El Farolito Restaurant – Melaque

El FarolitoI literally stumbled across this place on one of my morning walks and never noticed that it was a full-service restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. El Farolito (The Lantern) is tucked into one corner of the little market stalls in Melaque Centro, one street west and kind of behind Super Hawaii.

It wasn’t until we were sitting in the restaurant having dinner, that we realized that the restaurant used to be in Villa Obregon where Non Solo Pizza is now. The waitress confirmed that they moved two years ago. Friends had recommended El Farolito to us then, but we never got around to visiting.

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The Baked Potato Guy – Melaque

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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?

Quetzal Excels

splitI think this is the first time I’ve ever blogged and bragged about one particular restaurant twice. My last post about El Quetzal De Laura in Villa Obregon was for their excellent breakfasts, and now Cathryn and I can rant about their dinners.

Diners have a choice of seating inside and out, the restaurant being shaded by trees, foliage, and an awning out front. Chairs are padded and comfortable, and tables are adorned with real tablecloths.

While waiting on our dinners we heard diners around us raving about their crepes and salad. Cathryn ordered the special-coconut shrimp and I asked for the Popeye crepe that included spinach to make me big and strong. It was also filled with large plump shrimp, onions and cream cheese – a creamy, chewy mixture, wrapped in a light and fluffy piece of heaven. My entree included their house salad, a mixture of greens and shredded carrots and alfalfa sprouts, with a light balsamic dressing.

shrimpCathryn’s shrimp were huge but the only gave her six and I was afraid I wouldn’t get a sample. Her plate came with a salad and rice but she opted for veggies, getting a nice assortment and steamed and tender goodies. We both agreed the coconut shrimp was the best we’ve had yet in Barra or Melaque.

I overheard another table raving about the deserts, but I wasn’t fussy about their pie selection. Instead, we indulged in a full-blown banana split, complete with the neapolitan ice cream flavours I remembered from my childhood, and fresh local bananas and strawberries. If I had to complain about anything it would be the lack of hot fudge on the split.

crepeWe each had two drinks with our meal and desert. The bill came to $570 Pesos or a hair under 40 Loonies. A steal, considering Cathryn and I think it’s the best restaurant we’ve tried this year in Melaque. We both rated it 10 out of 10.

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).

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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.

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Maria’s in Melaque

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Nero’s Steak House

1491341927522What ever happened to all the good steak house restaurants? Windsor used to have at least a half dozen top notch places. Did the next generation stop eating steak or do they avoid upscale eateries? Even the Outback Steakhouse couldn’t survive in Windsor.

Not to worry folks. In case you haven’t heard, Nero’s Steak House in Casino Windsor is all things a good beef baron should be, and more. They specialize in prime cuts of meat, but also offer seafood and a full menu.

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