Molcajete Loco: Something a Bit Different


Greg and I were looking for a simple, local place yesterday, as it was a bit too cloudy for our traditional “Palapa Friday” on the beach. Greg had run errands in the Golden Zone the day before, and a very energetic abuelita had invited him into her restaurant. The place looked interesting and seemed to have a great menu, but he had just eaten. So he promised the lady he’d be back.

We went today, and the place is called El Molcajete Loco. It is located right next to the Oxxo on the northbound side of Camarón Sábalo, across the street from the Cinemas Gaviotas movie theater near Valentino’s. They have a raw bar street side with all the seafood you might expect (scallops, oysters, clams, shrimp, octopus), the expected local seafood dishes (ceviches, aguachiles, cokteles), cold and hot molcajetes (served in lava rock/pumice), plus they’ve got a cooked menu that offers some unique and very tasty items. Click on any image to enlarge it or view a slideshow.

We sampled two things we’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Greg had dorado/mahi mahi served over a grilled pineapple slice and covered with poblano sauce, and I had a dorado filet covered with seafood and a coconut cream curry. There was so much food that I ended up bringing half home with me, but never ate it for cena as I was still full!

Christian is the chef. He told us he worked in a restaurant in Bakersfield, California; when he returned to Mazatlán he worked at Señor Frog’s, and then came to the Molcajete Loco. He obviously knows how to make sauces! There were three young men waiting tables, plus the lady Greg had met the day before who keeps things clean, and we were attended like royalty.  The owner was not around during our visit.


Chef Christian


If you like local, simple places with good food and value, El Molcajete Loco is a solid choice. It is open-air, rustic, with the kitchen at the rear. In addition to beer they offer a good selection of non-alcoholic drinks, including agua de jamaica, horchatapiñadasnaranjadas, congas, and limonadas.

Cimaco Gourmet Restaurant: Something Different, with A/C

Greg and I have wanted to go to the restaurant in Cimaco, the department store in the Gran Plaza, ever since it opened. We figure that up there on the second floor, with all those windows and that terrace, it must be a pretty good view. And as we are quickly approaching the heat of summer, the air conditioning didn’t sound bad, either.

The interior is modern and fresh—they call it European style—and the views are spacious. We were delighted to find a menu offering a selection of foods we don’t regularly find in Mazatlán, including loads of great salads and international main dishes. Cimaco Gourmet has a pizza oven, and on Tuesdays if you buy a large pizza you get a small one free. They also offer a variety of custom, non-alcoholic drinks, served in cool Mason jars, and have a respectable wine selection and full bar.

Cimaco Gourmet is open from breakfast (I believe they said 8 am) through 11 pm, and the terrace will be especially inviting on a summer evening. The restaurant has a full bakery on site. While we didn’t try any bread, pie, cake or pastries, I will say they looked really good! Again, quite international, not just the traditional Mexican baked goods. By the way, the department store sells its bread half price after 8 pm, and it has quite a few bread options with Splenda instead of sugar.

Click on any photo below to view it larger or see a slideshow.

The store has a children’s play area right next to the restaurant, with supervision. You can pay to leave kids or grandkids there while you shop anywhere in the mall, and your first hour is free if shopping at Cimaco.

Greg and I found Cimaco Gourmet a welcome addition to the restaurant scene here in town. When you’re looking for something different, for a bit of space so you don’t have to sit on top of someone else, or when you’re looking for some good air conditioning and a view, check it out and let us know what you think.

Palapa Mariscos Los Porteños

IMG_0868 Lots of changes these days amongst the palapas on the malecon. Many of the changes were precipitated by the storms during the summer of 2014 while other changes are just natural turnover and expansion. One of the more intriguing changes for us is the addition of Palapa Mariscos Los Porteños. Why is this intriguing to us? Well Los Porteños is one of the better known Bandas of Mazatlán (click here for video). It is an interesting concept to have the owner of a banda group open a palapa with the same name. One of the other welcome changes along the malecon is more banda music beyond the strolling musicians. More palapas are welcoming bandas to play at their restaurant, including of course, Mariscos Los Porteños. The day we ate there the band playing featured various members of local bandas. They were getting in practice time and played very well together. Their vocalist lacked a microphone, so he would sing at your table with the band remaining stationary at the end of the restaurant. A nice touch. Songs were 100 pesos each, but spread among 12 guys, that’s not a bad deal. We negotiated four for 300. IMG_0884 IMG_0908 We found Palapa Los Porteños to be excellent as far as palapas go. First, it is new, which means it is clean and a little more modern than others. It is larger than some as well with ample beach seating under umbrellas or seating under palapas. The kitchen is fast and efficient and the servers friendly and dedicated to your satisfaction. The palapa is well built with attractive supporting beams. The kitchen pick up area features a matching wood face that is unique to Mazatlán palapas. It has a very unique and deceiving floor which you can check out in the photos.

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We have long kept a tradition of dining at a palapa each Friday. Originally this was to celebrate Danny surviving another week of school, but now just a chance to remember why we live where we do and celebrate the end of a work week. We have kept a list of palapas in order north to south with our likes and dislikes and relevant comments, but it is sorely in need of updating. After the commotion of Semana Santa, I am committed to getting this done and will publish it for everyone to use and comment upon. Until then, take off your sandals, order a cold beer and some fish or shrimp and enjoy Mariscos Los Porteños. You will find more or less across from the Sands Hotel. Coming south from the acuario, it is the second palapa. Across the street are things like Qualitas Insurance and the Mara Gymnasium, Scorpio V and the road to the bus station. Provecho!

Update: The band contacted me and gave me the website for the restaurant.

Restaurant Review: Del Pueblo y Para el Pueblo


Del Pueblo al Pueblo, north side of Agenda Insurgentes, just east of the malecón

The Estero del Camarón, the estuary along Avenida Insurgentes, just east of the malecón, has long been a muse for me, a natural reprieve amidst the urban activity. Back when I drove Danny to school I passed by it daily, and, living so close by, we still pass by it almost every day in the course of our activities. The reflections of the sky in the lagoon, and the sight of the birds sunning themselves, make for an oasis in the middle of the city.

A few of years ago a restaurant went in on the north side of the road. Gradually, Del Pueblo y Para el Pueblo has encroached on the estero, much to my dismay. Such seems to be the way of things here. We ate at this small restaurant a few times after they first opened. We loved the location, the nature surrounding us as we ate, the sound of the birds in the trees and the water. The food, however, was nothing to rave about. I took photos, but never blogged about it; it just was not good enough.

The last couple of times we’ve eaten here, however, it’s been for breakfast. And their breakfast rocks! Maybe their food overall has improved. Lord knows they have developed the space very well. At first it was just the small building with a couple of outdoor tables. Then they put up tarps to separate the space from the street and give diners some privacy. Then they put up a tarp roof, followed by pavers for the patio, and, finally, a more permanent (tarp fastened to beams) roof. Next came a sound system, and now they have two full hot tables for breakfast buffet on Saturday and Sunday (8 am till noon), plus a rolling grill on which to cook eggs to order. The chilaquiles de camarón/shrimp chilaquiles are to die for! And they have a healthy plate as well (egg white omelet with nopales/prickly pear cactus, salsa and a bit of queso fresco)!

Breakfast is served from the buffet (95 pesos) or off the menu (average price 75-80 pesos, including juice or coffee and fresh fruit). The lunch menu includes the standard items you’d expect in a small roadside place. The bathroom is indoors, and has a functioning sink, soap and towels. One of the waiters speaks English well, and the owner does a bit.

The views are really pleasant. We definitely enjoy having breakfast at Del Pueblo al Pueblo. If you’re looking for a simple place, with a gorgeous view, something a bit different than our killer ocean views, Del Pueblo al Pueblo may just fit the bill. Check it out and please, let me know what you think.


Thank You for the Free Seafood!

If you read this blog, you know what a futbol/soccer fan I am (NOT!). Well, a few days ago I won a free mariscada (seafood platter) from AlAgua restaurant, because I was the first to correctly predict the final score of a soccer game. Who’da thunk, right? Soccer savant!

I had several local friends who warned me: “Don’t get excited. You’ll go, and they’ll begrudingly serve you up a few morsels of food. Their goal was just to advertise and get you in the door.” Well, I am happy to report that was not at all the case. Al Agua served us up good, as you can see at left!

Thank you very much for your generosity, AlAgua! The oysters were to die for! My son wolfed the shrimp paté, and we all loved the huge prawns, the aguachile and the octopus.

Today was gorgeous, and we very much enjoyed the view from our table. Swimmers, boogie boarders, sailboats, horseback riders.

A band wandered by and offered us a few songs, to make sure our comida was complete. It was a terrific afternoon.