Mexico (Zihuatanejo) — La Sirena Gorda — By George Froehlich
This small unpretentious Mexican outdoor and indoor restaurant serves some of the best fish we’ve ever have had.
We go back on a regular basis – every time we visit Mexico and the tiny little fishing village of Zihuatanejo, 10 kilometres from the modern resort town Ixtapa for Gringos and well-to-do Mexicans.
Zihuatanejo is small, unpretentious and so Mexican.
But don’t let that laid-back tranquility fool you, Zihuatanejo has seen superstars such as the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger stay at one of its many super luxurious and pricey boutique hotels.
La Sirena Gorda does fish in a simple and yet so yummy way. A whole red snapper is grilled, a bit on the charred side, served with rice and vegetables for a mere $12. The fish is succulent, tender and that bit of a burnt taste adds to the total deliciousness that makes your taste buds sing and your brain say WOW.
Tuna, caught in the morning, is grilled, doused with an awesome garlic sauce, some Mexican salsa on the side, with fresh steamed vegetables and rice, is another delight. The fish is perfectly grilled, rare on the inside and charred on the outside. For $13 a real steal.
And then there is the octopus cocktail.
This huge platter full filled with these tender denizen of the sea, some chilies and a traditional ceviche marinade, is out of this world. A few crackers on the side make this dish big enough for a full meal. And at $8 a platter who can argue with that.
Likewise their fish tacos.
This is a specialty of the house. Beautifully grilled tender pieces of fish, beautifully seasoned, enveloped in a nice soft taco with some grilled onions, a red and a green salsa on the side. Three of these gems and you are addicted.
About six years ago Gourmet Magazine let the world know that La Sirena Gorda’s fish tacos were some of the best in Mexico.
The year before that, when we discovered La Sirena Gorda, it was easy to get in.
The year after the Gourmet magazine article the Gringos were lined up and willing to wait for hours.
Dinner for two is around $34 and that includes coffee and dessert. The restaurant’s freshly-caught fish (the fishermen display their catch not far from the restaurant when their boats come in daily) is prepared in a simple way – grilled, fried or marinated ceviche style. A bit of butter or a wicked garlic sauce enhances flavours and don’t overpower the fish. It’s a simple way to cook fish and yet it is the best way to cook fish.
At dinner time it is highly likely that a passing mariachi band will stop in to serenade your table for a small tip. After dinner you can end your evening by walking back down the Paseo de Pescadores to the cancha, or basketball court, in the middle of town and watch a basketball game or a band or two perform, all set against the Pacific Ocean. What a sight, what a view. It doesn’t and can’t get any better than that.
Posted on May 13th, 2010
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