Restaurant Reviews - Feb & Mar, 2005

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Escrito por Bill in Eugene desde ( el día viernes, 25 de marzo, 2005 a las 15:05:39 horas :

As a first time visitor who loves to eat, I decided to visit many restaurants during a two week period and post my opinions when I returned to the cold country. I know I will ruffle some feathers, so please keep in mind that I was traveling solo and was thinking about what other first-timers might want to know, took this task seriously, only got to about 15 places and there must be hundreds to chose from, and except where noted, this is the opinion of one person...many of you vets will have experienced some of these places differently. But for those of you looking for a starting point I offer this list:

La Ropa area:
DON'T MISS: El Manglar - This is truly a unique restaurant in a "jungle" environment just off the beach (and next to the crocs). It is like the jungle ride at Disneyland only this is the real deal. You won't find a more friendly host than owner/ waiter "Memo" (Bill). Rosa cooks up great food. Prices are reasonable. Tell Memo that Memo sent you!

GOOD EXPERIENCES: Along the beach I had good meals at Paty's, Dona Prudencia, and Rossy's.

I WOULD AVOID: Elvira's. I was looking forward to a great meal on my first night in town. I got an overcooked, dried out piece of tuna (I think). I also experienced a new version of the breakfast scam. In my case, two of the three items on the bill were inflated by 5 and 10 pesos respectively. My hunch is that the bill is rewritten before being turned in and change is pocketed. Anyway, never went back.

Okay, here comes the big controversy. My experience at La Perla was poor. From Francisco on down I experienced indifferent service to an extreme. I did a little survey at the Sunset Bar on two different evenings and asked six couples where their favorite restaurant and their least favorite was. I got six different answers for favorite. All six couples said their least favorite was La Perla and would not go back. The couples were all relatively new visitors. La Perla seems to be an good place for locals and long time visitors who have taken the time to make friends there. But if I may mangle the English language like Yogi Berra, don't go there for the first time unless you have been there several times already. La Perla has a nice website and Franciso makes many contributions to this Board; but his place doesn't live up to the hype.

Madera Area:
DON'T MISS: La Gula. Folks, it doesn't get much better than this place. It upstairs and when you enter you won't believe the ambience, Rosalba is a wonderful hostess and her husband Pepe is a marvelous chef. Strangers feel immediately like friends. The prices are surprisingly reasonable considering the quality. I visited it three times. It will be the first place I go to when I return.
La Casa Cafe. Pedro and family moved from Oregon seven years ago and run a great breakfast place. And Pedro is most knowledgable about what is going on and willing to sit down and share. First cup if coffee is free, place is so relaxed, everyone is so friendly. Try it, you'll like it!

GOOD EXPERIENCE: M.J. Richies on the beach. Local hangout. Nice vibes.

1.Banana's for breakfast. What a treat.
2. Tamale "Any" for lunch or dinner, and during the busy season, Thursday night for the dance show. Everyone seems to know about this place and I have yet to hear an unkind word. Prices are very reasonable. If you are lucky, Jose will be the host when you come in. Great guy who sets the tone for a marvelous experience. Were the rest of the world run like Tamale's, what a wonderful world it would be.
3. La Sirena Gorda. Don't miss the "Surf & Turf" tocos for lunch.
4. The Basketball Court on Sunday night. Try the vendors. Great place to spend a few hours and very low cost!
5. El Pueblito. Off the beaten path (past the Mercado, more or less on Jose Morelos) and the entrance is hard to find, but once inside you are in a living piece of history. You can spend 30 minutes just wandering around looking at the old hacienda. The courtyard where the food is served is beautiful. The food is authentic...and on my two visits I was the only two English speaking visitors. Ask for Lucio...he is a waiter with good English and great sense of humor. Say hello to the parrots for me!


NIGHT LIFE: Blue Mamou and Banditos both had really good live music.

Well, those are my opinions and I am sticking to them. Your turn!

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