Monday, April 07, 2014

Pizza at the Posada Mandala Pátzcuaro

The sign of good pizza
It may seem incredible, but except for our first visit to Pátzcuaro, in January, 1991, we had never eaten pizza in a Pátzcuaro restaurant. That was, for the record, at Las Once Pizzas, and it was so long ago, 23 years, that I don't remember anything about it.

Recently we'd been reading recommendations for the pizzas at Posada Mandala, a budget travelers' guest house. The latest recommendation came from our very critical friend, Ron, who approved of the pizzas at Mandala. This approbation, coming from Ron, determined that we go eat there. We met him there yesterday and had a pleasant meal.

Posada Mandala entry hall
The atmosphere of the small dining room is cozy and casual, decorated with posters and curios. It's very informal and unpretentious. Guests exchanged comments and greetings across tables.

Posada Mandala dining room
Soon after we arrived, Sr. Enrique, the affable manager and host greeted us and we chatted in English and mostly Spanish on this and that.

Sra. Cuevas and I were extra hungry, so we ordered the house "Salades Niçoise", (two sizes, small at $25 pesos, large at $40 pesos) which were nice composition of greens, mushroom slices, tomatoes, apple slices, and sliced black olives. There was some crumbled, mild goat cheese and a scattering of sunflower seeds. The name is a misnomer, for they bear almost no resemblance to a traditional Salade Niçoise. Nevertheless, they were passably decent salads. I wasn't so fond of the undistinguished, milky white dressing. I would would have preferred a simple olive oil and wine vinegar to this odd emulsion.

Ensalada "Niçoise" chica
The pizzas listed on the menu, at $70 for a small and $120 a large, are fifteen in number. You can invent your own combination at $10 pesos per additional ingredient.

Mandala's MenuPizzas artesanales preparadas con nuestra salsa especial y dos quesos.
Grande (40 cms.)  $110.-         Chica (25 cms.)  $65.-               Inventa tus combinaciones.          Cada ingrediente adicional ………$-10.-1.-   Italiana: pepperoni2.-   Salami con champiñones3.-   Vegetariana: aceitunas negras, pimiento morrón, champiñones…  4.-   Margarita: queso de cabra, jitomate, orégano…  5.-   Hawaiana: jamón, piña…  6.-  Criolla: tocino, champiñón, cebolla…  7.-   Mexicana: chorizo, jalapeños cebolla…  8.-   Intensa: ajo con champiñones…  9.-   Mandala: anchoas, jitomate, aceitunas negras… …………………………………………………………………………..Grande……. $ 120.- Chica……. $ 70.- ingrediente adicional $-10.-10.- Cuatro quesos (Azul, Cabra, Parmesano y Chihuahua)   11.- Pizzalambre: Carne asada, pimiento, cebolla…12.- Caprichosa: camarón, tocino, jitomate…13.- Tentadora: Pulpo a la gallega (aceite de oliva, paprika…) 14.- Seductora: Pulpo con camarón, espinaca, toquecito de chipotle…15.- Marinera: camarón, ostión ahumado, espinaca, un toquecito de chipotle…LAS PASTAS (todas las pastas llevan queso parmesano)Spaghetti Bolognesa …………………$- 90.-Spaghetti al pesto  ó  al bosque (salsa de champiñones)  ……………….. $- 60.-Spaghetti pomodoro (salsa de pizza)  ó  al burro ( mantequilla)………... $- 50.-Ensalada nicoise estilo Mandala  grande $- 40.-  chica $- 25.-(Lechuga, jitomate, manzana, semilla de girasol, aceitunas negras, queso de cabra…) Salsas y aderezo de la casa  250 grs. $- 40.-
BEBIDASCERVEZA NEGRA MODELO $  20.- REFRESCO DE LATA $15.-CERVEZA MODELO ESPECIAL $  20.- (coca cola, manzana, naranja, lima limón)CORONA, VICTORIA $  18.- AGUA MINERAL EN VASO $ 15.-MICHELADA $  25.- NARANJADA O LIMONADA $ 20.-TEQUILA TRADICIONAL $  40.- (con agua natural o mineral)MEZCAL DE OPONGUIO $  30.- Jarra (1.6 Lts.) $ 70.-MEZCAL DE GUERRERO $  35.-COPA DE VINO CHILENO $  40.-BOTELLA $160-SANGRÍA VASO $  25.-  JARRA (1.6 Lts.) $  90.-VINO DE LA CASA (Jarra 1 Lt). $ 140.-COPA VINO DE LA CASA $  30.-

Ron requested a Pizza "Mandala" grande, that has anchovies, tomato and black olive, but with double anchovies. We decided to get a Pizza "Criolla", with fresh mushrooms, bacon and onion.

Waiting time didn't seem very long. The pizzas were very well made and a pleasure to the eyes as well as the palate.

Pizza "Mandala" Grande
Pizza Criolla Grande
The crusts are thin, crisp and cracker like; baked to a pale tan, without any char. The toppings are arranged with care. The sauce is good and balanced except for a notable strength of garlic (we liked that). Best of all, it isn't sweet. There's catsup available for those customers who can't eat pizza without it. More interesting condiments than the catsup and ubiquitous Jugo Maggi sazonador are the clay dishes of oil based salsas caseras,  one of red chile with peanut pieces, the other blackened, with sesame seeds. Either one should be applied with caution.

Salsas caseras Pizzas Mandala
I won't compare the pizzas that we had with recent others elsewhere. I have, as I said, near zero pizza eating history in Pátzcuaro. In the end, Pizzas Mandala is a good place for a well made pizza. I would recommend it to friends and visitors. 

Pizza dreams, brought to you in GooeyVision

Food:  ***1/2

Service: **** Unobtrusive, quiet and friendly

Ambience: Casual, informal, relaxed

Price: $1/2-$$ Nuestra cuenta

Rest rooms: One, up stairs, small but adequate.

Free wi-fi, and it works well!

Location: Calle Lerín #14, Centro, Pátzcuaro, Michoacán

Hours: Open Thursday to Sunday, from one in the afternoon.

Tel:  (434) 342 


Felipe Zapata said...

Interesting. I did not know there was still a restaurant at that location. I used to eat there often during visits to Pátzcuaro from Morelia 14 years back. It was more of a hippie restaurant then, not a pizza spot.

I'm surprised to see anchovies available. That's rather rare. To me, a pizza without anchovies is no pizza at all. Little salty, hairy fish are a must.

DonCuevas said...

The anchovies were cut into morsels and well distributed. Keep in mind that Ron ordered double anchovies. "Balance" seems to be a theme in Mandala's pizzas; at least the two we tried.

Don Cuevas

jennifer rose said...

OMG, garlic AND anchovies in Patzcuaro? What's next?

Tancho said...

That is one of the few places that have anchovies AND thin crust! For awhile LaCampana on the plaza had decent pizzas when they first moved their pizza operation from the hill. They built a brick oven inside the restaurant but would only fire it up on weekends, sometimes, last time we are there it was dismal.
Mandala's have always been decent and you can ask him to leave it in a tad to char the bottom a little. Hope he continues, it is the best in town, other than when I make my own!
The first time we went there, I brought my own jar of anchovies, they surprised me by telling me that they did have them and that a lot of people enjoyed them also.

Andean said...

Catsup on pizza!?! The horror!! Say it isn't so...

DonCuevas said...

Sorry, Andean, but many Mexicans, I have observed use pizza as a vehicle for condiments such as catsup, and (cover your eyes) mayonnaise.


DonCuevas said...

Tancho, I haven't had *your* pizza, other than the time that you helped me grill pizza at Casa Cuevas. (hint hint). And, it should be stated, you are not exactly "in town".


DonCuevas said...

First arugula, then truffle oil.


jennifer rose said...

And then Himalayan pink salt paving the path to The New Republic.

bills8091 said...

That looks delicious. That would be the perfect thing for me to make for dinner tomorrow. Thank you for the idea.
Bill |

Eileen said...

I stayed at Posada Mandala two yrs ago and loved it. I used the small kitchen and fridge there to prepare some meals. But I do not recall any Pizza restaurant there. This must be a more recent addition to the place. Who makes the pizza? When I was there there was a dining area and Enriqoe's room was attached to it, but not much happened in that dining rm. I am dying to go back. Patzcuaro tugs at my heart strings, and now the pizza is calling me. That and the cat who jumped in my open 2nd story window from the rooftop next door. And Enrique, a charming, sweet, and interesting host.

The place on the Plaza Chica with the big straw Catrina outside has pretty good pizza. But your pics from Posada Mandala are yummy.

DonCuevas said...

Eileen, thank you for your comments.

I'm not sure how long the pizza restaurant has been in the Posada Mandala, but it must have been after your last visit.

From what I could see of the tiny kitchen, the pizzas are made by a couple of young men.

The dining room is probably the same that you saw.

Don Cuevas