This past weekend I jetted over to Mexico, to a destination that I was told was a bohemian heaven. Boy was that the perfect descriptor. Manzanillo, Mexico, in the State of Colima, is located on the Pacific coast. I will tell you, Manzanillo is my new favorite, uber casual and easily accessible spot for INCREDIBLE food, a great tan, and a casual dress code, which for me, entailed a lot of Vintage Pucci, Vintage Leonard Paris and Eres Swimwear.
When I travel, I do it properly, so in between dining with the Mayor, Virgilio Mendoza, and Congresswoman Gaby Benavides, I chilled out, drank too many green juices and even managed to shop on the street for some pretty fierce, colorful Mexican house dresses. So politically correct. Si.
In Manzanillo, everything is pretty much directly on the beach, so one evening I ended up at a lounge, situated next to a major group of Canadians, dancing to the Notorious B.I.G, Ludacris and DMX. Believe.
Manzanillo is known for its port, which is the biggest in South/Central America, but shipping canoe’s and lots of cargo aside, MsErinsita takes you inside of my newfound paradise, and I give you a glimpse as to how I do what I do, when I do. Oh, and are you into gambling? Epic Casino is opening soon, so keep that fact in the back of your head when deciding where to play next. Africa hot Vegas or Bohemian sun, sand, service and inexpensive cuisine deliciousness?
A dark gray cobblestone road takes you to the Camino Real hotel, which feels like a true mix of the Grecian and Spanish Islands. An open lobby leads to the sea, which sooths your mood instantly. Those loud crashing waves are VERY Monte Carlo Beach Club. Camino Real has really interesting architectural components, and the rooms are very comfortable. If you are looking for a Four Seasons, this is not your destination, but if you are willing to tone it down, this is your spot. Camino Real has two pools and a few steps down from the terrace, lead you to a black sanded beach
Mariscos La Huerta: So, I decided, if I ever went to prison and was executed, my last meal would be from La Huerta. In my life, I have never eaten as such, not in Europe, not in the Middle East, nowhere!
They serve their ceviche’s on a tostada, which is a tortilla that is baked in the sun, not fried. Their ceviche’s are also very unique, because they are dry, not moist as one would expect. The ceviche is made using Sawfish, which is cooked in lime juice, orange juice and drained of the liquid, then prepared with onion, tomato, cilantro and carrots. You then proceed to put the USA looking tuna fish textured dish over a tostada, with salt, lime, and avocado with spicy Valentina sauce. I can’t wait to go back to Manzanillo just for this. Their char-grilled Red Snapper was like none I have ever experienced, sautéed in butter, Mexi-spices and served whole with a side of tortilla’s to make taco’s. Their whole fried fish, was also a first for me. This journey of putting fish skin in my mouth was like nothing I have ever put in my mouth, and it wont be the last. Fish skin, crunchy, yes please. Oh, and the corn ice cream, served in the husk, good lord. Worth a double chin any day.
I went back twice, that’s how good it was. Repeat offender: Guilty as charged.
La Huerta is opening their third location at Epic Casino, some time in 2015.
On the Street: In the region, a local specialty, known as Cocteles, are where it’s at. A Coctele is a cup with seafood (seafood cocktail) and is said to be a perfect remedy for hangovers. Located on the street (yes, I ate on a plastic chair outside of a strip club called Miami Beach), I had fresh octopus sliced, in a shrimp broth. Luckily, I did not die, because I’m very allergic, however, I am alive, it was delicious, and costs approximately $9 USD.
Ristorante Toscana: For delicious escargot (not salty, thank god), and mango sautéed dorada, Toscana is also literally on the sea, and has the best Sangrita, which is served with Tequila. Sangrita is a tomato based juice that you sip the best tequila’s with (aka Don Julio 70), and is prepared fresh at different restaurants.
Aroma Resto: Are you a fan of polpo ceviche? Hands down, this one was the best out of the few restaurants I sampled while in town. Aroma boasts a menu that has something for everybody and was simply delicioso!
Dance: Sunset Lounge was the spot we checked out while in town. The venue was full of friendly Canadians, many of whom have second homes in Manzanillo when on the run from -30 degree weather. Dance on the sand, at a table or on a couch, while the DJ spins up a perfect mix of pop, hip-hop and trendy latino musica!