The Baked Potato Guy – Melaque

1383780369940

Warning: Actual Baked Potatoes are more than double this size.

Who’d a thunk you can make a meal for two out of a baked potato. Or better yet, how can someone make any money selling them at 80 Pesos, loaded with butter, sour cream, onions, and any other toppings or sauces you want, like mushrooms, bacon, or even beef.

Leave it to an entrepreneurial Mexican who threw a small barbecue and a couple tables right on the street, in Downtown Melaque (just past the Oxxo and across from Toba’s Wings) on the road to Villa Obregon. I don’t know if the improvised street stand has a name, and have only seen an orange piece of cardboard listing his prices, taped to the wall.

Cathryn and I have either walked or bicycled by the Potato guy in the past, but tonight we finally tried one. Funny thing was, we were having wings at Toba’s and are not fans of their French Fries. We smelled and eyed the cooking potatoes in wonderment. It can’t hurt to ask, right?

When our server took our order, I asked about the possibility of adding a potato from down the street. He smiled and told me the owner was his amigo, and that I should go right ahead and help myself. So, here’s to starting a new trend…or at least making an attempt to bring these two guys together, under one roof.

We dug in and dissected our giant spud, which had to weigh two pounds or more. Looking closer, while digging into the creamy delight, it appeared as though it had been twice cooked – baked first, then whipped with butter and sour cream and onions. It was an awesome mixture, to which we added sauteed mushrooms. It was easily more than enough for the two of us, in addition to our wings, and could probably feed a small family of four as a side dish.

Who the hell needs boring fries?

ChavaKiah Massage Cafe

chavaI literally stumbled across this hidden gem while exploring the back streets running parallel to the blurred Melaque/Villa Obregon border. I saw the words Chavakiah and Desayuno scribbled on a chalkboard near Esmerelda’s and ambled over the cobblestone to see what I could see, and maybe eat.

And there it was, an oasis among the non-descript faded pastel bungalows, a few umbrellaed tables and another chalkboard to signal I had the right place. I sat outside the first time but had to take shelter inside today because of the unusual rainstorm (it never rains while we’re here in the winter).

Continue reading “ChavaKiah Massage Cafe”

Toba Wings in Melaque

58724844_1086800061443780_6099295323476197376_oFinally, a restaurant in Melaque with good chicken wings. Not the small pigeon wings or tiny appendages stolen from young birds before they grow feathers, but large-almost jumbo, fat and juicy wings with a few decent sauces to choose from.

Everyone knows I love food, but no everyone knows I’m a chicken wing aficionado, having sample cluckers in restaurants from here to Alaska, and from San Francisco to Capetown, Africa.  Toba Wings might not have the best wings in the world, but they are good enough for this birdman to make a return visit.

Continue reading “Toba Wings in Melaque”

Maria’s in Melaque

27993085_945926655571086_3420542842870343265_ocovere

West Melaque is becoming a hub for tasty new restaurants. Cathryn and I haven’t been here in two years but were happy to see restaurants like the Wok and De Maria en la Playa in the end of town we’re staying. We’ve been to Maria’s three times now and had excellent food each time.

The Italian restaurant is right next door to Tito’s, in the same building that was Tito’s the last time we were in town. The dining room is cozy, extends out onto a wood deck, and has seating on the beach. Menu items include salads, pasta and steaks. The guacamole we had for starters was one of the best we’ve had in Melaque.

Continue reading “Maria’s in Melaque”

Soprano’s – Best Pizza in Melaque

IMG-20191225-174736jpgThis post is for all Canadians and pizza lovers staying in Villa Obregon, Melaque or San Patricio. The pizza restaurant formerly known as Nonsolopizza, on the corner across from the bus station and beside the taxi stand, is now called “Soprano’s Pizzeria.” The owner said he had to change the name for technical reasons.

Continue reading “Soprano’s – Best Pizza in Melaque”

Etta’s Greekish Eatery

78424932_2513138285597021_5714507940707172352_oIt will be no surprise to some of our friends who already dine at Etta’s Greekish Eatery, that it’s become our favorite breakfast place. We’d heard it was going to change hands, with a new non-Greek owner taking over, and we were a bit concerned they’d change things and ruin a great restaurant. Don’t worry, that’s not the case.

I’d just been talking Windsor Pizza with some buddies, who’ve all noticed how great Italian Pizza places have all but vanished – with other ethnicities taking them over and ruining a good thing. Etta’s seems to be an exception so far, they’re still serving the same great food and they’ve kept the same staff. They can make all the difference, as we learned from the Country Diner on Manning after the old cook retired.

Continue reading “Etta’s Greekish Eatery”

The Detroit Shipping Company

downloadIt seems Cathryn and I don’t get out for dinner as much these days, mostly because we like to cook, and that we expect good food and service for the price we pay. We’ve also been slacking in visits across the border to Detroit, where exciting things have been happening in the restaurant and entertainment scene.

Take the Detroit Shipping Company for example. Some enterprising entrepreneurs took a vacant lot near the Cass Corridor, stacked metal shipping containers in the shape of a square, and added a handful of specialty restaurants to a revitalized neighborhood. The is plenty of room for inside and outside drinking and dining and hanging out.

Continue reading “The Detroit Shipping Company”

Rants, Raves & Reviews – Capone’s Grill & Pasta Shop

front

Cathryn and I don’t get out for dinner much these days, mostly because many restaurants aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Who wants to pay forty bucks for a steak that’s not cooked to your liking or eat frozen veggies. Maybe it helps in our case that we both like to cook, and cook the way we like.

Not to say there aren’t any great restaurants in Windsor. Take the little Italian grill and pasta shop called, Capone’s on Wyandotte Street, in old Riverside. Owner John Fuerth is the restaurant’s first reason for success. He openly admits that he mimicked his favorite Italian restaurant, the Cook Shop, when he created Capone’s.

dinnerCathryn and I have eaten in both places and John hasn’t missed a beat. We were able to get a table on Friday night without reservations and were welcomed as if we were extended family. We started with the scallop appetizer special. They were plump, seared to perfection and served with a tasty reduction and veggie slivers.

Cathryn had the Chateau Briand and I ordered the carbonara with pancetta, asking for it to be on the creamy side. The wait wasn’t long and our meals were served piping hot from the kitchen that was only a few feet away (a very cozy place for the cooking staff). C’s filet was cooked exactly how she asked. I received a damn good sized bowl of pasta – easily the best carbonara I’ve had in many years.

desertFor dessert we had cheesecake that was made inhouse. It was not your normal triangle slab cut from a pie tin. It resembled a large scoop of ice cream, light and creamy, with no gram crust, and topped with blueberry sauce. OMG good.

Even with a decent bottle of  wine, our bill barely broke a hundred dollars. The same meal would have cost us almost double at the Cook Shop. John told us Lino recently retired and sold the downtown landmark. Not a problem for us since we’ve found our new favorite Italian eatery. Both C and I give Capone’s a 10 out of 10, and I think that’s the first time ever.

Destination Kingsville

kingsvilleAfter retiring I worked for Niagara Wine Tours, a company who was trying to expand into the Lake Erie North Shore region. They were already tapped into the Toronto market and thought the wine industry in Essex County was ripe for the picking. Unfortunately the company couldn’t garner enough interest to keep them afloat. The main complaint from out-of-town tourists was our lack of places to stay.

Fast-forward about ten years and we have fifteen wineries and almost as many breweries or brew-pubs. Existing estates expanded to accommodate tour buses and gatherings such as wedding receptions. Bars and restaurants got in on the action by offering local vintages and brews.

Continue reading “Destination Kingsville”