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Thursday, January 19, 2012

1/19/2012 - You are what you eat...

...and I'm only 5'3" tall.

I think I ate more shrimp in one day yesterday than I ever have before. After not walking very far for awhile, Lulu and I decided we were ready for another long walk. We had a few minor items to take care of: get a little walking around cash at the ATM, renew the TelCel banda ancha card for another month and pick up some coffee (been enjoying Blasón Espresso and I've only found it at Wal*Mart and Ley's so far). We didn't walk the whole way but we walked most of it. For any Mazatláneros out there, we rode the bus from Marina Mazatlán to the Banamex in the Golden Zone. Then we got out and walked. Sabalo to Buelna. Turned left on Buelna and walked up to Avenida La Marina (the Home Depot corner) with a quick detour to stop at the TelCel store. Turned right on Avenida La Marina and followed it to Revelución where we took another left. Walked up Revelución to Adolfo Lopez Mateos where we turned left, walked a block or so and stopped at Wal*Mart. Got our coffee and some ramen and continued on Mateos until we hit Buelna again and turned left back towards Sabalo. When we got to Avenida La Marina again, we turned right and started working our way back to the marina while also looking for a place to stop for lunch.

We finally saw a sign for Mariscos (seafood) so we stopped. The place was called Mariscos El Chabalo and was basically a driveway with tables and chairs and a cooking area towards the back. There were two tables with two people at each one, all Mexicans. We sat down and looked around to see if there was a menu posted or anything. There didn't seem to be. Without being too nosy, we could see that the guys at one of the tables were eating what looked like ceviche out of a molcajete. The other guys had goblets with some sort of hot-looking shrimp cocktail or something in it. We waited a little longer and the proprietor served the first guys some good looking seafood soup and then came over to our table. Clearly there wasn't a menu and he spoke no English. He did, however, speak very fast Spanish. Asked what we would like and we sort of looked over at the table with the guys eating soup. He said "Sopa de mariscos." and we said that's what we'd have. In just a few minutes he returned with two big bowls of steaming seafood soup. He brought us a pint jar filled with a bright yellow sauce. Said it was habanero and obviously homemade. Then he asked us what we wanted to drink (at least I assume that's what he asked although I didn't recognize one single word. He listed the various choices. The only word either of us recognized was "Coca" so we each ordered a Coke.

The soup was great. It had lots of pulpo (octopus), camarón (shrimp), calamar (squid), almejas (clams), otiones (oysters), as well as chunks of pescado (fish). We dressed it up with some of the habanero sauce and crumbled a bunch of saltines in it. It was really good. When our bowls were about half empty, he came around and refilled them with more of the broth.

Meanwhile, the two guys at the table that had been eating soup were served a big bowl of boiled peel-and-eat shrimp. Man! I wish we'd been sitting with them. They were also enjoying micheladas. We'll very likely return and when we do, we'll take our time and try to have lots of different things. And we'll definitely have a michelada. Maybe we can get the proprietor to talk a little slower for us.

After lunch, we continued our walk back to the marina. Got back about 3:00 after a trek of just over 7.5 miles.

The plan was to join Dave and Marj for dinner at Restaurante Los 30 again. Dave was wanting some of that molcajete pretty badly. About 6:00 we jumped on the bus and headed out. When we were leaving Los 30 last time, we saw a table where this couple were eating a big platter of boiled shrimp. We decided that was a good way to start. The waiter brought us a big platter of warm boiled peel & eat shrimp. This was a big platter and these were big shrimp, but we tucked in and made short work of them. Then we ordered dinner. Lulu was pretty full so she just ordered the tostada supreme which was covered in different kinds of seafood. Dave and Marj shared a Molcajete Caliente and I ordered Camarones Cucarachas. I had no idea what "Shrimp Cockroaches" would be but I was game to find out. I was delighted to discover that Camarones Cucarachas were big shrimp deep fried until the heads, tails and shells turned a golden brown. They were served with a slightly sweet sauce. I ripped the head off the first one and tried to peel it. No way. So I figured that maybe you were just supposed to eat the whole thing, shell, legs, tail and all. Tried one that way (including the head) and it was great. The shells, legs and tails were very crispy but the meat inside was still tender. It was delicious.

Los 30 is turning into one of our favorite Mazatlán restaurants. The staff last night was first rate. There were three tables of gringos and a couple of them had 6-8 people. The lone waiter ran (literally) around keeping everyone's requests filled. He looked like he was having a really good time. The chef managed to keep up even though each dish required a fair amount of personal attention (you should have seen the beautiful coconut shrimp). A young lady who we figure was the waiter's sister (this seemed like a family operation) helped wherever she was needed. All in all, we had a really pleasant time. We're already trying to decide what we're going to order the next time we go. Between Los 30 and Mariscos El Chabalo, there's no danger that we'll run out of seafood anytime soon.

Sorry, I forgot to take my camera.

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