Trip Report


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Escrito por Sara desde 68.72.93.198 (adsl-68-72-93-198.dsl.chcgil.ameritech.net) el día domingo, 13 de marzo, 2005 a las 21:01:44 horas :

This is a little late but when I take two weeks off work I really pay for it when I get back. Anyway, we stayed at Las Brisas in Ixtapa from 2/13/05 to 2/27/05....our 7th stay there and we still love it.

We didn't get to do everything we planned on because I got very sick on our 6th day. NOT FROM THE FOOD!!! I had been fighting a cold for days before we left and eventually lost the battle....102 fever, throat so swollen I couldn't swallow and I won't even go into what I was coughing up. But here's the good news. The hotel called the doctor they use. She was there within 30 minutes and couldn't have been more wonderful.

I'm including this info because if this had occured on my first trip and I wasn't as comfortable with Las Brisas I may have put off calling a doctor.....I'm in a foreign country, what are the doctors like, how much is this going to cost , etc, etc.

The doctor was called at 10 she was there by 10:30. She spoke perfect English and asked me the same questions and gave me the same exam as my doctor at home would. She gave me a combo shot of penicilan and cortisone (for the swelling) plus prescr1ptions for an antibiotic and cough syrup with codeine. The charge was $125. By 2 in the afternoon my fever was gone and my throat was almost back to normal. In short, she saved my trip.

Don't ask me why, but I don't know if it's appropriate to post her name and number here. If Rob weighs in on the subject, I'm more than happy to. Otherwise, if anyone wants it I can email you.

Now the fun stuff. First of all, thanks to everyone on the board for all the great info every year. And Jared, thanks for the maps. We tried Elvira's on La Ropa for the first time and absolutely loved it. The service was perfect, the waiters were very friendly and the food was great. We had a cheese enchilada appetizer that I'm still drooling over. It wasn't like an enchilada here. It was more like a crispy taco....three of them topped with tons of lettuce and the most flavorful tomatoes I've had in years. We both had the tuna steak and loved it. My husband had 2 margaritas and I had 2 coronas. The bill was a little over $40. I don't remember the exact amount. Plus, we had non-stop music the whole time we were there. Three different sets of strolling musicians played....one even had a harp. Our contribution was $7. How can you beat that? We're on the ocean, feet in the sand, candles on the table, eating wonderful food and being serenaded. Elvira's is now in the running as my new favorite place.

That is if it wasn't for le hacienda in Ixtapa. We've gone there for years for breakfast and last year decided to try it for dinner. We loved it. So we went back this year, then we went back again and then again. It's almost directly across the street from Presidente. It's not fancy looking and doesn't have an eye-catching menu (in fact, one night when we were there people were passing it up in droves to stand in line at Mamma Norma's and Deborah's....I think that's the name).

We met a couple at the Las Brisas lobby bar one night and they went there with us for dinner. They ended up going back too they liked it so much. My favorite is the Shrimps "Costa Grande." The quality of the shrimp was excellent.....plump, firm and tender. The sauce was a spicey garlic. It's served with fresh vegtables and rice for $12. The "Guerrero" plate is excellent at $8 and our friends loved the Fish Brochette "Virreyna" which was, I think $9. Every time we went we got either a free appetizer or a free second glass of wine.

I highly recommend ordering the Mexican coffee after dinner. You would never guess it by looking at this place but they actually pull out the cart and make it at your table....they even do the flaming orange peel thing. Joel is always our waiter and he is the sweetest man. So, Hacienda is really trying to be my favorite restaurant.....but then there's.....

Tamales y atoles "any" which we tried for the first time this year. For about three months before our trip I spent an hour every night on the computer reading this board. My husband, who is NOT a computer person, would keep sticking his head in the room and scowl "are you still on that stupid board?" Well, after Tamales he apologized, after Elvira's he bowed down to me, after Rick's (more later), I'm his hero.

We took a cab there and were standing out in front of the place and still didn't know we were there. So, for first timers, it's exactly where the cab driver drops you off. When we walked in, it was crowded so the staff was busy. We didn't know if we should continue standing there looking lost and stupid or just sit down when a man sitting at a table near the entrance took pity on us and said "pick a fan." So we did. The menu is in the tiniest print I've ever not seen, so again we were lost. The waiter looked at me and then my husband and said "you want this" and "you want this." So that's what we got. Mine was a pablano pepper stuffed with meat...sooooo good. My husband, who is a big man, got an even bigger enchilada, bean, rice dish which he proclaimed to be the best.....hence the apology.

There was one thing that put a damper on the dinner. I waitressed my way through law school so it goes without saying I was not a wealthy person. It is usually the case here that if you get stiffed on a check you pay for it. Well, the restaurant was so busy and people can enter from two sides, that I saw, and so, exit as well. Which one table did. The street was crowded with people so by the time I noticed it was too late to say anything. So I felt very bad because it's a great restaurant and the entire staff was working really hard.

We each had a beer, a huge meal and salsa and chips for $20 including tip. Considering the high quality of the food, it can't be beat.

My very favorite restaurant for the past three years, but, like I said, I'm teatering now, is/was Il Mare. And it's still excellent. We always go there a couple of times. I get the linguini with clam sauce(white) which I love and the second time I get the garlic shrimp. This is where my conflict comes in. I think the garlic shrip at Hacienda in Ixtapa is better. However, Hacienda doesn't have the specular view of the bay and the boats and the ambiance that Il Mare does. But then again, Hacienda is not nearly as expensive. So, I think next year we will go to Il Mare on Valentine's Day for our romantic dinner instead of......

Villa de le Salva which was very disappointing this year. We've been going there on Valentine's day for the past 6 years and again this year. We always loved the Ceasar salad which they made at the table....no more. It came just like a regular salad and the dressing tasted bottled and salty without even a hint of anchovy. Our entrees were mediocre. My husband,however, had the tuna springroll (which isn't really a springroll but sushi on a springroll-like base) and he said it was delicious. We always get mexican coffee which they always made at the table with the flaming orange peel thing....no more. They gave us the coffee premixed from a pot and not only was our cream not frothed, we didn't even get any. The prices, however, were the same. I think what really turned me off was that the waiters now carry walkie-talkies. This is a really romantic restaurant with a spectular view etc, etc. When I was trying to ask the waiter a question his walkie-talkie was blaring from his pocket. I found it so annoying I asked him to turn it off. I felt bad because I knew it wasn't his fault. It's still a beautiful place with a friendly, attentive staff. It just isn't, in my opinion, what it used to be.

Rick's Bar.....what a great place! We went on a Friday for open mike. Josie was playing and she's fantastic. The place was packed so there must have been a lot of people from the board there. Rick said it was their most successful open-mike night. They totally ran out of food. I'm saying that there must have been a lot of people from the board there because he said his customers are usually the sailors and it has that"local bar" feel about it. He seemed really surprised at how crowded it was and had been all night. It's a really fun place and next trip we plan on going a lot more.

There are a few places I really wanted to go but after getting sick I didn't want to push it. But, now I have something to look forward to next year....Blue Mamou, MJ Richies and finding the best pozole.

Sorry for any and all errors in spelling and punctuation.

To anyone packing your bags now, I am so jealous. Have a great trip.

Oh, I almost forgot. We had no problems with taxis overcharging, the tip was never added to our meal check, the checks were always correct, we never saw or heard of anyone getting sick from the food or water and no one even came close to mistreating us. We were approached by that time share guy at the airport though. He's good. But lucky for me I read about him on the board.





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