It's hard to beat fish tacos, shrimp tacos, arrechera tacos, carnitas y papas empenadas, etc., but eventually, we gringo cruisers start hankering for a little bit of "home" food. Usually this is either pizza or cheeseburgers. We haven't succumbed to the pizza urge yet as Lulu makes her own pizza that more than fills the bill. However, burgers are another thing altogether.
Awhile ago on the morning cruisers' net on VHF 22, the subject came up. Many suggestions were made and we've tried a few. The first place we tried was Bandito's right here near our marina. I blogged about Bandito's earlier. It's the place with the grill inside the hood of an old Chevy pick-up. Their burgers were good but certainly nothing special.
The next place we tried was a direct result of a suggestion on the morning net. About a block away from where we're at, on the corner of Abosolo and Navarro, there's a house. During the day, there is a wheeled cart that sits in the driveway. "Hamburguesas y Hot Dogs" is painted on the side of the cart. Sometime after 8:00 in the evening, the driveway is converted to a small al fresco dining area by unstacking the plastic chairs and tables. The cart is opened up across the front of the driveway and is put to use making burgers and dogs. We went there one evening with David and Carolyn from s/v Aztec. The burgers were very good but didn't exactly ease the craving as they were dressed with Mexican style condiments rather than plain old musard, mayo, etc.
Our next foray into the world of burgers was a result of a suggestion by David of Aztec. He said that we HAD to try the burgers at Tailhunter's on the malecón.
Being the travel snobs we are, we had always sort of eschewed Tailhunter's as being "too touristy". But, based on David's suggestion, we decided to try it anyway, and we're glad we did. It just so happened that we were going to be walking down the malecón all the way to Marina Palmira to join Doug and Jody (s/v El Gitano) in veiwing 3 of the rare and elusive Westsail 39s that happened to all be docked there. Tailhunter's is way down the malecón but not as far down as the marina. After checking out the boats, Doug and Jody joined us for a mid-afternoon lunch at Tailhunter's, where they had been before.
We sat on the second floor overlooking the street and ordered the "Malecón Burger" at D & J's suggestion. It was a large (probably near half-pound) patty on a big soft bun. Manchego cheese was melted over it and it was dressed with tomato, lettuce, grilled onion, and pickles (although mine only had a dime-sized pickle chip on it). Ketchup, mayo and mustard were provided. The burgers were served with a large pile of fries. Well, I have no complaints (other than that little tiny pickle chip). The meat tasted like meat which is kind of a rarity in burgers anywhere these days. The fries were excellent as well. The beer was ice-cold and chips and salsa were served as an appetizer. At $69 pesos (about $5.60 US) for the burger and fries, it was a pretty good deal. We decided that we'd probably come back again.
Yesterday found us walking a lot. We walked out to Wal-Mart and Home Depot which is about a 3-mile trek. We took the bus back to the boat, unloaded our stuff and headed downtown for more stuff. About 2:30, we were feeling the effects and really needed something to eat. It just so happened that we were very near another place we've been wanting to try: Buffalito Grill.
The restaurant consists of an open-air courtyard with tables and chairs as well as two small open structures. One of these is the kitchen and one is the bar.
We ordered a couple of ice cold Bohemia Obscuro cervezas and perused the placemat/menu. We decided to opt for the basic burger, partly so we could make a fair comparison and partly because things like avocado on burgers just makes them slippery and messy to eat.
The meat is cooked on an open grill over actual mesquite-fueled flames.
When our burgers came, we were not disappointed. Like Tailhunter's, they were stacked high with lettuce, tomato, pickles and sauteed onions and mayo. Ketchup and mustard were served on the side. The fries weren't as plentiful as at Tailhunter's but were more than enough.
The meat tasted like, and apparently is, ground sirloin and was cooked medium rare. The patty was 250 grams which comes out to pretty near 1/2 lb. The cheeses were cheddar and Monterey jack. A couple of thoughtful touches were that they bring you a roll of paper towels to use as napkins (paper napkins in La Paz tend to be tiny little things although they usually let you have as many as you want), and we each got a knife to cut our burgers if we wanted (we did).
The food was great, the beer was cold and the people were friendly. The burgers, while not head-and shoulders above Tailhunter's were, in our opinion, better and we don't feel the need to take the long walk back to Tailhunter's now that we've discovered this place which is much nearer. We plan to return one evening for either a ribeye or arrechera steak. Oh yeah, at $70 pesos, the cost of the burger here was virtually the same as at Tailhunter's.
Hmmmmm..... I wonder what we're going to eat today.