Mexico round up 2014

I was in Mexico earlier this month. As usual, the sand, sun and sea worked wonders on me and I came back wonderfully refreshed and inspired. Visiting Mexico is like visiting my home country of El Salvador, with the exception of a few small details. I came back with a ton of ideas for the blog that I look forward to rolling out throughout the year.

Following on last year’s Mexico round up, instead of using words to describe the highlights of my trip, I’d rather show you in photos.

We stayed in Ixtapa but spent some time exploring the beaches in the nearby fishing town of Zihuatenejo. We had dinner oceanside on this beach, Playa La Madera.

Playa La Madera, Zihuatenejo

Margaritas are always a good idea in Mexico because there is so many varieties made with fresh fruit. The combination of the view and this mango margarita was pleasant on all my senses!

mango margarita

We were at an all inclusive (AI) which are not known for having the best food options so we usually venture out for as much meals as we can. My favourite meal at our resort was lunch. There were always 4 or 5 different ceviche options to choose from as well as an a la carte fish menu. My husband had the catch of the day filet made al mojo de ajo (garlic butter) which is a specialty in the region, every single day! They also had grilled flank steak, chicken and pork available a la carte. I settled for a fresh salad and ceviche everyday. Paired with a mid-day glass of chilled white wine, this made for a relaxing and delicious meal.

ceviche and wine

Speaking of lunch, they also had my favourite dessert, tres leches every single day! It was hard to hold back and not take a slice everyday but I sure do miss having the option.

tres leches cake

One thing I did indulge in every single day was a fresh green juice at breakfast. Along with a large glass of water and a strong cup of mexican coffee, I was set for the day.

fresh green juice

Chorizo tacos are one of my very favourite foods. We make them at home often, but the chorizo is never quite like the chorizo you can find In Mexico and other Latin American countries. There were a ton of restaurant options in Ixtapa, some a little too touristy for us and way too many italian restaurants in my opinion (I LOVE italian food, it’s just not what I go to Mexico for). We found the perfect place, a small outdoor patio with tables of Mexican patrons which is always a good sign. The playful name finished convincing us to try it out –  Los Bigotes de Zapata  (Zapatas’ mustaches). We were so happy we chose to eat there, it was obviously family owned and they were extremely friendly. The food was delicious. I had a tortilla soup with the chorizo tacos (my husband had carnitas tacos) and we felt our trip was complete with this meal.

01- chorizo tacos

Red snapper, or huachinango as they refer to it in Mexico (or boca colorada in El Salvador) is a must in the Ixtapa/Zihuatenenjo region as it is one of their specialties. It is local and fresh fresh FRESH! We dined in another outdoor patio that beared the name of the fish and it didn’t disappoint. The snapper was brought fresh to our table before cooking for us to see, smell and approve.

01- red snapper

My shopping list for Mexico consists of four items every year: vanilla, coffee, tequila, hot sauce and this year I added sea salt and chia seeds to the list. Markets (mercados) get me really excited and the market in Zihuatenejo did not disappoint. More about our mercado day in a future post. For now, I leave you with this photo of vanilla beans (I can practically smell it).

01 - vanilla bean 0

A book, a beach, a beer. Bliss. This is Coral Beach, one of three beaches on Ixtapa Island that we spent a day at.

book and beer

The best part was all the natural vitamin D we absorbed, After this long harsh winter, it was much needed and appreciated. We sat on the balcony or walked along the beach to enjoy the sunset every single night. I just love Pacific sunsets!

01- sunset