiting Cuitzeo with Jennifer Rose, and after I tried a so-so birria de chivito taco in Cuitzeo's very small Mercado de Carnitas, we voted unanimously to dine on the shore at La Cabaña del Lago.

Birria de Chivito in el Mercado de Carnitas
The place had first been recommended to us by the reclusive expat blogger, "Felipe Zapata", back in 2006 or '07. We'd stopped on the way home from SMA and enjoyed a fried shrimp dinner, overlooking the aqueous expanses of Lago Cuitzeo.

View from our table
On our more recent visit, we'd been exploring the wonderful ex-convent and adjacent church in Cuitzeo's center. We were not in the mood for carnitas or other mercado food. (In fact, we found very little in Cuitzeo centro in the way of street food. Surely, there's more.)

Church and ex-convent, Cuitzeo
To drive into La Cabaña del Lago is like driving into a time warp. The landscaped grounds and especially, the inside dining room are like being in the 1950's and '60s. The sensation is enhanced by the celebrity photos on the wall of the dining room reception area.

Pedro Infante
We chose to sit outdoors, under a small palapa, with the view of the lake, the shore birds, the guano stained rock islet, and the traffic on the old causeway.

Palapa chair and set a spell
The place appeared to have been considerably freshened since our visit five years before, but not enough to affect the very relaxing ambience. The inside dining room was especially spiffed up. But it was a nice day and we ate outside, watching the water fowl.

Flustered duck cluster
We spotted an intriguing appetizer on the menu, Tacos Dorados de Frijoles a la Tlaxcatecas. We decide to order some. There were 4, golden brown tacos nicely presented, accompanied by a thin but potent salsa picante.

Tacos de Frijoles a la Tlaxcaltecas
I had a very good michelada con Clamato, la Señora a Cerveza Victoria, and Jennifer a Coke.

Jennifer and I both ordereAncas de Rana, al Mojo de Ajo. Sra. Cuevas requested a simple Filete de tilapia a la parrilla.

Ancas de Rana al Mojo
Service was leisurely, but we didn't mind, as we soaked up the sunshine, enjoyed a refreshing breeze and looked out over the water (Sra. Cuevas said, "It doesn't even smell bad.") while chatting on a variety of topics.

It's a very long way from the kitchen to the palapa tables, so don't get in a hurry.

The platos fuertes arrived in their good time.
Presentations were simple but attractive, the food was good, but we couldn't help but compare the frog's legs with those at Mariscos La Güera. These were tasty and crisp but less juicy and meaty than those at La Güera at their best. Still, they were enjoyable overall.

The dessert offerings were meager: chongos or duraznos. We passed.

I enjoyed a cigar, we took pictures, then got the bill. It was, if I recall correctly, $412 pesos for three dinners, including drinks.


Food: ***

Service: ***1/2 But don't be in a hurry.

Price: $1/2  Our meals averaged out to about $140 pesos each, with tip.

Ambience: Relaxed; México, 1950, very enjoyable.

Rest rooms: Old line, but adequate. Paper towels available, and there was soap. No seat on toilet, and a somewhat "interesting" pissoir in the Caballeros' room. Click for view.

Worth a visit if you are in the area. Cuitzeo, a Pueblo Mágico, is very much worth a visit, especially for the ex-convent. Slide show of Cuitzeo, below.


Croft said...

There was an almost identical urinal in a bar in Blane, Washington that I used to be able to sneak into back in the early 60's when I was underage.

DonCuevas said...

I should do a blog on Pátzcuaro's Best P-spots. They are varied and unique. But it's a bit tricky to get away with taking photos in those sacred precincts.

Don Cuevas

Kim G said...

Looks like you'd have to be careful with that pissoir, or it'll splash back at you. LOL...


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where in bars, many such facilities are filled with ice at night.

DonCuevas said...

Get a grip, you guys. The pissoir has attracted more comment than the principal features of the restaurant.

Kim, do they also use mothballs in Boston bars, as I have seen in a Mexican restaurant, I think Boca del Río, México, D.F?

Don Cuevas

Kim G said...

Fortunately no mothballs.

kushnir said...

Will have to give that joint a try on our next trip, we are usually in a hurry going one way or another to stop....
By looks of the floor in the toilet, there is still an issue of aim....

DonCuevas said...

You guys need to get off the toilet subject, or I may have to pull the plug.

Don Cuevas

Churpa said...

Great post. I would love to know exactly how many portraits of Pedro Infante hang on the walls of Mexico...

DonCuevas said...

Hola, Churpa. Bienvenidos. I don't have an answer to the Pedro Infante question.

Don Cuevas

Xula said...

Any other restaurants in Cuitzeo? What is your favorite in Morelia?

DonCuevas said...

Xula, Cuitzeo does not seem to be well endowed with restaurants, but I'm not that well acquainted with the place.

As to Morelia, I'd have to say that my favorite restaurants of the moment are Parrilla y Canilla, in Santa María, and La Plazuela del Bosque, in Centro.

Don Cuevas

Gracee said...

Hi Don Cuevas,
I found this site while searching for any information I could find on distant relatives, I believe they're from Lago Cuitzeo. Sounds like you may know this town well?

DonCuevas said...

Gracee, I have only been in Cuitzeo pueblo twice. And, only once in the Centro.

Don Cuevas

Gracee said...

Thank you and I enjoyed reading your blog!